For marketers in companies that have sales teams, it makes sense that weekends aren’t a great time to be driving a ton of leads. They’re just not well suited for the marketing/sales process.
Here’s why: Marketers create great content that people access by filling out a form. A sales development rep follows up with them soon after because they’ve shown interest in the topic that the marketing team wrote about. It’s a smooth educational process that hopefully develops into a business relationship if the product solves the potential customer’s need. However, this process breaks down when neither the sales rep nor the lead is in the office for a follow up because it’s the weekend. Sure, the follow up can happen on the following Monday, but after a couple days your company and the content that the lead downloaded is no longer top of mind.
Weekdays vs. Weekends
For a while now, we’ve assumed that leads created on weekdays are more valuable than leads created on weekends because they convert down the funnel more efficiently. The resulting action is that we are willing to pay less for leads on weekends, which takes the form of a weekend bid modification or sometimes even just completely turning off our paid media altogether.
Taking it a step further, we became curious as to whether there was a particular weekday that was more or less valuable than other weekdays. To figure this out, we had to use our attribution data.
Here’s what we found:
Based on our opportunity report data from 8/1/15 to 10/31/15, we looked at the percentage of opportunities driven based on the day of the week of the lead creation. Looking at this chart, we can see that we grow throughout the week, but then fall off on Friday and then completely fall off on the weekend.
This is great information, but alone, it isn’t enough to change our media plan for Fridays. That’s because what we really care about is efficiency. What if Fridays account for only 5% of leads, but those go on to become 15% of opportunities? That would be tremendously efficient. If that were the case, we might actually want to spend more on Fridays to create more Friday leads.
To really understand our marketing performance based on the day of the week, we have to look at both leads and their downstream opportunities.
Essentially, we need to look at all the leads that were created (again, using August to October as our time frame) and group them by day of the week of their creation. Then, we can match them to downstream opportunities, by also grouping our opportunities by their lead-create date.
Basically, if an opportunity touchpoint was created on a Thursday and its corresponding lead touchpoint was created on a Monday, it would be grouped with Monday so that we could accurately make this leads-to-opp by day of the week conversion ratio. Now we have all of our leads and all of our opportunities, both grouped by the date of their lead creation.
This sounds pretty complicated… But fortunately, attribution makes all of this analysis possible.
Here’s the chart that you really want:
When looking at the lead-to-opportunity conversion rate by day of the week, the first thing that we can see is that weekends are a really inefficient time to generate leads. On Saturdays, we need to generate over three times as many leads to generate the same amount of opportunities.
(A 10% conversion rate means that in order to create one opportunity, we need to generate 10 leads; a 33% conversion rate would require just three leads to create one opportunity.)
On Sundays, we need to generate about 50% more leads to produce the same results as a weekday. Better than Saturdays, but still bad.
So we were right about dramatically slowing or even turning off our paid media on the weekends.
But What About Fridays?
On weekdays, we average a conversion rate of 34%. On Fridays, we average a 31% conversion rate. That’s not a lot less efficient, in fact, it’s pretty similar to our conversion rate on Mondays. For us, because it is such a minor difference, it’s probably not worth the additional time it would take to manage it separately from the other weekdays.
So why are leads that are created on Friday converting nearly as efficiently as the rest of the week? Perhaps the majority of our Friday leads come in the morning, giving us enough time to reach out on the same day. Or maybe our sales process is long enough so that it doesn’t matter if we follow up a few days later. Or maybe people who download ebooks on Fridays don’t read them until Monday anyways. We could probably make dozens of hypotheses why Friday performs comparably to the other weekdays. Uncovering why will require a separate investigation for another day.
What About Your Data?
But that’s our data. Your data might tell you something different. Every sales process is slightly different and no two audiences behave the same way. The only way to find out for your business is to investigate and analyze your data.
Furthermore, there’s a number different ways you can analyze your marketing and sales data with attribution. Conversion rate by time of day, for example. Maybe leads that are created after 3pm convert much less efficiently than leads that are created before 3pm.
With powerful attribution data, it’s possible to identify a number of ways you can save money, reallocate your marketing budget, and optimize your media strategy to gain an advantage over your competition.