What is the best day to send cold emails? Data says: Monday!

Updated on
November 3, 2023

Wondering when is the best day and time to send your cold emails? We analyzed the reply rates of millions of cold email campaigns to find out.

Here’s your answer: Monday morning, at or before 9 AM.

Find out why, plus expert tips to write cold emails that get more replies 👇

What is the best day of the week to email someone?

If you’re doing cold sales outreach, the best day of the week to send emails is on Monday. You may have heard other guides warn against reaching out at the start of the week - but when we analyzed the data, we found that Monday is the best day if you want to get more replies.

How do we know?

We conducted our own study of millions of lemlist cold outreach campaigns to find out which day of the week is best for sending emails.

Of course, studies like this already exist, and many claim that the best days for emails are Tuesday-Thursday.

However, some of the most frequently cited studies, like Brevo or Marigold, determine the best day to send an email based on open rates or clicks. Tracking stats like those won’t always lead to more meetings or more sales.

Sales outreach pros know that plenty of prospects will open an email without ever following up. Plus, you’re likely not selling the product from the first email - you’re aiming to get to the next step: a call, a meeting, or a reply.

So instead of tracking open rates, we looked for what salespeople and marketers really want: more replies.

And when you look at the reply rates, Monday is the clear winner, followed by Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have the lowest average reply rates, so we don’t recommend you send cold emails on the weekend.

A bar graph with the title, "What's the best day of the week to send cold emails?". The Y axis shows reply rates from 0.25% to 2%. The X axis shows the days of the week. Monday has an average reply rate of 1.8%; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have reply rates of 1.6%, Friday has a reply rate of 1.5%, Sunday at 1.05%, and Saturday at 1%

Keep in mind that this data reflects the day that the emails were sent, not the day that prospects replied. In some cases, prospects replied within hours, and in other cases it might have taken them a couple of days.

In either case, more leads replied to the emails sent on Mondays.

There are a few possible reasons for this:

  • Sending your email at the start of the week keeps it at the top of prospects’ minds
  • Prospects have more time to reply to the email throughout the work week, as opposed to losing track of it over the weekend
  • So many salespeople and marketers follow the common recommendation to email Tuesday-Thursday that Monday has become less saturated

Of course, if everybody starts sending emails on Monday, then prospects’ inboxes will get overwhelmed, and another day will become the best day to send emails.

The best way to find out what works best for your target audience is to track your own results and hone in on what dates and times your prospects reply.

What is the best time of day to send cold emails?

According to our analysis of millions of cold outreach campaigns, the best time of day to send cold emails is in the morning, between 8 and 10 AM. This means that your message is the first that your prospects see when they log in, and it’s less likely to get lost in the inbox.

To test this, we divided the day into time slots and measured the average reply rates for emails sent in each of these blocks.

Perhaps surprisingly, the timing with the highest reply rates comes before the official workday even begins: 5-8 AM. The next best time is at the very beginning of the day, from 8 AM to 12 PM, and the success rate decreases as the day goes on.

A bar graph with the title, "What's the best time of day to send cold emails?". The Y axis shows reply rates from 0 to 2.5%, and the X axis shows times of day. The highest reply rates are from 5-8 AM, at 2.45%. Next 8-12 pm, at 1.75%, then 12-2 PM, at 1.55%, 2-6 PM at 1.25%, and 6-10 PM at 1.2%

As was the case in our analysis of the best day to send emails, this data reflects the time the emails were sent, not the time when the prospect responded.

Also, we measured the timing according to the prospects’ local time zones. That is, if email A was sent at 7 AM PST and email B was sent at 7 AM CET, both local to their senders’ respective time zones, then both emails count in the 5-8 AM column.

The lesson here: send your emails early. If you don’t want to start your workday at dawn every day, you can draft your emails and schedule them in advance.

4 Cold email tips to get more replies

Knowing the best day and time to send your cold emails is a great start, but you won’t see results if your overall cold outreach strategy isn’t strong.

Here are some extra tips and guides to help you with that:

1. Use a subject line that grabs attention

Here are 6 proven tactics of cold email subject lines with > 80% open rates:

✅ Keep your subject between 1-8 words

✅ Write personalized subject lines

✅ Ask a question - if it’s relevant

✅ Keep your subject line casual

✅ Add urgency

✅ A/B test your cold email subject lines

For in-depth information and data on each of these tips, plus examples of successful subject lines, read the complete guide to B2B cold email subject lines.

2. Start your email with an engaging hook

The beginning of your email should grab prospects’ attention and deliver value right away. Keep it short (between 4-12 words), and align it with your prospects’ tone of voice.

A bar graph with the title, "How should you write your email opening line?". The Y axis shows average reply rates from 0 to 2.5%. The X axis shows 'type of email opening line,' with "introductory," "focused on prospect," small talk," and "delivers value." The highest reply rates comes from opening lines that deliver value, followed by introductory, focused on prospect, and small talk.

For the full breakdown of cold email opening lines, plus 25 high-conversion examples, use this complete guide on how to start an email.

3. Write a pitch that converts

Your prospects receive hundreds of sales messages every week. To catch their attention and get replies, your pitch has to stand out and show them how you can solve their pain points.

This helps you build connections, to get more replies and close more deals.

But, most salespeople write self-centered pitches without meetings booked, putting their business at risk. For examples of successful sales pitches, check out these 10 pitch examples for cold outreach.

4. Seal the deal with your call to action

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you write your cold email call to action.

These are based on an analysis of millions of successful lemlist cold email campaigns, so that you can pinpoint exactly what works.

✅ Align the call to action with your pitch

✅ Only use 1 call to action per email

✅ Make sure your CTAs are clear and visible

✅ Keep your cold email CTAs short and direct

✅ Personalize your call to action

For more data and examples on the best cold email calls to action, use this data-driven guide on cold email CTAs.

The Key Takeaways

Here’s everything to keep in mind about the best day and time to send cold emails:

  1. Mondays are the best day to send emails if you want more replies
  2. Send emails in the morning - right before the workday starts
  3. For more success, craft brief and personalized subject lines, write value-packed opening lines, connect it to your pitch, and sign off with a clear call to action.

Want to try out the most advanced AI-powered cold email platform to get more customers? Give lemlist a try, for free. No card info required.

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