Is This the Best Time of Day to Launch?

10 September 2020 | 13 Comments

Last month, I had a call to action for Stonemaier Champions worldwide that required a tight response time (1 hour). Which hour should I choose so that the vast majority of customers would be awake?

I turned to the handy meeting planner, which let me select the applicable time zones. The result was a handy chart that highlights traditional working hours (green), non-working waking hours (yellow), and sleeping hours (red):

As you can see, there’s no perfect time for everyone. But one timeslot caught my eye: 5:00 pm CDT (St. Louis time). At that time, the worst extremes were 11:00 pm London time (though, granted, that time gets later the further east into Europe you go) and 7:00 am Tokyo time.

Here’s another summary of that time:

I’m not necessarily saying this is the best time to launch, because if 90% of your backers are in the US, Canada, and Europe, 10:00 am CDT is much better. But if you’re trying to include Asia and Oceania, early evening US time may be best.

Also, I think this is the most relevant when you have a very limited supply/timeframe or if the visibility of launch day backers/funds is a factor (i.e., on Kickstarter), opposed to the types of preorders we use at Stonemaier Games (for which we have at least enough supply to last a few days).

What do you think about these time zones and their impact on launch time?


Also read: Kickstarter Lesson #9: Timing and Length

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13 Comments on “Is This the Best Time of Day to Launch?

  1. We’ve been listening to “A Crowdfunder’s Strategy” book (I’m old school so that will always sound odd to me!) and we’ve gained so much from it. I look forward to following your blog. Thank you for all of the great advice — giving back to the community really is important and we appreciate it!

  2. When does Kickstarter reset their clock? If you are trying to fund in 24 hours or looking at Kicktraq and similar graphs, what do the consider as the 24 hour mark? When do their days reset.

    Working within the confines of those things can make starting later in the day a harder choice if you want to fund before midnight of the day you start.

    Steve Jackson Games, a totally different clientele, started at least one of their recent Kickstarters incredibly early in the morning to get more hours in the day.

    Of course, it all depends on your goals and your target audience.

  3. I would say it depends. If this is for a pre-announced event, then people will work around their schedule, and planning for maximum people awake is the right answer. If the need is for a quick call to action, it’s not just waking hours that matter, but available hours. Work can be a factor, for example, but meals or drive time might have a greater impact. If you want to catch people when they’re likely to be watching email, 5pm might be worse than 11am or 3pm.

  4. After your suggestion of 5pm St.Louis my first question would be: do you have more customers from Asia & ozeania than from Europe? Because for most of Europe it is midnight because most of Europe is at UTC+1/+2.

  5. One thing to consider for a Kickstarter launch is how available you’ll be respond to comments though. I think people expect the creator to be present for the first 12 hours or so of their campaign. The 10:00 AM CDT slot makes that much easier, whereas the 5:00 PM slot means that you’d most likely have to drop off just six hours or so after launching.

    If you’re really only looking for responses over an hour or so, and you don’t necessarily need to be present during the responses, or use them to foster a community, then I’d agree that the 5:00 PM slot seems to catch everyone reasonably in an hour. For a Kickstater though I think you want the time that will both hit a wide range of time zones and allow you to be present without killing yourself to do it.

  6. I think the times outlined would work fine for most folks. The one thing that could be done to ensure people are ready to engage your call to action would be to pre-publicize it. Would it make sense to send out a prior note to Champions a day or two in advance to look for an “important notification” on xx-xx-20xx Date at 5 CDT / 11 BST / etc?

    That strategy should increase awareness and more people will be on the lookout for the notification and increase their ability to take action. Doing this will also allow people that have conflict with that time to determine how they want to address that or make time for it if it is important enough for them.

  7. I remember, in Romania was midnight and I was driving back home from a summer nightwalk around the, good memories! 😆
    For sure you need to look at the statistics and see when (hour) it would be more convenient for SM to launch based on the backer’s percentage % numbers. By implementing a formula I think you can obtain a quite good hour range (say for example between 14:30 – 15:30 CDT) or even more precise than that.

  8. That’s 6PM EST, which is not the ideal, as I’d be just getting home from work, but it’s not bad. If it works for the majority, I’m OK with it, personally.

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