University of Maryland Extension

Getting the Most from Your Email Program Spend

Ginger S. Myers
Electronic Device with email icon, Image by Gerd Altmann,

Mastering Marketing - October 2020

business’ email service provider, content delivery format is more important than ever. While several social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are popular for sharing pictures and product promotions, email is still “The King” of online marketing tools.

Since March 2020, a plethora of new farm newsletters has started arriving in my inbox. Most are well done, in terms of content, but the timing and frequency of these emails can get down-right annoying. So, when are the best times to send out newsletter and farm promotions? Are there any “best practices” to consider to make email marketing more effective?

More people check their email first thing in the morning, than any other social media platform. As can be expected, the pattern of open emails increases as people begin to wake up and start their day, then subside again and dwindles as they go to sleep. Media consultants have found:

  • Workday hours (9 am – 5 pm) are when over half of all email is opened.
  • Peak open times are just before and after lunch
  • Lunchtime opens only drop by a fraction
  • Including lunch, 47% of emails are opened outside of work hours. Note that the majority of these “non-working” opens occur on mobile devices


  1. TIME OF DAY: What is the best time of day to send your email marketing messages? Optimize the time of day you are sending for your target market and format for the device most likely to open your email.

  2. BREVITY: How much can someone really read during the 3 minutes they have in the coffee line? Keep your copy to the point and make call-to-actions as clear as possible.

  3. FIRST WORDS:The first words of your campaign in your subject line are incredibly important, so craft them with thought.

  4. MOBILE-FIRST: With mobile email open rates rapidly growing, we need to optimize our email marketing for a mobile-first environment. Also, remember to test your landing pages on a mobile device; having someone tap through, only to end up on an unusable landing page, is a terrible experience.

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