Cold Email

Best Time for Cold Outreach: Tips for Better Responses

Discover the secrets of cold outreach timing to boost your open and response rates. Learn to personalize your strategy using A/B testing, understand your audience's schedule, and leverage the best hours for engagement.

Jan 29, 2024

Group of people celebrating after getting better responses using optimal timing for cold outreach

Ever wondered when's the best time to hit send on that cold email or make that sales call? Timing can be everything in the game of cold outreach. It's not just what you say; it's about when you say it.

You're not alone if you've been on the fence about the perfect moment to reach out. Everyone from seasoned sales pros to startup hustlers is constantly looking for that sweet spot. Let's dive into the art of timing your outreach for maximum impact.

Imagine hitting that send button and knowing you've got the timing just right. Stick around, and you'll find out when that is.

The Importance of Timing in Cold Outreach

The Importance of Timing in Cold Outreach

Timing is everything when you're trying to get a foot in the door. Imagine trying to start a conversation with someone who's rushing to catch a bus – it's not likely to go well, right? That’s sort of what it feels like when you reach out at the wrong time. The key to effective cold outreach lies in catching your prospect when they're open to engaging.

Let's break down why timing is such a game-changer:

  • Opens Rates: Reach out when it’s likely they’ll see your message pop up first thing.

  • Response Rates: Time it so you're at the top of their inbox when they’re checking emails.

  • Conversions: If they're reading at their leisure, they might just be more open to what you have to offer.

Sure, you might understand the basics: don’t email on weekends or late at night. But common mistakes often slip through the cracks. For instance, blasting emails on Monday mornings. Sounds productive, but really, you're just getting lost in the weekend backlog. And sending messages right before lunch? Your email might just end up as another forgotten task, post-food coma.

Avoid these blunders:

  • Emailing during peak busy hours (like Monday morning)

  • Overlooking time zone differences

  • Ignoring industry-specific peak times

Implementing the right tactics can turn cold outreach from a dreaded task into an art form. Try A/B testing different times and days to see when you get the best response rate. Personalize your approach by considering the recipient’s time zone and their typical workday flow.

Here are a few techniques for experimenting with timing:

  • Send emails in batches at different times and track engagement.

  • Test sending follow-ups at varying intervals.

  • Use scheduling tools to ensure emails hit the inbox at the most opportune moments.

Each industry, and even every professional, might have a unique sweet spot for timing. Your job is to find that sweet spot. Dive into the data, keep adjusting, and you'll soon find that perfect time frame that's just ripe for the picking. Remember, in cold outreach, as in comedy, timing isn't just a thing – it's everything.

Understanding Your Audience's Schedule

When diving into the world of cold outreach, it's like preparing for a first date. You've got to know when your prospect is most likely to be receptive and in the right mood to entertain your message. Imagine calling someone in the middle of the night to ask for a date; it's easy to see why timing is crucial.

Common mistakes people make in this process include:

  • Assuming a one-size-fits-all approach works for every prospect.

  • Forgetting to account for public holidays, weekends, or special events.

  • Underestimating the impact of industry-specific peak seasons.

To sidestep these blunders, it's vital to research your lead’s typical schedule. If you’re reaching out to a busy CEO, early mornings or late afternoons might be your best bet. For other professionals, post-lunch slots could be golden. Knowing when your audience has a moment to breathe can dramatically increase your odds of a response.

Different techniques apply to various industries:

  • For corporate sectors, weekdays, especially Tuesday to Thursday, tend to be more effective.

  • In creative industries, folks might be checking their emails later in the day or week.

And how about the freelancers or those digital nomads? Well, conventional timing may not apply at all, so consider a more flexible approach.

Incorporate these practices by:

  • Segmenting your audience based on their profession and timezone.

  • Leveraging tools that provide insights on your prospect's online activity.

  • Scheduling emails or messages to send at the optimum time, using reliable scheduling tools.

By understanding the rhythms and routines of your target audience, you can tailor your outreach strategy. Maybe you're trying to catch the early bird, or perhaps you're playing the waiting game until the post-lunch energy slump hits. Whatever the case, remember that personalization doesn't end with just using the recipient's name; it extends to when they hear from you. Armed with this knowledge, you're ready to make your cold outreach as warm and welcome as a sunny mid-morning.

Morning: The Early Bird Catches the Worm

You've probably heard the saying, the early bird catches the worm, right? Well, when it comes to cold outreach, this adage holds a lot of weight. Picturing your ideal client, imagine them sipping their first cup of coffee, sifting through overnight emails. That's your window, first thing in the morning, when your message could land front and center.

Sending your email between 5:00 AM and 6:00 AM can significantly increase the chances of it being opened. This timing works well because it avoids the morning rush. You're hitting the inbox when people are gearing up for their day, not when they're drowning in tasks.

However, don't fall into the trap of thinking super early always means better. Sending messages at 4:00 AM, for example, might backfire as your email could get buried under others by the time your prospect is awake. And here’s a tip: pay attention to time zones - it's morning for you, but it could be bedtime for someone else.

One technique for getting your timing right is using scheduling tools that ensure your email arrives precisely when you want it to, even if you’re snoozing away. These tools are your best bet to avoid errors in timing due to human forgetfulness or errors.

What about LinkedIn outreach? Well, the same morning rule can apply. As professionals check their notifications, your message could be sitting at the top. But there’s a twist - LinkedIn's active users might peak slightly later.

Researching when your specific audience is most active on the platform can give you a leg up. Whether it's executives who might check LinkedIn after their morning meetings, or freelancers who wake up later, tailor your timing to your audience's habits.

