95% of the time, the answer is WAGEANOWGAS

I’ve changed one thing about this email. There might not be a lotto jackpot in it for figuring it out but there might be an answer to a common email marketing question. 


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Working for clients in the US is a pretty sweet gig – it guarantees me a solid chunk of uninterrupted writing time in the morning where I at least have the potential for creating something useful.

The biggest downside?

The “what time is it where you are?” questions I ask – and get asked – on every Zoom call.

That’s a small price to bear. Cab drivers are famous for enduring “what time do you finish tonight?” queries from customers. And, as a magician, I was constantly deflecting this classic:

“No, seriously… what do you do for a day job?”.

Five minutes of back and forth time telling is a small price to pay for ping-free writing time.

The only time the time difference becomes a challenge is when I’m helping at online events.

To save you Googling – an event that finishes in the US at 9 pm means I still have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 1:59 am.

As someone who goes to bed around 9:30, that ain’t easy…

In my vast experience of working these events (I’ve done more than two of them now), I’ve found the only way I can come even close to resembling a normal human being after midnight is by shifting my entire body clock to the right about 5 hours.

That sounds simple, but as anyone who’s ever done shift work will tell you… it can be a bloody nightmare.

Most days I get up at 4:40, so setting an alarm for 10:00 makes my fingers twitch.

I have to be pretty brutal about it.

I warn my family that living with me for these three days is going to be an ordeal filled with torture and misery and to not expect anything from me (something I wish I’d added to my wedding vows).

For three days my to-do list was:

1) Set alarm for 7 hours after going to bed (AND STAY IN BED UNTIL THEN)

2) Revise my “no more coffee after 2 pm” and “don’t eat after 7 pm” rules by about five hours.

3) Drink at least 8 glasses of water.

That’s it.

Once in a while, you have to accept that you’re not going to be your usual productive, optimising beastly self…

… you just have to survive.

Sometimes shifting everything to the right for five hours can have a big impact. Other times, not so much…

Like when someone asks me:

“What’s the best time to send an email?”

My usual answer is precise and to the point:

“I have no idea”.

I’m sure there ARE stats available where emailers in white coats have tested EVERY possible niche…  in EVERY possible timezone… in EVERY kind of season.

I’m sure SOMEONE knows the absolute, optimum, peak, best, perfect time you can hit send to get three more opens than if you sent it five seconds later…

… but I don’t care.

Think about the people whose emails you ALWAYS read…

Do you read them because they always land in your inbox at 18:47… or because they’re bloody awesome?

That’s a good question to store in your back pocket whenever you wonder about “niggly” stuff like this – use your favourite emails as a benchmark.

Christians have “WWJD?”*

You should have “WWMFED?”**

* I’ve always thought “Jesus” and “Judas” beginning with a “J” allows Christians a fair bit of leeway in how they should act, depending on what kind of day they’re having.

** “What Would My Favourite Emailer Do?”

Ultimately, 95% of “What is the best…”-type questions about email can be eliminated by remembering this not-quite-an-acronym :


“Write a great email and no one will give a shit”


P.S. Did you spot I sent this email 5 hours later than I usually do?

You did? Awesome.


Do you care?