If the Timing’s Right…

Being effective is something that we all strive towards – but sometimes it’s the little things that can separate the good from the great.

One such small thing is deciding when to send an email. In a very interesting tip in the article, Timing is Everything: Five Tips to Better Networking in 2012, tip one is “send an email during working hours. You may think your email will get noticed if it’s sent off hours, but it will probably just get put aside. If someone is checking their business emails off-hours, they are checking on business-related items. Emails asking for help are often put aside and forgotten about.”

I tried getting a couple different opinions based on job functions. My friend, Andrew Bavelock who works as an Administrative Aide at New York University believes that “the afternoon is usually the time when I’m most responsive to emails, since that’s when I’ve finished most of my other time-sensitive work for the day.”

From our sales team at myGreenlight, Business Development Executive, Brian Frankel says “I check my emails first thing in the morning. I avoid checking emails in the middle of tasks as it is a time waster. I learned from Jason Womack to turn off the outlook notification message for incoming emails and that helped a lot.

However, not all people are of that opinion, some people think it is easier to focus on emails during our free time. When I asked our Community Manager, Kibibi Springs, she said,” I would say that getting someone’s attention at the start of their day is probably the best overall way to ensure that it’s recognized and replied to in a timely manner. So I would send an email in the evening so it’s on their radar when they check email in the morning.  I also have found that the end of the work day and the hours after a typical work day ends is great to catch people live.  I think a lot of people use the end of the day to catch up on emails and if you send something between 4-7pm you might get a direct response because that part of the day meetings are typically over, the phone has stopped ringing and they are more likely to be able to focus.”

As you may have noticed- there doesn’t seem to be a perfect time of the day to send an email. In my opinion, if it’s something that is very important to you- you should try to research “a day in the life” of the person you are emailing and go from there. It seems to be different depending on the industry and job function, so take all of that into account and see what works.

When are you most responsive to emails? Share your experiences!

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Comments (4)

  1. Hi Anthony- Thanks a lot, I’m really glad you liked it! You’re right, tools that would delay your message could be a great help.

    Hi Christine- I think you’re definitely right, I usually check my email first thing when I get into work, that way I know if there’s anything that’s going to throw off my schedule for the day. Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it!

  2. Ritu, great post! I think this is something that a lot of us should think about more often. I don’t think there is a “perfect” time however I’ve found that emails sent in the morning or between 4-6 have a better chance of being read and responded to in a quick manner.

    On a related note, there are a lot of tools out there that you can use to delay your message so that it is sent at a specific time. I’ve used some of these tools and I have found them to be extremely helpful.

  3. Pingback: MyGreenlight Blog Roundup « Keith Ferrazzi

  4. I try to go through all email in the morning. During the day, I periodically scan for critical items. So if you are looking for a response on something non-critical, it will happen first thing in the morning (send late afternoon evening, so it’s waiting for me) or late in the day, if and only if I have extra time.

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