Do you want to send a different message to someone if they email you during business hours or after hours? What about on the weekend? Should leads be routed to a different sales team based on the time of an inquiry? What about segmenting leads based on dayparting or day-of-week? You can do all this with Marketo and a connected CRM like Salesforce.
To use time-based logic, you need the following:
To get the benefit of routing by both the time of day AND day of week, you’ll need to create your fields in your CRM. I’m using Salesforce for this example. You can call these fields whatever you like and can track whatever behavior you like. Let’s assume for this example you are interested in tracking the time of a “Contact Us” form submission.
In Salesforce, go to Setup > Customize > Leads > Fields > New and use the type “Text”. Make sure to repeat this on the Contact object and map these fields to each other so that this field can be used for both Salesforce Leads and Contacts in Marketo. Why use “text”? This will make sense later on!
In Salesforce, go to Setup > Customize > Leads > Fields > New and use the type “Date/Time”. Make sure to repeat this on the Contact object and map these fields so that this field can be used for both Salesforce Leads and Contacts in Marketo.
In Salesforce, go to Setup > Customize > Leads > Fields > New and use the type “Formula” with a return type of “Text”. Make sure to repeat this on the Contact object and map these fields so that this field can be used for both Salesforce Leads and Contacts in Marketo. Here’s a screenshot of the formula you need (substitute your actual field name instead of “Last_Contact_Us_Date__c”):
And here’s text you can copy:
MOD(DATEVALUE(Last_Contact_Us_Date__c) - DATE(1900, 1, 7), 7),
6, "Saturday", "Error")
Here’s how this formula works: First you get the date-only value of your date/time field. Then you subtract another date from it with a known day of the week. Then you calculate the modulus (remainder) when dividing that number by seven. The remainder indicates the day of the week of the date value you are trying to parse. You can then use a CASE formula to populate a string with the name of the day of week based on that remainder. It’s a little complicated, but basically you just need to know it works. 🙂
The next step is to use a triggered Smart Campaign to populate your time and date/time fields based on the lead behavior you want to track. Our goal is to stamp the time and date/time fields, pass the data into Salesforce so our formula field can calculate day of week, and give that data time to sync back to Marketo. To ensure the right order of operations, we’ll be using a simple two-campaign structure here where the first campaign will request the second.
Use a “Fills Out Form” trigger with the name of your form.
You’ll note this method is a bit “expensive” in terms of Salesforce API calls, so use it judiciously.
Now you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips to route based on time of day and day of week. Our final steps are to build a Smart List to crunch the logic, and then a Smart Campaign to take the action we want.
To determine whether a lead has made an inquiry outside of business hours, we’re going to use a Smart List as a local program asset. The Smart List will check whether the time of last contact was before 8 AM or after 5 PM on Monday-Friday, or anytime on Saturday or Sunday. Here’s what that Smart List looks like:
How does this work? Well, consider that the actual time-stamp looks something like, "11:35 AM (-800 GMT)". So basically you are parsing the time-stamp string to see whether it contains a combination of certain hours (numbers that end with ":") and AM or PM. And that’s why this field must be a text field, because otherwise we couldn’t use the “contains” operator. Using advanced filter logic you can combine these filters together with the day of the week to make your targeting as granular as you like! Make sure to check your filter logic and test, test, test, to be sure you’re getting the intended result.
In this example, the campaign is sending an email.
Use a “Campaign is Requested” trigger. Remember this request is coming from the Flow Steps of the previous campaign.
Use a Send Email flow step that checks for membership in our “After Hours” smart list using a Choice. If not a member, send the standard auto-response.
Sending different emails is just one option. You can do lots of different things with this technique, including assigning a lead to different sales team or a third-party answering service based on time of day, using different marketing channels (an SMS, etc.) depending on time of day, using the data to see which days of the week bring in the best leads...use your imagination! See also a similar use of this technique from Josh Hill for routing leads to different locations based on time of inquiry.
Credits: Credit for the technique to parse the time-stamp using filters should go to Adam New-Waterson, since I’m pretty sure I first saw this in a Community post he wrote. Thanks Adam! Credit for the formula to parse the day of the week name from a date value belongs to someone on the Salesforce Success Community. Unfortunately I can't remember who, but thanks, whoever you are.
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