Time to read: 15 min.
The article covers the following topics:
- What is the Offer Schedule?
- Where is the Offer Schedule located?
- How does it work?
- Offer Schedule and Start at/Stop date fields
- How to read activity logs on the Offer Schedule?
What is the Offer Schedule?
The offer Schedule allows controlling time when an offer is active or paused. It is a flexible tool that helps to set up specific periods during which the offer can accept traffic.
The offer Schedule is available for Enterprise and Custom plans only.
Where is the Offer Schedule located?
You can find it in the ‘General’ tab of the offer settings:
Each cell is a certain hour of a certain day of the week. White cells stand for ‘Paused’ status, green cells stand for ‘Active’ status. An example:
The offer is active from 20:00 till 23:00.
You can click on the day of the week to make the offer work for the whole day. You also can click on a particular hour to make the offer work during this time every day. It is possible to select only certain hours during certain days.
How does it work?
The general principle is simple: the offer becomes active when it’s the time specified in a green cell.
There is an algorithm that checks the offer’s status every 30 minutes (10:00, 10:30, 11:00, etc.) and compares it with the Offer Schedule. If status meets settings of the Offer Schedule, nothing happens. If status differs from one that is supposed to be according to the Offer Schedule, the algorithm changes it.
Thus if you change offer status manually, via API or CPAPI, and the new status doesn’t meet the status in the Offer Schedule, it will be changed to the one set up in the Offer Schedule in 30 minutes approximately.
The exception is: if you paused/disabled the offer (manually, via API, via CPAPI) at the moment when the active period is in force, the new status won’t be changed till the beginning of the next active period. An example:
The offer is active from 12:00 till 16:00 every day. Right now is 13.30 and you’ve decided to pause the offer for 2 hours (manually, via API or CPAPI). Offer status will remain as ‘Paused’ till the next active period: till 12:00. of the next day.
If you have a 24/7 active offer by the Offer Schedule and then you make it paused/disabled manually/via API or CPAPI, it will become active again at the beginning of a new day by the timezone.
It is not possible to save the Offer Schedule that doesn’t contain active periods at all:
When checking the work of the Offer Schedule, check the timezone as well, because it might differ from the general timezone of the platform.
When you change the timezone for the Offer Schedule, the nearest review of the offer’s status will notice the new timezone. An example: you’ve changed the timezone at 12.15 p.m., for the remaining 15 minutes the offer works according to the old timezone. At 12.30 p.m. the new check happens, so the work will continue according to the new timezone.
Currently we highly recommend you to avoid working with timezones, which suppose part hours (for example: Asia/Colombo (UTC +05:30). Otherwise there is a risk of incorrent work of the offer schedule. Please, use timezones with full hours (for example: Asia/Samarkand (UTC +05.00). Timezones with part hours will be supported by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021 approximately.
1) The offer is active due to the Offer Schedule. It has an active period for several hours, you've assigned the pause period at 14:15 for the period from 14:00 till 16:00:
Result: the offer will be auto-paused at 14:30 and will have this status till 16:00.
2) The offer is paused due to the Offer Schedule. You've made it active (manually, via API, or CPAPI) at 17:25:
Result: it will be active till 17:30, then the algorithm will check the offer status and change it to the "Paused" one.
3) The offer is paused due to the Offer Schedule. It has the paused period for several hours, you've assigned the active period at 12:15 for the period from 12:00 till 14:00 (for the present hour and the future):
Result: the offer will remain in "Paused" status till 19:00 despite you've assigned several active hours.
If you want the offer to be active during new active hours anyway, make it active manually/via API/via CPAPI - the status will remain until the next period of pause (in this case from 14.00 till 19.00).
4) The offer is paused due to the Offer Schedule. It has the paused period for several hours, you've assigned the active period at 12:15 for the period from 14:00 till 15:00 (for the future only):
Result: the offer will be activated at 14.00 till 16.00, then it will be auto-paused from 16.00 till 19.00 and them the new active period will start.
5) The offer is active due to the Offer Schedule. You've made it paused/disabled (manually, via API, or CPAPI) at 21:15:
Result: it will be auto-paused until the next active period: till 20:00 of the next day.
Offer Schedule and Start at/Stop date fields
Firstly it is recommended to read our guide on Start at/Stop date fields.
You can’t save the offer without ‘Start at’ field being set up - it is a required field, unlike the ‘Stop date’ field. Both fields stand for the date when the offer will be activated (‘Start at” field) and paused (‘Stop date’ field), but also they are in charge of the offer schedule activation.
It is not possible to set up the date in the past for both fields. The only case when you see the past date there: when it was installed for the current date or the future, but this date already passed.
An example: the offer has this schedule:
It will be totally paused on the 20th of October, 2020. Even if the offer schedule had 'paused' periods in random cells - it won't matter.
Another example: there is an active offer with ‘Start at’ field in the future, the offer schedule has been established today, it looks like this:
In this case, the offer will work according to the offer schedule starting from the date set up in the 'Start at' field. When the 1st of November comes, the offer will be activated at 00:00 and will continue being activated according to the schedule. At 3:00 the offer will be paused according to the offer schedule. When the 22nd of December comes, the offer schedule will stop working. The offer will be totally paused at 00:00.
If the offer schedule has ‘paused’ (‘white’) cells for 0 hour (00:00), the offer will be paused right after auto-activation by the ‘Start at’ field.
How to read activity logs on the Offer Schedule?
They are logged under ‘Offer new’ or ‘Offer edit’ type of logs in ‘Schedule’ section:
The offer has the following Offer Schedule:
The relevant record in logs is:
- Enabled: whether the flag ‘Offer Schedule’ is on.
- Timezone: timezone of the Offer Schedule (might not match the general timezone of the platform)
- Start_date: the date and time indicated in the ‘Start at’ field (Unix time format).
- End_date: the date and time indicated in the ‘Stop date’ field (Unix time format).
- Intervals: periods when the offer is supposed to be active.
- Day_of_week: from 0 to 6 (from Monday to Sunday accordingly).
- From: the number of minutes relevant for the certain hour
- To: the number of minutes relevant for a certain hour.
An example of minutes: from 600 to 959 means from 10:00 till 16:00 (10:00 contains 600 minutes, 16:00 contains 959 minutes - 600/60 = 10, 959/60 = 15.9).
The number of minutes is shown according to the timezone chosen for the Offer Schedule.
We recommend using the ‘Timely’ extension for Google Chrome browser or ‘EpochClock’ for Safari to convert Unix timestamp into UTC format.
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Written by Lizaveta Talkachova