Choosing an Email Send Method

  • Updated
Sending an email message is a quick and easy process. You can choose to either send the message immediately or schedule it to be sent at a later time. Beforehand, make sure you have validated your message for sending.

In the Send tab of the Email Composer, there are the following options:

  • Send now
  • Send at the following time
  • Send in the recipient's time zone
  • Send over time
  • Use Adaptive Sending

Send Now

Under the Send tab of the Message Composer:

  1. Select Send now.
  2. Click Submit Launch Request.
  3. A confirmation window will appear showing the details of the message such as the 'From' address, the recipient list(s), and the time that the message will be sent.
  4. Click Send and the message will be sent right away.
When in the confirmation window, if you see any changes that need to be made, simply click the Go Back button. This will return you to the Send tab where you can go back to any of the previous steps to make the necessary changes.

Send at a Specific Time

In the Send tab of the Message Composer:

  1. Select Send at the following time.
  2. Specify the date to send your message by clicking on the Date field.
  3. Change the time by clicking on the drop-down menus for the hour, minutes, and either AM or PM.
  4. Change the time zone, if necessary, using the Time Zone drop-down menu.
  5. Click Submit Launch Request.
  6. Review the details, and if they are correct click Schedule.

Send in the Recipient's Time Zone

Time Zone Send lets you send your message so that it hits your contacts' inboxes at one specific time (e.g., 1:30 pm) in the local time for their location. 

Your contact list(s) must have a column identified as the Contact's Timezone. Follow the steps to identify list columns to map this field.

Your time zones must be in the TZ format

Once your list is correctly configured with time zones, you can choose Send in recipient's time zone from the Send tab of the email composer:

Choosing an Email Send Method 01.png

  • Steps to populate the recipient's Timezone field are here

If a send has recipients in every time zone, the launch can take about 24 hours to complete. To allow for this, we recommend submitting the launch request at least 24 hours before your desired time of receipt.

If the time zone value is improperly formatted, then Act-On checks the mapped address (using the standard fields: Business Country, Home Country, Business Zip, Home Zip, Business State, & Home State, as country alone may not be sufficient, for example, Australia, USA), and the phone number to determine a time zone. If this is unsuccessful, the email is sent using the fall-back time zone set in the message:
Choosing an Email Send Method 05.png
which defaults to the user's timezone.

Send Over Time

Instead of sending out your message as a single large event, you can spread it out using the Send Over Time feature. This is good for:

  • Sending a high volume of messages
  • Sending messages that are not time-sensitive
  • Spreading responses or CTA clicks over a longer period, to avoid a one-time spike in replies/traffic

After you set a start and end time for the message-send, Act-On will send messages throughout this window based on system resources and bandwidth.

This feature is not designed to send to the same number of contacts at a certain interval of time (eg., 1,000 contacts every three days). An Automated Program is the best way to achieve this purpose.

Send Over Time will be most evenly distributed when sending to at least 20,000 contacts over a period of less than seven days.
  1. Under the Send tab in the new message composer, choose Send Over Time.
  2. Set the Start Date and End Date
    • Note: The End Date is the latest possible date for messages to be sent – the email launch may be completed sooner
  3. Set the time frame for sending your message (eg., only during your business hours) and the Time Zone for these hours.
  4. Click Submit Launch Request, for example:

Choosing an Email Send Method 02.png

Use Adaptive Sending

With Adaptive Send, you can send your message at the ideal time for each recipient. See this page for more details.

Check Scheduled Messages

To see your scheduled messages, go to Outbound > Other Messages > Scheduled.

While your email is scheduled, it is locked for editing.

Cancel a Scheduled Email Message

When using a send method that is scheduled ahead of time, you may cancel a message before its scheduled time.

From Scheduled Messages:

  1. Go to Outbound > Other Messages > Scheduled.
  2. Find the scheduled message, hover over it, and choose:
    • Reschedule to choose a new time to send it
    • Move to Drafts to cancel the message and make changes
  3. Follow the prompts to ensure the message is either rescheduled or moved to drafts.

From Sent Messages:

If the message is already in the process of being sent out but has not finished, you can also cancel the message for the remaining recipients who have not been sent their message yet.

  1. Go to Outbound > Sent Messages.
  2. Select the dropdown box for this message:

    Choosing an Email Send Method 03.png

    ...and choose Stop Launch.

This button can also be found in the Message Report:

Choosing an Email Send Method 04.png

Handling Opt-Outs With Scheduled Messages

Please note that when using Time Zone Send, Adaptive Send, or Send Over Time, if a contact opts out after your message has already been processed for sending, they will still receive this message. This is typically 24 hours but could be a few days for messages scheduled further in advance.

If you use these features regularly, we recommend including language on your opt-out page saying that their unsubscribe will take up to 48 hours to process. 

Note on Total Recipients

The contacts who are sent your email are determined at the scheduled launch time rather than when the message is created. Act-On re-evaluates the contacts in a segment just before sending a message.


When you schedule your message to be sent, you choose a segment of 100 contacts. Then, 25 new contacts enter the segment before the message launches. If there are no suppressed contacts, the message will be sent to a total of 125 recipients because that is the total number of contacts who appear in the segment at the time of launch.

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