When is the best time to send a B2B marketing email that will get opened?

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There is much research on the web about when to send marketing emails. However, much of that data is heavily focused on consumer marketing. Our 20+ years of experience in this industry has taught us many things, one of which is that the buying habits of B2B audiences can sometimes be very different than that of consumers — and email response is one of those habits.

In an effort to have a little better understanding of when the ideal time for VantagePoint’s clients to send emails that will actually get opened, we have done some spot research on the scores of marketing emails we produce each year for our partner clients as part of their integrated marketing campaigns.

Although not truly a scientific survey, we’ve gathered data from a randomized sample of messages sent for six clients across a variety of industries to some 260,000 recipients. A few trends became evident:

  • Despite the prevailing practice, our clients’ email messages were opened most frequently on Wednesdays, and by a fairly substantial margin.
  • Messages sent in the afternoon — after 2pm ET — get slightly higher open rates than email messages sent before 11am ET.
  • Messages sent on Tuesday get the worst open rates, followed closely by Thursday.
  • Repeated versions of the same (or similar) email message have decreasing open rates of about 15% on average for each time the message is sent.

The conclusion? All things being equal, Wednesday afternoons might be the best time for B2B marketing emails to actually get opened and read.

We’ll be applying some of our new-found knowledge to our clients, and, although every industry is different, perhaps these findings will help you gain a few more opens for your email marketing messages as well.

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