Cold Email

Maximize Opens: Best Hours to Send Cold Emails Revealed

Discover prime timing for cold emails with insights on when to send for maximum engagement, from early morning to late evening. Learn to use A/B testing, time zones, and tracking to optimize your outreach strategy.

Jan 24, 2024

Man looking on laptop while holding paper with a list of prospects for cold emailing

Ever wondered why your cold emails are getting the cold shoulder? Timing is everything when it comes to email outreach. You're not alone in seeking the sweet spot for sending those messages that could spark a brand new business opportunity.

Imagine hitting send and knowing you've nailed the timing—your email lands at the top of their inbox just as they're sipping their morning coffee or wrapping up their day. It's not just luck; it's strategy. Let's dive into the best hours to send cold emails and get those responses rolling in.

The Importance of Timing in Cold Email Outreach

The Importance of Timing in Cold Email Outreach

When you're diving into the world of cold emailing, think of timing like fishing. You wouldn't cast your net in the middle of the night and expect a great catch, right? It's all about knowing when the fish are biting. Similarly, when people are sifting through their inboxes, your email needs to be the shiny lure that catches their eye.

Key Factors to Consider

Let's break it down:

  • Peak Activity Hours: Most professionals check their emails during specific windows, primarily in the morning or early afternoon. Aim to send your cold emails during these peak times to enhance your chances of a swift response.

  • Time Zones: If your target audience is global, you'll need to juggle different time zones. This might mean scheduling your emails to hit inboxes at the start of the business day, no matter where that's located.

Common Mistakes to Sidestep

You've got to watch out for a few pitfalls:

  • Overlooking Time Zones: Don't send an email that arrives at 3 AM local time and expect it to top the morning’s messages.

  • Ignoring Work Patterns: Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are notorious for low email engagement. People are either gearing up for the week or winding down.

Techniques and Variations:

  • A/B Testing: Send your emails in batches at different times and measure which slot gets better engagement. Fine-tune your strategy based on the results.

  • Automated Tools: Use email automation software to schedule your emails. Many platforms also suggest optimal send times based on industry data.

Integrating Best Practices:

Here's how you can start:

  • Keep a Time Log: Take note of response rates at various times and days to create a customized sending schedule.

  • Segmentation: Split your contact list based on location or industry, then tailor your outreach times accordingly.

By considering these factors and employing adaptive strategies, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of timing in your cold email outreach. Remember, it's not just what you say; it’s also when you say it that can make all the difference.

Understanding Your Target Audience's Schedule

Knowing when your audience is most receptive to emails is like figuring out the best time to visit a coffee shop; you want to arrive during the off-peak hours when you can easily catch the barista's attention, not during the morning rush. Your email outreach strategy should take into account the daily routine of your target demographic.

Imagine you're a fisherman, and each email you send is like casting a line. You'd want to fish when they're hungry and active, right? Similarly, consider when your target audience starts their day. Are they early birds or night owls? Do they clear their inbox first thing in the morning or right after lunch?

You can catch these patterns through:

  • Market research

  • Feedback from existing customers

  • A/B testing with different send times

The common mistake many marketers make is sending emails based on their own convenience. It's easy to hit 'send' as soon as you're done drafting, but that's your schedule, not theirs.

There's no universal best time to send an email – it depends on who you're trying to reach. However, a good rule of thumb is to avoid Mondays and Fridays, since these emails might get lost in the weekend wrap-up or planning for the week ahead. Also, mid-morning to post-lunch hours - say, 10 AM to 2 PM local time - are often when people check their messages.

Here are some techniques you might want to consider:

  • Segmentation: Divide your contact list by time zone, industry, or even by job role. This way, you can tailor your timing to each segment.

  • Email tracking tools: Use these to see when your emails are being opened and interacted with. This data is gold for refining your send times.

To incorporate these practices, start by collecting some baseline data. Send out emails at different times and days, then monitor the results. Once you have a grasp on the patterns, adjust your sending schedules accordingly. Keep a close eye on open and response rates to continue refining your approach. Remember, the goal is to align your emails with moments when your targets have the time and inclination to engage with your message. Always be willing to adapt and tweak your strategies as habits and schedules change.

Morning: A Golden Opportunity

Imagine you're at a buzzing coffee shop early in the day, everyone's fresh, and the air is crackling with new prospects. That's the essence of sending cold emails in the morning. You’re catching your audience when they’re starting their day, their inboxes are relatively clean, and they're geared up to tackle what's ahead.

Key hours are between 8 AM and 10 AM local time of your recipient. This slot can be a treasure trove because it’s often when people schedule their email checking routine.

Here's why understanding this could be a game-changer for you:

  • Prospects are more likely to be in a decision-making mode.

  • There's a higher chance of your email being at the top of their inbox.

  • Engagement rates typically spike during these hours.

You might believe blasting emails as soon as you clock in is good enough. It's a common slip—sending based on your schedule rather than your recipient’s. To avoid this pitfall, segment your contact list by time zone and stick to the golden hours for each segment.

You’ve probably heard of A/B testing in the realm of website design, but it’s just as potent for fine-tuning your cold email timing.

Try variations:

  • Split test your email with two different morning windows.

  • Change up subject lines to see what pairs best with an AM send-off.

And always tailor your message – no one appreciates a generic email with their first cup of coffee.

Integrating tools like email tracking software can offer revelatory insights. You’ll get to see when your emails are opened, crafting a feedback loop that refines your timing and boosts open rates. Think of it as your personal barometer for audience engagement.

Remember, though, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Different industries might see different peak response times, so keep a keen eye on your metrics, and don’t be afraid to test the waters. Who knows, the sweet spot for your niche audience might just be lurking in plain sight.

