Anthony Chamberas

Drivers of Finite Promotional Periods

Marketing campaigns are a tool used to promote products and services. Campaigns can use various tactics such as email, social media, ads, webinars, direct mail, etc. Marketing campaigns could also be part of an on-going promotion of a brand, or a finite promotion leading up to some discrete event. This article focuses on a scenario when the campaign is directed at a discrete event – in this case a charity running race. The obvious trait of this environment, since the campaign is focused on a discrete event, is that the promotional period is finite.

The race directors utilized email campaigns to past runners to promote their event, as well as facebook ads and postings on various running websites. These activities drove potential registrants to the race website, and ultimately to register for the race online. While facebook ads and the running website postings did drive traffic to the website, very little of that traffic converted to registrations. The main drivers of web visits and ultimate registrations were email campaigns to past runners and the time remaining until the event.

The chart below shows the rate of registrations to web visits. It shows that on average there was a registration for 8 or so web visits (0.13 registrations per visit). This rate was variable, but stayed fairly constant throughout the promotional period.

The magnitude of registrations and web visits did not stay constant during the promotional period, however.  The chart below show a steep increase in both web visits and registrations as the event date drew near.  This chart is also annotated with the dates when email blasts were sent to past runners.

Careful inspection of the trends show that there might be a slight lift in the number of web visits in the days following an email campaign.  This lift seemed to be greatest the day after the campaign, and then showed a decreasing impact as more time passed.  Since the influence of days remaining until the event is so strong in this trend, the email campaign lift is difficult to spot.  A statistical analysis was run on these data to filter out the significance of the email campaigns within the context of the days remaining until the event.

This analysis naturally showed that the days remaining until the event were the main driver of website visits.  After correcting for that factor, however, the days after an email campaign still had a statistically significant lift in web traffic.  This lift was inversely proportional to the number of days past since the campaign (the fewer days since the campaign, the greater the lift).  The results of this statistical analysis were built into a predictive model that smoothed the noise out of the trend and allowed the race directors to identify email campaign latency and frequency that could increase the number of web visits, and ultimately registrations (for next year's race).  A live and active version of that model appears here.


While there are obviously many endogenous and exogenous factors that drive web visits and ultimate registrations (sales) in a finite promotional period, this model offers a simple perspective on how one of those factors could vary to positively influence outcomes.  Naturally, this model could be expanded to include other factors such that their collective influence may be understood.

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