The best time to email scientists

Life science marketing done successfully involves sending engaging emails, and timing is key.

This blog post is an excerpt from our comprehensive life science marketing best-practices guide to sending emails. You can download the full report here.

Day of the week

While many marketers believe that Tuesday is the best day to email – this is arguably the most productive day when the ‘reality of the working week sets in’ – a 2017 ResearchGate survey of all emails to scientific members found that those sent on Friday had the highest open rate (34.1%) and click-through rate (4.3%) compared to any other day of the week.

However, when looking at the different audience segments, it is clear that there is no consistency when it comes to life scientists. For example, the best open and click-through rates among scientists in immunology are on Monday, while microbiologists are more likely to open emails on Wednesday and click on Thursday.

A breakdown of best-performing weekdays by life science category,

Time of the day

The time of the day can be just as influential as the day you send scientific emails. When we look at the ideal send time across ResearchGate members, the optimal time is 10:30am in the time zone of the recipient, and this doesn’t appear to vary between different life science categories.

Distribution of reaction times.

For life scientists, the frequency of email campaigns often relates to the grant process. It is a competitive field with limited funding, so many researchers apply for grants, which is a process that can take months. This increases the buying cycle, which is much slower compared to other B2B industries, so one-time promotions are likely to be less effective. Life scientists need to be exposed to brands long before they’re ready to make a purchase, and when the decision is upon them, the accumulated impressions that they’ve gathered will become crucial.

With that in mind, it is important to find the right balance, as too many push notifications can cause the recipient to tune out, and may even damage the relationship in the long run. When comparing the frequency of research digests to ResearchGate members, sending a weekly ‘roundup’ email performed better in terms of amount of research consumed than a daily digest, highlighting that daily emails are too often for life scientists.