Afternoon: Catch Them at the Right Moment

Sending cold emails can sometimes feel like trying to hit a moving target—you've got to time your shot just right. If you've been under the impression that mornings are the only prime time for cold outreach, you might be missing out on the afternoon's hidden potential.

Think about it this way: mornings are often cluttered with meetings and urgent tasks. By the afternoon, people have usually settled into their routines. This could mean they're more open to exploring new opportunities or partnerships. That's where your well-timed cold email comes in.

Between 1 PM and 3 PM local time is when you might find a sweet spot. Why's that? Well, many folks are back from lunch and are looking for something to kickstart the second half of their day—a fresh proposal or an exciting partnership opportunity might be just the ticket.

Bear in mind, however, with great timing comes great responsibility. The content of your cold email shouldn't be taken lightly. The timing might get your foot in the door, but it's the message that'll invite you in for a conversation.

Here are some afternoon-specific tips to ensure your cold email stands out:

  • Personalization Is Key: Nobody likes to feel like just another name on a list. Use what you know about their industry or recent professional achievements to personalize your message.

  • Keep It Light: The post-lunch slump is real. Keep your email concise and engaging to hold their attention.

  • Be Clear and Direct: Clearly state the purpose of your email and what action you'd like them to take. Is it a call, a demo, or a simple reply? Make it obvious.

You also want to dodge common pitfalls, like sending out mass emails without any customization or sending them right before the end of the workday when they're more likely to be ignored.

As for techniques, it's worth considering the use of engaging subject lines that stand out. Questions, actionable phrases, and even the occasional emoji have their place, provided they're used judiciously and fit your brand's voice.

Lastly, remember to integrate email tracking software into your workflow. This tool can provide you with real-time insights into open and click-through rates, helping you refine your approach further.

Keep experimenting with times and strategies—the perfect moment to hook your prospects could be a sent email away.

Evening: Standing Out in a Less Crowded Inbox

Ever thought about sending cold emails when the world's winding down? Let's dive into why the evening hoursspecifically between 6 PM and 9 PM local time—could be your secret weapon in cold email outreach. At this time, most people have left their offices or shut down their work-from-home setups. They're relaxed, perhaps scrolling through their phones, and less bombarded by the avalanche of correspondence they receive during the day.

Here's how to make the evening hours work to your advantage:

  • Less Competition: Since fewer emails are sent out in the evening, yours has a better shot at being noticed. Think about it; it’s the difference between a billboard on a quiet street versus one on a busy highway—you're more likely to pay attention when there's less noise around.

  • Higher Open Rates: Historical data indicates evening emails might enjoy more eyeballs. While morning is prime time for decision making, evenings are for curiosity and openness to new ideas.

Here's the part where you really shine: Personalization. Evening is prime time for tailoring your message, giving it that “written just for you” vibe. Here are a few techniques:

  • Use a Personal Touch: Like meeting someone at a cocktail party rather than a conference. Include a bit about what your day was like. Humanizing your message can build a warmer rapport.

  • Engaging Tone: Aim for conversational. If you're too formal, you might lose that connection. Imagine you're chatting with a friend over dinner, not presenting to the board.

  • Clear CTA: Be straightforward about why you're contacting them. Do you want to schedule a meeting, introduce a service, or offer information? Make the next steps easy and clear.

Now for the pitfalls to avoid:

  • Avoid Being Too Casual: There's a fine line between being personable and unprofessional. Don't overstep that line.

  • Timing is Everything: Just because evenings can work doesn’t mean they're ideal for every prospect. Test these waters before diving in.

  • Over Personalization: Yes, there’s such a thing. Over tailoring can come off as creepy. Keep it balanced.


Mastering the art of timing can significantly boost your cold email success. By targeting the early hours of 8-10 AM, you're catching your prospects when they're primed for decision-making. Don't forget to consider time zones and A/B testing to fine-tune your approach. Afternoons offer a second sweet spot between 1-3 PM, where a concise, personalized message can cut through the day's clutter. And if you're aiming for a time when there's less noise, consider the 6-9 PM window for its relaxed atmosphere and potential for higher engagement. Remember, personalization is key, but balance is essential—avoid overstepping into casualness that could undermine your professionalism. By leveraging these insights and continuously refining your timing strategy, you'll be well on your way to optimizing your cold email outreach and connecting with prospects more effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to send cold emails?

The optimal time to send cold emails is generally in the morning between 8 AM and 10 AM local time, when recipients are likely to be more attentive and in a decision-making mindset.

Should I adjust my email send times for different time zones?

Yes, it is beneficial to segment your contact list by time zone and send emails accordingly to ensure they arrive during optimal engagement hours for each recipient.

How can I optimize my cold email send times?

Using A/B testing to experiment with different send times allows you to optimize your email campaigns based on data-driven decisions. Email tracking software is also helpful to gather insights about audience engagement.

Are there benefits to sending cold emails in the afternoon?

Indeed, sending cold emails between 1 PM and 3 PM can be effective because recipients may be more open to new opportunities after settling into their daily routines.

How should I craft my emails for afternoon sending?

Crafting effective afternoon emails includes personalizing the content, keeping the message concise, and clearly stating the purpose of the email to maintain engagement.

Is it a good idea to send cold emails in the evening?

Sending cold emails between 6 PM and 9 PM can be advantageous due to reduced competition and potentially higher open rates since recipients are relaxing and have fewer emails to deal with.

What are the recommended techniques for personalizing evening emails?

When personalizing evening emails, maintain professionalism while being engaging. Avoid being too casual and focus on tailoring your message to the recipient's interests and needs.

Why is timing important in cold email outreach?

Timing is critical because it significantly impacts open and response rates. Sending emails when prospects are most receptive increases the likelihood of engagement. Testing different strategies is essential to determine the best time for your audience.

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