Outreach Emails and the Best Time to Send Them


Oliver Smith

Content Marketing

Whether you’re a newcomer to the world of SEO or a hardened veteran, the aspect of the job that is often the most daunting is outreach.

With Googles Pandas and Penguins (all 2.0 of them) doing their rounds purging the web of anything deemed less than pertinent, quality content, it would seem the task SEO execs are charged with becomes clearer with every update. But without successful outreach, even the most awe-inspiring of interactive infographics could go unnoticed; bereft of links, it could’ve been a contender.

Reach Out (They’ll Be There)

So let’s say you’ve put your best foot forward. You’ve identified the targets and influencers most relevant to your clients business, you get what their site is about, you’ve researched their likes and dislikes, and you’ve pooled all of the above into an email with an authorial voice, so befitting of its recipient, it verges on poetic. What could possibly go wrong? Links ahoy, right?

Well, to qualify my somewhat tenuous rephrasing of The Four Tops in this post, there could be another factor with the potential to maximise your outreach emails performance: the time and day upon which it is sent.

US marketing agency, iacquire.com, produced this white paper after an extensive study of varying email characteristics and the responses they encountered.

They found:

  • Monday and Thursdays emails met with the best open/response rates across a five-day working week.
  • Through seven days, weekend response rates were found to be the highest, but it’s likely that a lower volume of correspondence sent at that time might have afforded those emails greater visibility.

The greatest volume of email is sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, says this study by mailchimp.com. Are those days most popular because they command the best response rates? Mailchimp doesn’t offer a conclusion, instead recommending companies experiment to determine their own most effective days.

Getresponse.com, in contrast, found both the highest open and click-through rates of the seven-day week are to be had on Thursdays, as well as the highest volumes of email sent. Their report also offers statistics on the optimum time of day to send email, noting that:

  • Emails sent in the afternoon are more likely to be opened than the mornings, possibly by virtue of conspicuity;
  • The majority (38.7%) of emails are sent between 6:00am and 12:00 midday.

Mailchimp.com arrived at similar results:

  • Emails are more likely to be opened after noon, particularly between 2:00pm and 5:00pm.

So, there you have it: for the best results, send outreach emails on Monday and Thursday afternoons! If only it were that simple.

Spare the time to pore over the studies referenced above and youll see a myriad of factors that could reasonably be credited as effecting email efficiency. Sending them when theyre most likely to be opened, however, has to be a good starting point!