There are many factors that can decide the life or death of your media coverage: from the relationships with specific journos to editorial schedules to the topics of your publications. Yet there are situations when you should also remember about some basics, like the timing of your press releases. When is the best time and day to hit “send”? Let’s find out!
I’m quite certain you already know how to write a press release. Your story is ready and waiting to go out. It would be a bummer if you sent it out at a bad time, don’t you think?
The more people see and open your message, the higher your chances are for achieving your goals. According to Freshmail, the average open rate for the marketing industry is around 18%. But what if you want to absolutely maximize your chances of someone reading your email?
Instead of guessing, we decided to use our data and find out exactly when it’s best to send a press release. We analyzed over 55470 press releases sent in 2018 by our users using Prowly and checked when respondents opened them.
Which day is the best to send a press release?
First, we checked on which days editors open their emails most often. You’re probably thinking Monday when everyone is feeling crisp and relaxed after the weekend. Tuesday, maybe? No way! Starting today, always send your most important stories on Thursdays, when the average open rate jumps to over 26%!
The worst days are Wednesdays and Fridays when even 85% of your emails get lost in the journos’ inboxes. By the way, do I even have to mention that sending anything over the weekend is pointless?
You’re probably wondering – why is Thursday the best day to send a press release? That’s a good question. Despite it seeming a bit arbitrary, our data has consistently proven week after week that Thursday is king when it comes to press release open rates.
Our theory is that towards the end of the week journalists have crossed off the most important tasks of their list and are able to finally read all their unopened emails. Friday, on the other hand, seems to have the opposite effect. Everyone’s mind is on the weekend so everything that’s not a top priority gets left over for Monday.
What time should you send your press release?
The best time to send a press release is between 10 am and 2 pm—this is when editors open about one-third of all the emails they’ve received. Early mornings are less effective: open rates drop to 20.5% between 6 and 10 am. If you do decide on the early morning, however, we recommend waiting at least until around 8am-9am.
You should also avoid afternoons (2–6 pm) when only 26% of all messages get viewed. Issue your press releases after 6 pm only if you find it absolutely necessary!
You’ll stand out from your competition if you refrain from sending out your press release on the hour or even on the half-hour (e.g. 10 am or 1:30 pm). Many companies send their emails out on the hour, so pick a more unique time like 9:21 am to avoid getting drowned out by the competition.
Last but not least, keep in mind that some of your recipients may be in a different time zone, and adjust accordingly.
Try considering these timing tips when planning your press release schedule. According to our data, the best time & day to send a press release is on Thursday, between 10 am and 2 pm. If possible, avoid Wednesdays, Fridays, and weekends, when it’s difficult or almost impossible to get the editors’ attention.
However, the most accurate answer is: it depends (unfortunately). If you’re not using Prowly to send your press releases yet, you’ll be able to find out the optimal open rates based on your own data.
While it’s useful to factor in this data when making your decision, ultimately you’ll have to combine it with your PR experience and plain old common sense for the best results.
Had a different experience? Let me know at email@example.com!