The Best Times to Send SMS Marketing and Email in 2024

Best times to send SMS marketing messages and email
Posted in
SMS Marketing
Published on
Mar 11, 2024
Written by
Elodie Huston
Written by
No items found.
Thank you! You've been subscribed.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We've analyzed over 25 billion messages. Here’s what you need to know about the best times to send your SMS marketing and email campaigns. 

You’ve invested time planning your marketing calendar, writing the perfect copy and subject lines, and designing stand-out graphics to make sure your SMS and email campaigns hit their mark. Maybe you used AI to optimize each part of your campaign). But there’s one more variable that can determine your messages’ success: when you send them. 

Your subscribers experience SMS and email differently, and your campaign send-time strategies should reflect that. We’ve crunched the numbers and analyzed top-performing campaigns across SMS and email so you can send your messages at the exact right moment. 

Quick answers to big questions

When’s the best time to send SMS marketing messages? 

The best time to send SMS marketing messages is 12pm or 8pm, ensuring maximum revenue per send. By targeting your audience during these hours, you can reach them during their lunch breaks or as they’re winding down during the evening, when they are most likely to be active and engaged. 

When’s the best time to send an email campaign? 

We recommend sending your email marketing campaigns between 5am - 6am or between 10pm -11pm to boost conversion rates. Brands see performance revenue peakbefore 7am, as they reach shoppers at the start of their days. 

What is the ideal frequency for sending emails and text messages? 

You’ll get the most bang for your buck when you send eight messages a month to all of your subscribers. You’ll strike a balance between maximizing revenue per send and maintaining a low opt-out rate. 

How can I scale up and send more messages without annoying my customers?

Segmentation and automation are key to scaling your SMS and email programs while creating a thoughtful customer experience. Take a cue from each of your audiences, and match their level of engagement with personalized cadences and content. For instance, your VIPs are probably interested in hearing from you more often, while new subscribers who haven’t made their first purchase yet would probably prefer more time between messages as they get to know you. 

Things to consider before you send an SMS or email marketing campaign

There are a lot of factors that lead to a successful SMS or email campaign. Keep these questions and strategies in mind as you schedule your campaigns: 

Which audiences am I engaging? 

Each of your audiences will have different preferences, so you should segment your list and tailor your cadence to meet their needs. 

Faith Bukauskas, Hot Topic’s Email Manager, recommends thinking about audience engagement through the lens of building a friendship. Your VIPs are like your close friends—you message them regularly, with a mix of actionable texts and entertaining or educational content that aligns with their interests. But subscribers who just joined your channel are more like new acquaintances—you’re getting to know them and building trust, so you’re texting them less often.

You should also consider what your audiences are interested in receiving from you. For example: Are some of your subscribers only clicking when you launch a major promotion, while others are mostly interested in new products? Adapt your text messaging frequency to these content preferences to make sure your customers are engaged with what you’re sharing. 

What time zones are my subscribers in? 

Think about what time zones your subscribers are in before you schedule your SMS or email campaign. A mid-morning text message for a subscriber in New York could reach a subscriber in California before they’ve had their coffee. Your campaigns run the risk of falling flat or being forgotten. 

To take the guesswork out of scheduling your campaigns, we recommend using Attentive’s time zone sending feature. It scans your subscribers’ geographic information and automatically adjusts the send time for each subscriber based on their time zone. 

What’s the context for my message?

Because SMS marketing is so immediate, you want to reach shoppers when they’ll be able to read and take action on the texts you’re sending them. And for email, you want to make sure you’re at the top of your subscribers’ inbox when they’re ready to browse. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What will my subscribers be doing when they get my message? Are they on their lunch break, scrolling their phones, or are they in back-to-back meetings? Are they just starting their day, or are they kicking back on the couch, scrolling through their phone? 
  • Will they be able to complete the action I’m asking them to do? For example, are you inviting them to stop by your store for a special offer, but you close in a few hours? Or, are you sending them nudges throughout a sale to make sure they have enough time to shop? 
  • Is it a high-frequency holiday, or a quiet week? During peak marketing moments (like Cyber Week or Valentine’s Day), try sending your message a few minutes off the hour to break through the noise. PS:Check out our dedicated message sending guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday for more tips on how to plan for the holidays. 
  • Is there a cultural holiday going on that you should be respectful of? Your subscribers may be less engaged during major religious or cultural holidays, impacting your campaign performance. And there are some holidays that you should be respectful of, especially if they’re a moment for mourning or remembrance. 

What types of messages am I sending? 

Variety is key in marketing. You wouldn’t only reach out to a friend when you need something, so you shouldn’t take that approach to your SMS subscribers, either. Strike a balance between promotional messaging and helpful content

Your subscribers also want to feel heard. Show them you’re paying attention to their interests with personalized recommendations, inspirational or educational content related to their purchases, or conversational messages asking them about their preferences. 

