Before email tracking software landed on the scene, innovative and digitally savvy sales teams would send emails to their prospects… but that’s it. They had no way of knowing who opened the emails, when they were opened, whether they were shared, clicked on, or which attachments were downloaded. Just “poof,” email sent into an unknowable inbox.

Thankfully, today’s sales teams have fantastic email tracking software at their fingertips, and they are able to more effectively use a prospect’s inbox to build and maintain a profitable relationship.

However, when sending emails, it’s not just about targeting the right prospect and hoping the analytics play out in your favor. The best sales teams know that timing is a critical component of their strategy.

Consider these two scenarios:

Scenario A: You have sent a first-touch email to the CMO of an enterprise-level company. Your email tracking software shows you that she opened the email at 2:39 p.m. from a small city in Mexico – but you know her office is in Toronto, Canada.

Scenario B: A second CMO receives the same email, and you see that he opened it at 10:42 a.m., just 10 minutes after it was sent. You can also see that he clicked the link, and spent some time browsing your product’s landing page.

Both scenarios show you some very interesting – and valuable – information about timing.

In scenario A, your prospect was likely on vacation. She didn’t check her email from the office – she checked it from the beach! Because of this, you can develop tactics to reach out to her at a better time. For instance, waiting a few weeks to send a follow-up, rather than sending it right away, will allow her time to return from vacation and get back into her work.

Scenario B, on the other hand, is a prospect that you would want to follow-up with immediately. Because he opened the email almost immediately after receiving it, and then proceeded to interact with your content, it’s likely that he has a need for or interest in your solution.

The metrics your team uses to judge the success of email prospecting will vary depending on your goals, but you should never discount timing. Try emailing a small test group at a certain time of day, and paying attention to how many open and interact with your content – you might be surprised by the results.

Timing can show you which prospects are most eager, and can help you invest your own time and resources smartly. It can also provide you with context about your prospect’s situation in order for you to develop a more personalized pitch.

Many of the tools that we discussed in our previous post about the top tools for outbound email prospecting offer time tracking. This means you can use your tool of choice to get a better idea of when your prospects are most ready and eager to receive your message.