We’ve talked a lot in the past about the best times to send emails if you want them to be read. However, making sure your recipient opens it is just half the battle. After all, who cares if someone sees your message if you don’t get some sort of response?
Well, here’s the kicker: Research from Yesware illustrates that there’s a large discrepancy between the rate at which people open emails and the rate at which they reply. That means that regardless of your snazzy subject line and important content, you aren’t guaranteed a response.
For example, on any given weekday, people will open roughly 66% of emails—but will respond to less than 40% of the ones they receive (and only one-third of those will receive same-day responses). The pattern is similar on weekends: There’s a 73% open rate, but a 45% response rate.
So, how can you increase your odds of getting a response from someone? Turns out that when you send your message matters just as much as its content.
Because the bulk of emails are sent during the workday, it’s easier for someone to reply to you in the early hours of the morning (like 6 or 7 AM) or after work hours (around 8 PM), regardless of the day of the week. It comes down to the simple theory of competition: Fewer emails are sent at off-peak hours, which means someone will feel like he or she has more time to read what you said and respond accordingly.
In fact, if you send notes earlier in the morning or later at night, your odds of getting a response go from about one in three to almost one in two. I don’t know about you, but I like those stats a whole lot more.
Now, what if you don’t want to get up at 6 AM to open your inbox and send an email? There’s an easy fix: Downloading Boomerang or similar apps allow you to schedule when you send your messages, so someone will be receiving them as you continue to snooze.
Obviously, there are a lot of other factors that go into whether or not someone opens your email and responds to it. But using Yesware’s data to give yourself a leg up on the competition never hurts.
Photo of man on phone courtesy of Shutterstock.
Lily is a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect, the world’s largest student-run college access organization. In addition to her writing with The Muse, she also serves as an editor at HelloFlo and Her Campus. Recently, she was named one of Glamour’s Top 10 College Women for her work helping underserved youth get into college. You can follow Lily on Twitter.More from this Author