Marketers to Start Planning Holiday 2013 Email Campaigns

The cold winter weather may feel far away, but for email marketers, the holiday season is fast approaching. Enterprises that spend a portion of their budgets reaching out to holidaygiftsconsumers via email should already be planning their year-​end campaigns.  Analysts are recommending that marketers change their email strategy this year to offer customers more value and personalization.

The holiday season for email marketing begins October 1. Last year, about 6.6% of holiday season email was sent in the first week in October. By the week of November 18, the volume rose to 9.1%. The peaks for holiday email took place the weeks of December 9, with 9.4%, and December 16, with 9.6%. By Christmas week, the percentage of holiday season email drops back to 6.6%. The top holidays that marketers focus on are Black Friday (after Thanksgiving), Cyber Monday, and Christmas Day.

About 7.8% of all holiday campaigns included a ‘percentage off’ discount. These promotions generated a 13.6% open rate and a 2.1% click rate. Similarly, about 9.9% of holiday campaigns were offering a specific dollar amount discount. While these emails generated a slightly higher open rate of 14.8%, the click rate was steady at 2.1%. Marketers use the popular ‘buy-​one, get-​one’ strategy sparingly. Only 0.1% of campaigns belong in this category but they return a 13.9% open rate and only a 1.8% click rate.  Experian analysts have found that loyalty programs are key to a marketer’s success during the holiday season. About 1.6% of campaigns fall into this category but they generate a 20.3% open rate and a 3.1% click rate.

Marketers who would like to see higher click rates and returns on their email campaigns might want to try something different this year. An article in Internet Retailer notes that holiday shoppers might be more inclined to look through a gift guide featured in an email, especially one that is personalized to the customer.

To learn more about Email Ad Responders, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Sources: International Holiday Email Performance Study. Experian​.com. 2013. Web. 5 Jul. 2013; Rueter, Thad. Gift guides can work well for holiday e‑mails. Internetretailer​.com. 19 Jun. 2013. Web. 5 Jul. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.