A Yesmail study predicts the increase in 2015 holiday email volume will not have an adverse effect on engagement levels. Year-over-year findings show increases in email engagement in conjunction with volume levels. The report finds that retailers began sending holiday-themed campaigns earlier than in previous years, with 32% more brands deploying holiday-themed emails in 2014 than in 2013.
In addition, as third quarter 2014 overall email volume grew by 26% year-over-year, open rates increased by 11% over the same period. Similarly, Q4 2014 volume grew by 8% YoY while open rates increased by 2%.
In this report, ÛÏEngagement and Deliverability for Holiday-themed Emails: 2014 Recap, 2015 Takeaways,Û Yesmail analyzed the year-over-year email marketing campaigns of major retail brands like Apple, Walmart, and The Home Depot, using its proprietary Market Intelligence tool.
The study finds that average open rates remained largely unchanged from the third to the fourth quarters of 2014, even as average quarterly volume increased by 46% between Q3 and Q4. The consistent average open rate of approximately 14% in the second half of the year bucks the historical trend of open rates dipping as email volume increases.
ÛÏConsistent open rates while volume is spiking can be in part due to more strategic email marketing programs,Û said Michael Fisher, President of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. ÛÏBrands are creating better mobile experiences, developing comprehensive segmentation strategies, and implementing advanced personalization. These practices translate into more informed campaigns that achieve better inboxing rates.Û
83% of retailers sent general holiday or winter-themed campaigns making this the most popular theme in 2014. When general holiday campaigns were deployed at the right time, they generated an open rate of 15.5%, up from 14.2% for all other emails.
Additional findings include:
- Back-to-school, Black Friday, Thanksgiving and general holiday emails benefitted from LATER deployment. Open rates for Black Friday-themed emails, for example, increased from 14.1 to 14.8% when deployed closer to the holiday.
- In contrast, Halloween, Cyber Monday and Christmas-themed emails benefitted from EARLIER deployment. For example, open rates for Halloween emails were 15.2% in the first half of October and decreased to 13.3% in the second half.
- Christmas-themed emails sent in the days AFTER Christmas received a 15.7% open rate,åÊ compared to 14.9% for all other communications deployed over the same timeframe.
ÛÏYesmailÛªs analysis highlights the importance of industry trends, competitive intelligence, and historical performance working together to develop an informed campaign strategy,Û said Mike Iaccarino, CEO and Chairman of Infogroup.
With Yesmail's analysis, it is clear that your advertisers need to email customers A LOT leading up to the holiday shopping season. Convince them even further with AudienceSCAN's data on the consumers who actually READ the emails they send out. For example, 43% of Email Newsletter Readers want emails about offers and sales the most! These are seconded by 28% wanting new product announcements in their inboxes. Holidays are important to this audience: 37% want to attend holiday parades this year. 46.5% shopped at a locally owned business on Small Business Saturday (Saturday after Thanksgiving)! 33% celebrated New Year's Eve at a restaurant, bar or hotel! In the past 30 days, 62% took action after receiving emailed ads or newsletters.