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When You Should Email Candidates (And How To Schedule Them In Advance)

time to send email

When do you usually send emails to your candidates – as soon as you get to your desk in the morning, right before you leave the office in the evening, or just at random times throughout the work day?

You may think that the time at which you send emails to doesn’t matter. So long as it’s delivered and sits in the candidate’s inbox, they’re bound to see it, so what difference does the time that it’s sent make? A HUGE difference, trust us.

It’s simply not good enough to say that a candidate has received your email, or even that they’ve opened your email. What actually matters is whether or not they respond to you, and science shows that when you send emails at certain times, you drastically increase your odds of being replied to. So let’s find out what those times are, shall we?!

Best Time to Email

There are plenty of theories floating around as to what the best time of the day is to send emails. However, a lot of these theories aren’t actually backed up by hard evidence. But not to worry, that’s what we’re here for! A study produced by Yesware in 2014 found that the strongest time to send an email is 6am. So there you have it. You just need to start sending your emails at 6am and all will be dandy. Our work here is done! Don’t worry, we know what you’re thinking….


But hear us out for a minute. Have a quick think about what most people are doing at 6am? Well, generally it’s one of two things. They’re getting up for work, or they are in the middle of a hostile standoff with the snooze button! Either way, it’s fair to say that there’s a phone involved, right?

Let’s face it – most of us wake up every morning and the first thing we do is check our email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, need we go on? Most people want to clear their notifications as quickly as possible as soon as they get up. So when you send an email to a candidate at 6am, it’s one of the only times of the day that you can nearly guarantee that it will be read. On saying that, they probably won’t act on responding to it straight away, but if it’s a quality email, what they will do is think about it as they get ready for work. So by the time the candidate actually gets to work, it’s likely that your email has been on their mind for 2-3 hours!


Second Best Time to Email

The second best time of the day to send emails is in the evening time, specifically, 8pm. By 8pm, most people will have arrived home from work, had dinner and put the kids to bed or finished up a few household chores. So, chances are that they’re sitting down and either chatting to their housemates/significant other or watching TV. Either way, you can bet that they’re also on their phone, browsing through social media, checking to see if they’ve missed anything from the day. Then, low and behold, up pops an email from you. This should grab their attention because they’re already engaged in their phone, so the odds of them responding to your email are in your favour.

Once again, we know what you’re thinking. “Not only do we have to be in the office at 6am, now we have to stay there ’til 8pm? Oh that’s just great.” But hold your horses. What if we told you that you can schedule your emails ahead of time?


How to Schedule Emails

So no, you don’t have to become addicted to work just to make sure that you’re sending your emails at the recommended times. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can schedule your emails to send at whatever time you choose. So even if you feel that 6am and 8pm aren’t the best times to catch candidates in your specific area, you can still choose whatever time you think is most suitable.

Scheduling in Outlook

If you’re an Outlook user, scheduling emails to be sent at a particular time is very straightforward. All you need to do is open up a new email and under the ‘Options’ tab, you’ll see an option called ‘Delay Delivery’.

schedule email outlook

When you click on ‘Delay Delivery’, you’ll be brought to a delivery option setting. All you need to do is tick ‘Do not deliver before’ and choose the time that you want to send the email at (or rather, don’t want to send the email before, which is essentially the same thing!)

delay delivery

Scheduling in Gmail 

If you’re not an Outlook user and use another email provider like Google, you can use a free Chrome extension to schedule your emails. Our favourite plugin for doing this is Boomerang. All you need to do is visit the Chrome Web Store, search for ‘Boomerang for Gmail’ and you can download it for free from there.

Once the plugin is installed, whenever you compose a new email, you’ll see a button right below the standard ‘Send’ button called ‘Send Later’. Click on this and a pop-up will appear which allows you to choose whatever time you’d like your email to be sent at.

schedule email gmail

So now that you’ve got the inside scoop on when you should send your emails, you can start putting all of these tips into action! The next time you’ve drafted a new email to a candidate and you’re about to hit that ‘send’ button, ask yourself if it urgently needs to be sent then and there or if it can wait. If you can hold off on sending it, schedule it to deliver at 6am or 8pm and see if you get a response. Most importantly – don’t forget to let us know if it works for you! Tweet us @socialtalent or leave a comment in the box below to let us know your thoughts.

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