Is there an opportunity to A/B test my campaign? 

While our recommendations are based on data from over 25 billion messages, your audience will have their own specific preferences. A/B testing will help make sure you’re sending the right message at the right time for your brand. 

Consider running these A/B tests to discover what your subscribers like: 

  • Day of week 
  • Time of day 
  • Subject lines
  • Short vs. long message copy 
  • Link placement (e.g., mid-copy or after copy)
  • Line breaks and formatting 
  • Emotion (e.g., generosity, exclusivity, or FOMO)
  • Call to action (e.g., “Shop Now” vs. “Click Here”)
  • Emoji usage 
  • Image (MMS) vs. text-only (SMS)
  • GIFs vs. images
  • Image types (e.g., product photography, lifestyle photography, or graphic calling out the offer)
  • Conversational vs. one-way messages‍

When should you send a text message?

Timing is everything. But perfect timing is part data, part intuition. 

Best time to send an SMS campaign in 2024

Our data found that you should send your SMS campaign at 12pm or 8pm to maximize revenue. But, depending on your goals, there are other send times to consider: 

  • If you want to maximize engagement rates: We recommend sending text messages between 5pm - 8pm. Catching subscribers after dinner—when they’re usually winding down—is the best time to increase click-through rates. On average, messages sent after 5pm achieve 6% higher CTRs than those sent before 5pm. 
  • If you want to drive conversions: Shoppers are more likely to make a purchase in the morning (perhaps after browsing the evening before and sleeping on their decisions). Conversion peak between 8am - 11am, driving a 7.5% higher CVR than the rest of the day. You’ll see the most conversions at 8am and 9am, before shoppers start their workdays. 
  • If you want to maximize revenue per send (RPS): Send your text messages in time for shoppers’ lunch breaks, or after dinner. Revenue per send peaks at 12pm and 8pm, when shoppers have time to browse. In general, however, messages sent between 8am - 12pm see a 5.5% higher RPS than those sent between lunch and dinner. 

Make sure your messages land by thinking through your shoppers’ mindset when they receive your SMS campaigns. For instance: If you’re inviting them to take advantage of an in-store offer, consider sending it in the morning so they can schedule it into their day. Or, if you’re giving shoppers exclusive access to a product drop, send a campaign in the evening to make sure they won’t miss your message while focused on work. 

One last tip: Consider when your audience starts and ends their day. For example: If your brand offers specialty shoes for nurses, you’ll want to dig into when their shifts are starting and ending to find your own “mornings” and “evenings”. 

When should you not send a text message?

Be respectful of when your subscribers might be sleeping, or just starting or wrapping up their days by setting quiet hours (typically between 8pm and 12pm). Not only will your subscribers be more likely to ignore your messages, they probably won’t be in the right headspace to take action on them. 

You should also be respectful of cultural and religious holidays, especially if they’re a moment of remembrance or celebration for a community. 

What is the best day to send SMS marketing campaigns? 

Text messages sent at the start and end of the week typically drive more revenue per send. Sundays see the highest RPS, followed by Monday and Friday. However, if you’re focused on increasing your click-through rate, it’s best to send on weekends. Consider sending educational content on Saturday or Sunday.

Best day to send an SMS campaign in 2024

The best day to send your SMS marketing campaign will really depend on your audience. We recommend A/B testing your campaigns to discover which days your audience is most engaged. 

When should you send an email marketing campaign?

The immediacy of SMS marketing means that you need to focus on the exact moment your subscribers will receive your messages. But email offers you the opportunity to think about the actions subscribers are eager to take during certain parts of the day. 

What time are shoppers most likely to convert from an email? 

The best time to send out your email marketing campaigns depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re aiming to convert, it’s best to send your emails at 5am, 6am, 10pm, and 11pm, catching subscribers at the start and end of their days. If you’re after a really great click-through rate, you’ll want to send your emails first thing in the morning, between 5-8am. This is pretty logical: Shoppers are likely to check their email as they’re starting their days. 

Best time to send an email campaign in 2024

PS: We recommend sending your emails just off the hour to maximize performance. Most spammers send their emails exactly on the hour, so spam filters are typically on high alert at those times. Sending just past the hour means you’ll be less likely to be blocked or filtered, and as a bonus, you won’t have to compete with all of those other messages.

What is the best day to send email marketing campaigns? 

Across studies, we found that it’s best to send your marketing emails late in the week. The best day of the week to send an email marketing campaign to increase conversions is Friday. Saturday is the second-best day to send your email campaigns, followed by Wednesday. 

Best day to send an email campaign in 2024

Sending your email marketing campaign on Friday means you can make sure consumers pencil you in over the weekend, whether they want to shop a sale or check out a new item in-store. 

If you’re after lower opt-out rates, we recommend sending email marketing campaigns on Thursdays, since opt-out rates tend to peak on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. 

How often should you send SMS marketing and email campaigns?

