Research has shown that the best time to reach an online lead is within five minutes of receiving it, but what do you do if the lead doesn’t answer? When do you call back? What are the best days and times to try and reach them?

There could be several scenarios that could inhibit you from making contact with a lead in that valuable five minute time frame. Maybe the lead came in late at night beyond a reasonable time to call back, let’s say 2 a.m. for example. Maybe the person was by their computer filling out the form but was not close to a phone, or at work, or just plainly didn’t want to take the call at that time. Now what? A call center may be your best option if your in-house staff is unable to quickly return calls and schedule call back attempts at the optimum times.

Research in lead response times by can help you answer the question of, “Ok, I called and they didn’t answer so what do I do now?” A conjoint research study between MIT Faculty Fellow Professor Oldroy and examined 3 years of data. The study is much more in depth than just the best times to call back but for our purposes we are just going to focus on the best call back days and times and also the amount of call back attempts that should be made. You can read more of the study here.

On a side note, keep in mind that even though the study focused around online web form submissions we can generalize that many of these same “best call back times” can apply to any form of lead that needs a call-back.

Here Are Their Findings: 

Day of the week:

The study wanted to find the highest rate of calls answered by the day of the week. They found that Wednesdays and Thursdays had the highest rate of answered calls. Friday came in a close third and Monday had the lowest answering rate.

Times of the day:

The study also looked at the best times of the day to call leads. They found that between the times of 8am-9am and 4pm-5pm had the best response times. The study didn’t take into account the 1-2 hours before and after because they considered the earlier and later hours not a part of the typical work day.

One key point to mention is that the study also looked at response times and concluded that calling back a lead within 5 minutes of their inquiry was best. Calling a lead 60 minutes later resulted in a decrease over 10 times.

Questions to ask:

  • Can you or your office staff call a lead within 5 minutes of getting it?
  • Are you or your office staff always available to respond to a lead between the optimal hours of 8-9am and 5-6pm? Remember that the study didn’t account for let’s say 7am or 7pm. You would most likely want to call a lead that comes in at 7am or 7pm within the first few minutes right?
  • Can you or your office staff schedule and follow through with callbacks that coincide with the optimal days of the week?

If you answered no to any of the above questions it may be time to consider outsourcing some of or all of your inbound leads to a professional call center.