Lesson 101: when’s the best time to send an SMS marketing campaign?

Wondering how effective SMS marketing is? Learn how to send the right message, at the right time.

You can spend buckets of time crafting the texting equivalent of The Canterbury Tales, but if you don’t send it at the right time, the chances are it’ll get lost in the vast masses of other marketing cuffuffle.

Sure, you could say “c’est la vie”, but at the end of the day, every marketing ‘pièce de résistance’ of yours that misses the target, is more money lost. After all, time is money.

But fear not. Below, I’ve shared the latest research from The State of SMS to help you put an end to any further ill-timed SMS marketing campaigns.

Timing is everything

Research suggests that 29% of businesses identified anytime, followed by weekdays between 09:00 to 12:00, and 12:00 to 15:00 as the best time to send a text. Naturally, these stats are about as useful as a chocolate tea kettle, so allow me to get into the nitty gritty.

The peak time for a business to send an SMS marketing campaign is between 12:00 and 15:00 both weekdays and at the weekend, with almost one-third of mobile opted-in users favouring this time.

This time slot is closely followed by 09:00-12:00 during weekdays. While one-quarter of mobile users are open to receive one between 09:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 17:00 on weekends. However, the said timings are merely an indicator.

What time is right for you?

Whether you’re a business owner, marketer or healthcare professional, it’s important to understand that every sector is different. For instance, a parent probably doesn’t want to receive a text message from a school on a Saturday afternoon at 13:00. Just like a young working adult probably doesn’t fancy receiving a buy one get one free pizza offer at 11:00 in the morning. (Although the latter is subject to debate.)

The truth is, you need to understand your service offering and clientele. Once you’ve established this, you’ll be able to find the perfect time to send a text.

To help you get started, I’ve included a few quick examples on timings below:

Service-led organisations (dentists, automotive, healthcare etc.)

Send out an automated text to your customer or patient minutes after they’ve made a booking. You can then follow it up with an SMS alert one day before the date. This method has helped businesses like Dolores Marshall Opticians significantly reduce appointment ‘no-shows’.


For most people, payday (sadly) comes at the end of the month between the 26th and 31st. With that in mind, sending an SMS marketing campaign at the end of the month is a potential gold mine. In terms of time, between 10:00 and 13:00 on a Saturday is best as people start to make their plans for the day. Late Sunday afternoon (15:00-17:00) is also a good spot for online shoppers looking for some retail therapy. Get it right, and you could replicate the 4,000% ROI Lookers achieved last year.


Naturally, between 15:00 and 17:00 is the optimum time bracket to send out a delicious SMS marketing offer as people start to gear up for dinner.

Unlike other sectors, takeaways have a little more leeway when it comes to sending promotional SMS campaigns out. Target customers in the early evening (19:00) when the big football match is on or the latest reality TV show is just about to begin.

Give it a go

The truth is, to get a real understanding of what works and what doesn’t, you need to try it for yourself. Sign up for our free online platform and get testing today.

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Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.