How to use predictive sending to automate send times


You can send any automation email to contacts based on their own habitual open times. Doing so helps increase engagement with your communications and creates a highly personalized experience for each of your contacts.

If you're not sure how to create an automation or automation email, the "Creating an automation walkthrough" help article will guide you through that process.

Take Note

How it works

We collect opens data for each contact who engages with your emails. When a contact in your automation reaches an email action with "Send with predictive sending" selected, we'll use that contact's opens data to predict the best time to send them your email. The email will then be queued to send at the contact's predicted time in their own time zone, within 24 hours of reaching your send email step.

  To ensure that we continue to send at the best times, 10% of emails will explore other times of the day for sending. This means that 10% of contacts will receive emails at a random time to continue to train and enhance the model. This does not affect sending for contacts with no data recorded but, it affects all contacts engaging with predictive send blocks who have a “best time” already calculated.

After reaching the send email step, the contact will immediately proceed to the next action in your automation. As a best practice, we recommend adding a conditional wait right below the "Send Email" action that "Waits Until" your email is sent. This is especially useful if you don't want the contact to progress through your automation until the email is sent to them. (More information below).

The email will appear on the contact's profile page under their activity stream once it's sent.

The "Send at predicted time" option is not recommended for time-sensitive automation emails.

New contacts with no opens data

If there is no open data for the contact, the campaign will send at a random time within 24 hours of the contact reaching the "Send an email" step.

Contacts who use an Apple device with iOS 15 with Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) enabled

We will include opens from contacts who use an Apple device with iOS 15 with MPP. To learn more about MPP, visit ActiveCampaign and Apple iOS 15 Mail Privacy Protection.

How to use predictive sending

  1. From your automation, locate the email you would like to use predictive sending with and click it to open it.

    Note that you can also drag and drop a new "Send email" action to your automation, walk through the steps of creating a new email, then click the "Send email" action in your automation to use this setting.


  2. You will have two options to choose from: Send Immediately or Send with Predictive Sending. Click the "Send with Predictive sending" option.

    Note that if you do not select either option, the email will default to send immediately when the contact reaches this step in your automation.

  3. Click the "Save" button.


Adding a conditional wait

It is recommended to add a conditional wait after the "Send Email" action in your automation. This is because each contact will immediately proceed through your workflow after reaching your "Send Email" action, even if "Send with Predictive Sending" is selected. Adding the conditional wait after the email action will allow contacts to queue in this wait step until their email is sent. As soon as the email is sent, they will move to the next step in your automation.

Note that this conditional wait should not replace any existing wait steps in your automation.

To add a conditional wait to your automation:

  1. Drag and drop the Wait action block, just below your email in the automation builder.


  2. Click "Wait until specific conditions are met."

  3. The Conditions Editor will open. Click the (Select a condition) field and click "Actions" > "Has Been Sent." In the middle field, choose "Campaign." In the field to the right, enter the name of the automation email and click "Save."

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