Most Retailers Sending Their First Holiday Emails on Nov. 26 or Later
More than 30 percent of retailers plan to send their first holiday-related marketing email on Nov. 26 or later this holiday season. Twenty percent plan to send their first holiday-related email on Oct. 1, while still others are scheduling for either Oct. 8, Oct. 15 or Oct. 22 (8 percent).
These were key data points presented by Jim Davidson, the manager of marketing research at email and marketing automation provider Bronto Software, during his presentation at the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago this week.
Davidson presented data from Loading the Sleigh: Marketers' Plans & Expectations for the Holiday Season, a jointly published report by Bronto Software and Retail Systems Research that includes survey findings of 179 retailers regarding their holiday 2013 online marketing plans.
Davidson also revealed that Thanksgiving Day email volume increased 5 percent between 2011 and 2012, and the number of brands sending more than two emails on that day increased 10 percent.
On Black Friday last year, brands sending three or more emails increased 2 percent vs. 2011, Davidson said. As for the types of promotions used by retailers on Black Friday, gifts for recipients had the greatest increase between 2011 and 2012 (2.8 percent), followed by online-only promotions (2.6 percent), doorbusters (2.0 percent) and gift guides (1.7 percent). On the flip side, promotions that decreased the most between 2011 and 2012 were "web busters" and early bird promotions, which each decreased 0.1 percent.
On last year's Cyber Monday, 10 percent of brands sent three or more emails, double the percentage of brands that sent three or more emails in 2011, Davidson revealed. Also on Cyber Monday 2012, the use of Cyber Week promotions increased 3.6 percent year-over-year. Other promotions that saw increases on Cyber Monday last year included gift guides (2.4 percent), mystery coupon/discount (1.5 percent) and free gift (0.8 percent). Many types of Cyber Monday promotions decreased in usage between 2011 and 2012, including doorbusters (1.2 percent) and web busters (0.6 percent).
David Workman, e-commerce operations manager at Delta Apparel, joined Davidson in the session. Workman noted that his company saw a 95 percent increase in email revenue last October through December compared to the same time period in 2011.
Workman also offered the following three holiday email marketing tips:
- Plan ahead. Plan your holiday campaigns at least one quarter in advance.
- Be relevant. It's not all about the promotion; be sure to keep your promotions relevant to customers and prospects.
- Keep it simple. Save time by keeping the design of your email campaigns during this busy time of year simple and to the point.