When is the Best Time to Contact a Lead?
In lead generation and sales it’s every bit as important to focus on the timing of your delivery as it is the delivery itself. While the conversation between yourself and the prospect will ultimately make or break the sale, it’s quite often the time of day, the day of the week or even the time of year that helps to sway things one way or another. Seasonality is regularly used as an explanation (or excuse) for under-performing sales and marketing campaigns with many citing the annual tax year, festive periods, even school holidays and the weather (?!) as factors why they haven’t generated any new leads, made any sales or won new projects - and there is an element of truth to some of that.
How to find the best time to contact a lead
When you think about things logically, there are definitely times of day and days of the week where we’re all more likely to be receptive to sales pitches and marketing emails than others. A good night’s sleep will affect how we react to some things, as will a wet morning when you’ve had a flat tyre on the way to drop the kids at school and then realise you’ve forgotten their sports kit and left your own lunch by the door. Similarly, a positive review from your boss, the fact that it’s payday and the thought of a takeaway that night make put you in the kind of mood where you’re more inclined to open or click a sales email and take them up on their latest offer.
The problem is, you never quite know what kind of day or week your lead is having, so you have to take emotion out of the equation and reach out to them at a time that is most likely to be receptive from a professional perspective. Thinking about their working day and working week is often the best approach as it enables you to think about your own day and when you are at your busiest - you don’t want to be contacted while you’re working through a backlog of emails in the morning, or when you’re trying to head home at 4pm on a Friday afternoon.
The good news is that there is an abundance of data at your fingertips these days that enables you to track and monitor trends in campaign performance so you can adapt your approach accordingly. You might find when you look at the data that there are peaks and troughs at certain times of the day when your email marketing campaigns are opened or clicked, or when your sales calls are answered.
What the data suggests
We’ve been collecting data for a number of months now, analysing the most popular days of the week and times of the day in which people have been opening our emails. These campaigns have been a combination of promotional messages advertising special sales such as Black Friday, as well as emails sent to pipeline leads and existing customers. The messages have also been sent to contacts around the world but predominantly in the UK and US.
As this image shows, the most popular day for email opens is Thursday, closely followed by Friday and then Monday.
This implies that people take more notice of these emails later in the week once they have cleared their inbox for the week ahead and made good progress on their routine tasks before engaging with marketing or sales messages later in the week when they might have more time available to do so.
We would fully expect to see poor engagement over the course of the weekend, but it is certainly interesting to see that there are still a good number of email opens on Saturday and Sunday. This signifies to us that it is likely to be business owners and decision makers checking their emails at the weekend as, notoriously, owners are very poor at shutting down for the weekend! As such it is definitely worth considering sending messages out over the weekend, but tailoring the messaging and content to ensure that it resonates with management - but are brief enough so as not to completely disrupt their weekend!
These next images show that the best time to send your messages out is between 9am and 11am, ready to hit the top of people’s inbox as they come in and then landing once they’ve cleared the backlog and have time to read your message later in the morning.
There are a lot of openers in the afternoon (based on UK data) and this combines UK-based email openers with our contacts in the US who are opening around the same time of day (9am in Florida is 2pm in the UK and 9am in Missouri is 3pm, for example.) This is when we have looked to send the majority of our marketing emails that are sent from our UK office, ensuring that we are reaching the right people in the States at the right time of day.
In running this test we have certainly had a lot of highs and lows, peaks and troughs, and we intend to keep adapting our strategy as these charts change. However, the one thing that we can conclude is that the best time to contact a lead seems to be between 9am and 11am. If you wanted to limit the days of the week in which you send your marketing or sales materials then we would suggest that you do so between Wednesday and Friday.
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