Publications & Products
Volume 1, Issue 41

The Best Time to Send Email

Emails sent between 6 and 7 a.m. are nearly three times more likely to be opened than emails sent at 4 p.m., according to a communications expert.

Laura Vanderkam, writer for CBS MoneyWatch, recently shared some advice on when to send work emails. She notes that most emails sent around 6 a.m. are "toward the top of the pile" of most new unopened messages and, therefore, are more likely to get read.

"By the end of the day, though, any given email gets buried in an avalanche of other emails," Vanderkam says. "People are triaging and trying to get out the door and anything marginal or not related to the task at hand will just get deleted or ignored. That's why morning emails work so well."

Vanderkam also notes emails sent on Sunday afternoon traditionally have high open rates.

"It turns out that in the smartphone era, many people do check email on Sundays," she says. "Any resolve to stay out of the inbox ends with Saturday. ... [People are] somewhat bored and willing to do something that seems semi-productive. Since not too many messages come in on Sunday, yours might get read."

In addition, sending an email on Sundays may put it at the top of someone's list of messages on Monday.

"A 4 p.m. Sunday, email looks a lot like a 6 a.m. Monday email from that perspective," she says. "They're both at the top of the pile."

This article is from the April 23, 2012 issue.

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