To wrap your head around this, think about who you’re reaching out to. If they’re likely to start their day early, beat them to the punch. If they march to the beat of a different drum, adjust accordingly. And always, always, make sure you’re sending a clear, concise, and targeted message that’ll resonate with your recipients, regardless of what time they read it.

Afternoon: The Power Hour

You might've heard that the morning is the golden time for cold outreach, but don't underestimate the power of the afternoon – particularly the early-to-mid afternoon hours. Think of it like hitting the gym when everyone else is at lunch; you've got the equipment (or in this case, the recipient's attention) all to yourself.

Why is early-to-mid afternoon so effective? Well, imagine your leads have just returned from their lunch breaks; they're refreshed and ready to dive back into work. Sending your cold outreach during this time can coincide with a peak in their responsiveness. Between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM, many professionals are caught up with morning tasks and are more likely to give your message the attention it deserves.

A common mistake during afternoon outreach is sending messages when prospects might be wrapping up their day. If you're hitting send after 4:00 PM, you're likely to miss the mark since people are starting to tune out and think about heading home.

To optimize your afternoon outreach strategy, consider these practical tips:

  • Avoid the post-lunch slump. Right after lunch, some may feel sluggish. Aim for the time just after they've settled back in and shaken off the post-meal sleepiness.

  • Respect the daily wind down. Most people start to wind down an hour or two before they finish work. Anticipate this and schedule your outreach earlier in the afternoon.

  • Tailor your message timing based on the lead's role. For instance, teachers often have a break in the early afternoon, while corporate professionals might be checking their inbox less frequently during back-to-back meetings.

When it comes to incorporating afternoon outreach into your schedule, use the tools at your disposal to automate and plan your approach. Scheduling tools allow you to queue your emails or LinkedIn messages for that power hour, ensuring they hit the inbox at just the right time.

Remember, the key to successful cold outreach isn't just about what you say; it's also about when you say it. By harnessing the less congested afternoon hours, you might just find your messages are given the consideration they deserve. Keep experimenting with different times and track your results to fine-tune your approach as you learn what works best with your audience.

Evening: The After-Hours Advantage

When you're browsing through your inbox while unwinding after a long day, messages without the urgency of work waiting for you tend to stick a bit longer in your mind, don't they? That's after-hours magic at play, and it's precisely why evening might just be a hidden gem for your cold outreach efforts.

Think of the evening as your local 24/7 diner. While the rest of the world is closed or winding down, it's open, welcoming, with fewer customers but the same potential. In layman's terms, it's less noisy, so what you say can be heard more clearly. This is the time when people are off their work guard and might engage more casually, with less of a knee-jerk to hit 'delete.'

Hold your horses; there are some common misconceptions here. Just because it's evening doesn't mean any old email will do. Sliding into inboxes like some awkward nighttime infomercial is a no-go. Your message still needs to be tailored and valuable—think prime-time TV slot, not the filler show that gets ignored.

Let's dial into practical tips:

  • Track response rates: Find your particular audience's sweet spot. 8 PM for one group could be vastly different from 9 PM for another.

  • Be mindful of tone: Evenings call for a softer touch. A hard sell can feel jarring when someone's relaxing with Netflix.

  • Consider the day: Midweek evenings usually fare better than weekends when inboxes are less cluttered.

Different strokes for different folks, right? That's why segmentation is key. Break down your audience not just by industry but also by lifestyle. Parents might check emails post-kids' bedtime, while millennials might be more receptive post-gym.

To integrate this nifty tactic, start by scheduling a few tester emails. And don't forget to keep an eye on open and engagement rates. By employing a CRM or outreach tool, you can automate this process and constantly refine your sweet spot.

Taking on the evening for cold outreach can feel like a hopeful night fishing trip. Cast your line wisely, be patient, and you might just reel in a big one when the waters are quiet.


Mastering the art of timing can significantly boost your cold outreach success. Remember, it's not just about when you send your message, but also how well you've tailored it to fit the recipient's schedule and lifestyle. With the right combination of personalization and strategic timing—whether that's the bustling hours of early afternoon or the quieter moments of the evening—you're setting yourself up for higher open rates and better engagement. Don't forget to keep an eye on your metrics; they're the compass that guides your decisions. By refining your approach and leveraging the power of scheduling tools, you'll find that sweet spot that turns cold contacts into warm leads. Go ahead and make timing your ally in the quest for cold outreach mastery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to send cold outreach emails for optimal open rates?

The optimum time for sending cold outreach emails to achieve higher open rates is during the early-to-mid afternoon hours, as this is when people are most likely to check their emails.

How can A/B testing improve my cold outreach strategy?

A/B testing allows you to experiment with different sending times to determine which results in the best response and conversion rates, thereby refining your cold outreach strategy.

Why is it important to understand my audience's schedule for cold outreach?

Understanding your audience's schedule ensures that your outreach emails arrive at a time when they are likely to be seen and acted upon, increasing the effectiveness of your campaign.

What are some tools that can help with scheduling cold outreach?

Scheduling tools like Boomerang, HubSpot, or ScheduleOnce can help you send your emails at the optimum time without the need to be online 24/7.

Should I send cold outreach emails in the evening?

Evening outreach can be advantageous, especially if you tailor your messages to the relaxed mindset of the evening hours. However, it's vital to monitor response rates to see if it's effective for your audience.

How does personalization impact cold outreach success?

Personalization significantly impacts the success of cold outreach by making recipients feel understood and valued, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Is it a bad idea to send cold outreach emails very early or late?

Yes, sending emails too early in the morning or late at night can result in low open and response rates as emails may get buried in the inbox or be perceived as intrusive.

Do the days of the week matter when sending cold outreach?

Absolutely, the day of the week can influence open and response rates. Mid-week days, typically Tuesday to Thursday, are generally the best for cold outreach.

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