RPM Advertising

Holiday Promotions – When it comes to email, are they all created equal?

The fourth quarter brings with it the greatest number of holidays, and that has marketers looking for even more ways to increase engagement (and hopefully revenue as well).

Consumers often complain that the barrage of holiday campaigns begin earlier and earlier each year, so why do marketers keep moving up the calendar? Because it works. According to the National Retail Federation, 20% of consumers have already started shopping for the holidays in September, with almost half starting by Halloween. Not all shoppers are bothered by the blinking holiday trees well in advance of the big day, with only one-third of consumers claiming that early holiday launches drive them crazy.

But when it comes to email campaigns, are all holidays created equal? And does marketing early and often turn consumers off, or get results? Although holiday promotions can drive sales, starting email promotions earlier doesn’t necessarily mean better results. In fact, for some holidays, the earlier promotions are sent, the weaker they perform.

 

When developing holiday email campaigns, keep in mind:promotions-graph

  • Thanksgiving and Black Friday benefit from later email deployment
    • In 2014, Thanksgiving and Black Friday-themed emails sent far in advance of the holidays experienced open rates that were 14.6% and 10% lower compared to base communications
  • Cyber Monday open rates are higher for emails sent the weekend before, rather than the day of (which elicit open rates comparable with base communications)
  • Christmas-themed emails experience higher open rates throughout December, although open rates tend to be higher in the first half of the month and just prior to the holiday

Consumers are planning to increase their online holiday shopping in 2015, with 35% of
those anticipating making more than half of all purchases on-line. Discounts, special promotions and retargeting will play an important role in helping marketers engage consumers, and the smart use of email can make a big difference.

I Harvard Business Review, September 2014

II Yesmail, Engagement and Deliverability for Holiday-themed Email, 2015

III CivicScience, October 2015