Emails sent at lunchtime saw 1.5% more federal employees click through to a workplace survey

Front of building

Front of building

What was the challenge?

GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) owns or leases over 9,600 assets, with more than 370 million square feet of space for over one million federal employees. Each year, PBS sends Federal employees the Tenant Satisfaction Survey (TSS), the results of which inform the Federal facilities strategy.

What was the program change?

Small details, such as the framing or timing of an email, can matter more than might be expected. Varying the time of workplace email requests can affect email open and click-through rates. Using this research, we reconfigured the TSS “send out” to assess what time of day resulted in the highest open and click-through rates.

How did the evaluation work?

Identical emails were sent to randomly selected groups of 96,000 federal employees (873,755 total intended recipients) every hour over the course of the day, starting at 8:55 a.m and ending at 1:55pm.


What was the impact?

Emails sent at 11:55 a.m. had an open rate that was 2.5 percentage points higher than the 8:55 a.m. send, and a click-through rate that was 1.5 percentage points higher. Sending emails three hours later meant that approximately 1,500 more people read and followed through on the email request.





Project Type

Impact evaluation of program change


General Services Administration


Government Operations

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