Email Marketing & AutomationSales Enablement

Timing Matters: Enhancing B2B Outreach Email Engagement for Optimal Results

In today’s digital world, email remains a cornerstone of communication for businesses and individuals alike. However, achieving high email engagement and response rates is becoming increasingly challenging due to the sheer volume of emails flooding inboxes. 

Cold outreach may seem easy at first. But without testing and metric review, email delivery time may significantly impact performance. To determine their performance, Belkins analyzed 11 million client emails from 2021 to 2023 across 90+ industries. This research gives insights on the ideal time for sending emails to prospects, taking into account the hour of the day, day of the week, and month. In this article I will share some of the insights with you.

Ideal Day to Send a Cold Email

According to the research, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days of the week to send outreach emails for lead generation (leadgen). Of all the working days, these two had the greatest reply rates (7.2% on Wednesday and 7.1% on Thursday). At the same moment, Wednesday’s open rates are somewhat lower than Tuesday’s (37.2% on Tuesday vs. 37% on Wednesday).

In contrast, Mondays had the lowest open (35%) and reply (6.5%) rates. Fridays are comparable in terms of answers and have the lowest reply rates (6.5%). Please note that weekends are not included in this study.

reply open rates b2b outreach by day
Source: Belkins

Best Time to Get the Greatest Open and Response Rates

Sending cold outreach emails between 12 PM and 4 PM increases their chances of being opened. At that point, open rates reach a high of around 41%. Also, the greatest reply rates are between 7 AM and 11 AM. Even while afternoons get a higher number of email opens, mornings see a higher rate of answers (over 7%).

Reply and open rates by hour for B2B outreach emails
Source: Belkins

Months with the Highest Open and Response Rates

The investigation found that reply rates are highest in April–June, over 7%. January and November have the highest open rates (38%) for cold outreach emails. 

Most people open cold B2B emails at the beginning of the year and right before the end of the year. The rate drops in the summer and in December.

Right Timing in Email Marketing for Boosting Recipient Attention and Interaction

The impact of timing on recipients’ attention and engagement cannot be overstated. Properly timing your emails can significantly influence how recipients perceive and respond to your message. Here are some key points to highlight this impact:

  1. Peak Attention Periods: By sending emails during peak attention periods, such as when recipients actively check their emails, you increase the likelihood of your message being noticed and read promptly. This enhances the chances of recipients engaging with your content.
  2. Avoiding Overwhelm: Timing is crucial in avoiding overwhelming recipients with a flood of emails all at once. If your email competes with numerous others in a recipient’s inbox, it may easily get lost or ignored, leading to decreased engagement.
  3. Time Zone Consideration: Taking into account different time zones is essential when conducting international campaigns. Sending emails during recipients’ local business hours can improve the chances of immediate attention and response.
  4. Day of the Week Impact: Certain days of the week might be more suitable for specific types of content or target audiences. Understanding which days are most effective for engagement can optimize the overall success of your email campaigns.
  5. Seasonal Relevance: Timing can also impact the relevance of your message. For instance, promotional emails related to holidays or events must be sent in advance to ensure recipients have ample time to act.
  6. Personal Habits: Analyzing recipient behavior can reveal patterns in their email engagement. Some individuals may be more responsive during specific times of the day or week, and leveraging this knowledge can boost the effectiveness of your outreach.
  7. Avoiding Inactive Periods: By analyzing recipient engagement data, you can identify inactive periods when users are less likely to interact with emails. Avoiding these times can help improve open rates and click-through rates.

The timing of your email delivery plays a vital role in capturing recipients’ attention and driving engagement. By strategically considering the timing of your email campaigns, you can increase the likelihood of recipients reading and acting upon your message, ultimately leading to better results and higher conversion rates. In the Belkins case study, you can learn more about how the team takes into account all these factors to improve the result for the client.

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How Psychology Shapes Your Inbox Habits

The psychology behind email opening and response behavior is a complex interplay of various cognitive, emotional, and situational factors. Understanding these factors can be crucial for marketers, communicators, and individuals seeking effective communication through emails. Here are some key psychological aspects that influence email behavior:

  • Cognitive Load – According to Statista, 49% of US employees check their work email every few hours, leading to cognitive overload and the need to prioritize emails based on subject lines and perceived importance. Emails that promise relevant or valuable information are more likely to be opened.
  • Curiosity and Novelty – Curiosity is a powerful motivator. Convince & Convert identified that nearly 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone, highlighting the power of curiosity-driven opening behavior. Emails with intriguing subject lines or novel content are more likely to catch recipients’ attention and be opened. The brain seeks new and interesting information, and curiosity drives individuals to explore further.
  • Sender Trust and Authority – People are more likely to open emails from senders they trust or consider authoritative. For instance, emails from recognized brands, colleagues, or friends have a higher chance of being opened. When it comes to business emails, the Belkins team noticed that people are much more likely to respond to emails from C-level persons or founders.
  • Social Influence and Social Proof – According to Autoklose, including social proof elements, such as customer testimonials or case studies, in email content can boost response rates by 15-25%.

Fear of Missing Out

The fear of missing out (FOMO) on important information or opportunities can prompt individuals to open emails quickly. Urgency-driven subject lines, such as Limited Time Offer or Ending Soon, can increase email open rates by up to 22% (DigitalMarketer).

Emotional Triggers and Personalization

Personalized emails that address recipients by name and cater to their specific interests tend to perform better. They create a sense of individual importance and engagement. The DMA study shows that personalized email campaigns can lead to a median ROI of 122%, emphasizing the importance of tailoring content to individual recipients. Moreover, emails that evoke positive emotions like excitement, happiness, or humor are more likely to be opened.

Reciprocity and Call-to-Action

When recipients feel they owe something to the sender, like a favor or gratitude, they are more inclined to respond to an email. This principle of reciprocity is a powerful motivator for response behavior. Emails with a clear and specific CTA are more likely to elicit responses. Wordstream shared that emails with a single, clear CTA generate 371% more clicks and 1,617% more responses than emails with multiple CTAs.

Understanding the psychology behind email opening and response behavior is essential for effective communication in the digital realm. By grasping the cognitive, emotional, and social triggers that shape recipient actions, communicators, marketers, and individuals can craft emails that resonate with their audiences.

Vladislav Podolyako

I am the Founder & CEO of Belkins and Folderly. Have over nine years of experience in building and growing service companies and SaaS startups in SalesTech and MarTech. Entrepreneurship is my passion, and I am always looking to create, build, and in general new opportunities to market innovative products and ideas.

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