Prospecting by email: Does the early bird catch the worm?

when to send your prospecting emailIf you’re prospecting by email a key question is: what time of day you should send your mail? Like any hunter you need to put yourself in the shoes of your prey to be successful (think wildebeest and waterholes). That means understanding the email habits of your prospects. Intuition suggests that most people check their email first thing in the morning (bad idea!), at lunchtime and at the end of the day. If like me you are a inbox zero person you perhaps think that it doesn’t matter what time the prospecting email arrives, because all emails in the inbox will be reviewed and dealt with. But inbox zero people are few and far between.

In my experience most people operate the “infinite inbox” system. Actually that’s an insult to the word “system”. They let stuff pile up in their inbox, occasionally filing the odd email that they think they may need again. When they check their email they do a cursory scan of the inbox, only opening stuff that looks like it might be important, for instance from their boss. What this means is that emails from people that they don’t know, even with the most eye-catching subject line simply won’t get opened. When they next check their email a few more will have landed and the earlier ones will have scrolled off the page into email oblivion (kind of like your Twitter timeline).

For this reason it’s imperative to send your prospecting emails at the right time. Ideally you want it to land as they process their email, or slightly beforehand and when they have time to read it. Research from Pure360 suggests that actually the best time is between 5 and 6pm in your target timezone. You can either do this manually or use a tool such as Boomerang for Gmail or Outlook to schedule your mail. So remember, in prospecting, as in life, timing is everything.

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