Holiday Email Marketing (2011 in Review
Each year, marketers send our email campaigns in an attempt to impress consumers and win shopping dollars. In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, here's a look at how business marketed through email in 2011 -
and how their subscribers responded.
What's the most wonderful time of the season?
Conventional myths can be about as helpful, as flinging salt over your shoulder. Let's examine them against the facts of holiday marketing in 2011.
- Myth: 1) No one has time to read emails on Christmas; 2) Emails will get more response after holiday preparations die down; 3) The closer to Christmas, the more desperate consumers grow for gift-giving and entertaining
solutions, so the higher the sales; 4) Black Friday and Free Shipping Day, because of their deep discounts, pull in far more sales than the average day.
- Fact: 1) On Christmas day, about 6% of emails were opened, compared to 9% on an average day in the holiday season; 2) Clicks hovered at 2% throughout October, November and December, then spiked on
Christmas Day to 2.5% and held that rate steadily through January; 3) Sales tracked through email doubled the holiday average on the weeks of Black Friday (15.7%) and Dec. 4 (12.2%). Sales closer to Christmas were
only slightly above average; 4) Black Friday and Free Shopping Day (December 16 in 2011) each turned out average opens, clicks and sales from email.
When do top retailers leverage Christmas in their emails?
The top 100 retailers know how to sell themselves so their emails provide an excellent indication of what works for Christmas marketing. Here's a glimpse at when they emailed their tidings of discounts and sales...
- July 24th. A flurry of "Christmas in July" emails go out (9%).
- Sep 17th. Occasional Christmas emails start trickling out (avg. 10%).
- Nov 1st. Christmas emails increase through November (avg. 60%).
- Dec 2nd. A heavy stream of Christmas emails begins (avg. 83%).
- Dec 18th. The number of Christmas emails reaches its peak (94%).
- Feb 9th. The final christmas-referencing emails are sent (2%).
- "More than 13% of major online retailers have referred to Christmas or the holiday [already in 2012], more than at any time in the past 6 years" - The Retail Blog.
Marketers vs. consumers
If an emails falls in a teeming inbox, does anyone see it? Though it's helpful to know how businesses marketed last year, it's even more important to explore how consumers responded. Here, you can see both sides of the
- Marketers: 1) Sent the most email between November 27 and December 4; 2) Sen the most email on Wednesdays and Fridays; 3) chose the words "Shipping", "Free" and "Sale" most often in subject lines; 4) Used the
word "Coupon" less frequently than the words above.
- Consumers: 1) Purchased the most in response to emails (15.7%) the week of Black Friday; 2) Opened the most emails on Tuesdays, clicked through from the most emails on Sundays and purchased from the most emails
on Wednesdays; 3) Didn't open emails with "Shipping", "Free" or "Sale" in the subject line any more than the average; 4) Responded well to "coupon" in subject line, opening those emails more than the average.
AWeber. AWeber helps businesses increase sales and profits through its web=based email subscribing tools.
Sources: Retailermailblog.com | Epsillon's 2012 Holiday Trend Report.