4 Proven Ways to Time-Segment Your Mobile Advertising Campaigns

It’s hard to understate the element of timing in mobile advertising. In an always-on world where 80% of mobile users check their phones before brushing their teeth, it truly is possible to reach prospects in nearly any setting. This makes the stakes for getting this moment right that much higher.

Yankees legend Yogi Berra once said, “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.” Let’s look at 4 proven ways to get that timing right.

1.) Time of Day
25% Better CPAs for a News App

We work with clients to identify the time of day in which their use case makes the most natural sense to present to a prospect. We often see much better performance during certain time segments, leading us to bid more aggressively and stack budgets towards these periods.

One client, a News App, has seen 25% better CPAs as a result of this time-based strategy.

Consider which ​part of the day makes most sense for your campaigns. Reference theevidence that shows people typically have more willpower at the beginning of the day to understand that advertisers connected with wellness and productivity may do better early in the day, while lifestyle, retail, and entertainment advertisers gain ground as day turns to night.

Just as interests change throughout the day, so does the way in which we consume content. These figures from comScore’s Mobile Metrix shows how phone, desktop, and tablet usage varies throughout the day. Keep this in mind for an increased time-segment lever.

2.) Day of Week
30% Better ROI for a B2B Client

​What day to show an ad is often times just as important as the time the ad is shown.

The largest difference in performance exists between Weekdays and Weekends, but high spending advertisers may even find advantages between each specific day.

We’ve utilized a Day of Week bid and budget strategy with one B2B client to drive ROI improvements of 30%.

Look to existing day by day performance to make your own decision, but also consider some benchmarks for day-of-week performance across the industry:

​Engagement is generally higher on weekends (via Buffer)

​Ecommerce sales are generally higher during the beginning of the week (via Windsor Circle)

​B2B emails are opened more during the week by 8am — 5pm workers, but more on the weekend by entrepreneurs and workaholics (via SmartInsights)


3.) Seasonality
Taking Advantage of 40% Monthly CPM Swings

It’s a well known fact that Q4 is the busiest time in advertising due to heightened purchase intent. What’s less known is the promise of Q1, especially for non-retail mobile apps. Come January 1st, prices and competition plummet.

It’s not unreasonable to expect swings of ~40% in CPMs on paid social channels during the transition from Q4 to Q1. AdEspresso’s chart below clearly shows such volatility. While others are reeling from Holiday Hangovers or mired in beginning-of-year planning, we often double down with clients in January to take advantage of low auction prices.

4.) Holidays
An Annual Opportunity

Holiday advertising behavior shares many similarities with Seasonality, but the stakes are even higher since Holiday periods are often just 1–2 weeks.

Some considerations for Holiday based advertising:

  • Anticipate Competition — Look at historical auction trends and prepare for the CPM increase. Some advertisers balk when they actually see prices and back away. Instead, be confident in your projections and watch behavior closely to see if it matches expectations of higher intent. We worked with Ink to highlight their greeting card app around key Holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
  • Think Critically — Does a specific Holiday actually make sense for your business? If the connection is too forced, prospects will see right through it. Holiday prep is significant, and prices are high, so sit things out if you’re unsure.
  • Be Creative — Look for a way to stand out. Simply adding a Holiday graphic to your existing creative won’t cut it anymore these days. One unique angle we’ve seen is from Shyp, a shipping service that is often open on Holidays when the Post Office is closed. We helped them emphasize this around upcoming Holidays with special campaigns. ​ ​

Segmenting by time is a major opportunity in the mobile advertising space. We often find it to be the extra element that puts campaigns over the line in achieving their goals and objectives. Using the tips outlined, you too can deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

If you got the timing, it’ll go.