Your subscribers experience SMS and email differently, so your messaging calendar should reflect that. While SMS is active—your subscribers are likely to see and click through on your messages right away—email fosters more discovery. As a result, consumers may be more likely to notice more frequent text messages than emails. 

How many SMS campaigns should I send per week?

We recommend sending at least one to two text messages a week to your full subscriber list to maximize revenue while retaining subscribers. Revenue per send peaks when you send 6 - 8 messages per month, so you won’t leave any engagement (or revenue) on the table. Your shoppers will be engaged, too. Opt-out rates don’t start to increase until you send 10 - 15 messages a month to your full subscriber list.

That being said, your frequency will vary depending on the types of messages you’re sending. For example: If you’re launching a big sale, it’s best to bookend your promotion with an announcement text message and a final hours reminder to make sure subscribers have time to shop. However, if you’re dropping a new product, consider sending a single message inviting VIPs to shop to maintain the sense of exclusivity. 

Your messaging frequency will also vary by audience. Your brand loyalists are interested in engaging with you, and want to hear from you more often. Shoppers who are still in the research phase, however, won’t want to hear from you as much until they’ve made a purchase or two. 

Taking a holistic approach to your SMS calendar—thinking about who you’re engaging, what actions they’re taking, and what value they’re getting in return—will set you up for success. 

How often should I send marketing emails? 

Just like your SMS marketing cadence, your email marketing frequency isn’t an exact science. A HubSpot survey found that 33% of marketers email shoppers at least once a week, and an additional 22% send a few emails a month. 

The key to a strong email marketing strategy is understanding what your goals are. For example: 

  • If you’re nurturing shoppers, send fewer emails and zero in on product education (including product recommendations, look books, and testimonials).
  • If you’re driving urgency around promotions, send more often and cluster your emails around major sales and limited-time offers. 
  • If you’re building loyalty, send a regular cadence of emails with a range of content (from user-generated content to loyalty perks).

Should I send my SMS and email marketing campaigns at the same time? 

Your SMS and email marketing schedules should complement one another. In general, every day is a great day to reach and engage consumers with SMS and email. But consider how each can help you break through based on when you see lulls in engagement. For instance: Brands send fewer text messages early in the week, and fewer emails in the middle of the week. Timing your SMS and email campaigns to take advantage of those quiet periods can help you reach shoppers. 

You should also consider the unique benefits of each channel as you set your strategy, plan multi-step and multi-channel campaigns, and schedule your messages. For example: Email marketing is a visual channel, which lends itself to long-form storytelling and inspirational photography. SMS marketing, on the other hand, is pretty immediate. It’s the perfect channel to send time-sensitive updates to subscribers (like product drops and limited-time offers). 

So, what does this look like in action? Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios: 

  • Launching a new collection: First, send a targeted text message inviting your VIPs to shop your collection before anyone else. Then, introduce the collection to all of your subscribers with an image-heavy email telling the story behind your products. Include links to shop, styling recommendations, and behind-the-scenes content. A few hours after you send your email, send a text message inviting shoppers who have browsed similar categories to shop the new collection. 
  • Announcing a sale: Build urgency with a timely text message, highlighting the limited-time nature of the promotion. Follow up with an email highlighting the most popular items included in the sale to entice shoppers to browse. A few hours before the promotion ends, send a final hours SMS reminder to shoppers who haven't made a purchase. 

Beyond form, each channel has their own unique function. Text messaging also lets you have conversations with subscribers, helping you gather zero-party data directly from shoppers. And because email lets you share a lot of information at once—including collections of recommended products, content, and offers—it’s a perfect way to collect first-party data as shoppers engage with your emails. 

Take these benefits into consideration as you plan out your holistic marketing calendar. For example: A week before a product launch, you could send a conversational text message asking subscribers what their goals are. You could then use that data to tailor your email announcement based on what your subscribers shared.  

How should I coordinate what times I send my SMS and email marketing campaigns? 

As you think about what times of day to schedule your SMS and email campaigns, consider what headspaces your subscribers will be in. We recommend using email early in the morning. Most people check their phones first thing, and they’re likely to go through their email inboxes as they start their days. Meanwhile, SMS is a great channel to engage shoppers in the evening. Consumers are likely to scroll through their phones as they wind down, whether ‌that’s browsing while watching TV or scrolling through social media. 

Bookmark this guide for the next time you need to schedule an SMS or email campaign. But keep in mind that when you send your SMS or email campaign is only part of the formula. Delivering value to your subscribers will ultimately help your campaigns make an impact—a personalized recommendation, thoughtful offer, or exclusive perk will always be well-received. 

Take your SMS and email knowledge to the next level and check out our resource library full of best practices. Ready to start planning your SMS and email campaign calendar? Explore our interactive Marketing Campaign calendar, filled with inspirational marketing ideas and message templates for every date your brand needs to know. 

Related Articles