December 20, 2021

What is the Best Time of Day to Call or Email Prospects?

Written by Karli Stone

You’ve spent hundreds of hours and a good chunk of your budget finding ideal prospects for your product or service. You’ve taken the time to add personalization elements to your email template, subject line, and phone script, testing your messaging strategy over the course of months to get it just right.

Yet, all it takes to drop your response rate and lose a potential sale are making the call or sending the email at the wrong time…

Good prospecting is in the details.

Exactly what you say in a call or email, who you contact with your calls and emails, and (equally as important) when you contact them, makes all the difference.

In this article, we will help you uncover the best time of day for salespeople to cold call and email prospects, so you can establish a more successful messaging strategy and email marketing campaign than ever before!

So, let’s get started!


Does the Time of Day Really Matter?

Yes, absolutely! Just because you have a prospects email address or phone number doesn’t mean contact strategy can go out the window!

Let’s just think about this through the scope of your own life for a moment… Imagine it’s 8 pm on a weekday.

You just finished cleaning up after dinner and you’re gearing up to take a hot bath before you turn on your favorite late-night talk show.

At that moment, you receive a call from a local, unsaved number.

Do you answer it? If you’re like most people, probably not.

And even if you do, how receptive are you going to be to what they have to say?

The same goes for email – if you were to receive a sales email at midnight, what are the chances you would open it within the hour? And even if you do, what is the likelihood you’d give the person a thoughtful response? Probably even lower….

This example goes to show that when you choose to contact potential clients can make a world of difference. Prospects will be more willing to listen to what you have to say when you contact them thoughtfully and strategically during their workday and workweek.

Best Time of Day to Call Prospects

So, when is a sales rep most likely to get a potential customer on the phone?

Dr. James Oldroyd from the Kellogg School of Management had the same question, and did some of the heavy-lifting for us.

He surveyed nearly 500 businesses across 40 different industries in an attempt to find the optimal time of day for B2B companies to cold call a prospect. His results?

  • The best time to make a phone call is between 8 am and 9 am, with the second-best time being between 4 pm and 5 pm.
  • The worst time for a sales team to cold call is between 1 pm and 2 pm.
  • The best day for cold calling is on Thursday, with Friday being the worst day.

What’s interesting is that Dr. Oldroyd is not alone in his findings. Sales professionals and other related articles tend to agree with him!

HubSpot did a similar study this year on when the best time to make a sales call would be and they reached similar conclusions.

They agreed that between 4 pm and 5 pm is an optimal time to make sales calls to get in touch with the right person and that Thursday, as well as Wednesday, were the best days to get a prospects attention (with Friday also being a no-go).

And, when you think about it, these findings make a lot of sense! 

Making early morning and late afternoon sales calls lets you connect with prospects before or after their long to-do lists, not right in the middle of their busy workdays. And Fridays are un-ideal because people are gearing up to start their weekends and not usually looking to start any new relationships.

Best Time of Day to Email Prospects

Beyond cold calls, it’s also important to think about when the best time is to send out your email campaigns.

Omnisend analyzed over 2 billion email marketing campaigns to answer this question! Let’s look at the results.

They concluded that the best day to send out a prospecting email is Thursday, with Tuesday following closely behind. They found that Monday and Saturday were two of the worst days to send cold sales emails. If you typically send out your email campaigns on either of those days, it might be good practice to switch to a day that offers better results.

In terms of hourly data, they found that (unsurprisingly) email performance and a high reply rate are closely tied to a prospect’s workday.

Some key insights from this data include:

  • 8 am is the perfect time to maximize cold email open rate. Messages sent at 8 am were associated with a 20.32% open rate and a 7.79% click-through rate.
  • 4 pm was the clear winner for sales-oriented messages. Salespeople earned an average of 10.66 orders per campaign.
  • Campaigns sent at 10 am have a great open rate of 19.83%, but they lead to substantially fewer orders – just 4.66 for the average campaign. This is a sign that customers who open emails in the morning aren’t usually planning to spend any money.

Now, keep in mind that no two audiences are alike. Your prospects could respond differently to your cold emailing strategy than these statistics might suggest.

The key to having effective cold emails is this: leverage these statistics to optimize the timing of your email campaign, but treat them as a single factor in making decisions for your sales process (which goes for making those cold calls, as well).

Before we send you off to tackle your contact and email list, you should know that you can sign up for a free account with Apollo for help making all of your data-driven decisions.

We are the ultimate prospecting tool that gives you access to millions of verified email addresses and phone numbers, dozens of advanced filters, a Chrome extension for easy LinkedIn prospecting, CRM enrichment and cleansing, and so much more.

Apollo can help you automate and perfectly time your outbound messaging, completely stress-free. Try us out today.

Get started with Apollo

Karli Stone headshot Karli Stone

Karli Stone is copy writer and content creator living in Los Angeles, CA and a proud University of Washington grad. When she’s not wordsmith-ing, you can find her biking along Santa Monica Beach, following the Seattle Seahawks, or catching a flick at her local cinema.