Nov. 2010 Promotional Email Volume Nears Record

December 2, 2010

Top online retailers sent each of their subscribers 4.1 promotional emails on average, just shy of an all-time record, during the week ending Nov. 26, 2010, according to Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog.

Promo Email Volume Grows 15% YOY

The average promotional email volume at the end of November 2010 was up 15% from 3.8 week-over-week, up 34% from a little more than 3 four weeks ago, and also up 15% year-over-year.

Black Friday Messaging Grows Sharply

The increase in Black Friday messaging this year is substantial. While last year only 19% of the emails during Thanksgiving week mentioned Black Friday, this year more than 31% did. That’s a 67% increase in year-over-year Black Friday messaging.

Even so, the number of retailers sending promotional emails on Black Friday itself was unchanged from last year at 69%. Thanksgiving Day absorbed a significant portion of the increase in messaging.

In addition, about 70% of major online retailers sent promotional emails with a holiday/Christmas theme during Thanksgiving week. Interestingly, Cyber Monday emails never reached a significant volume despite heavy news coverage this year.

Black Friday Leading Day for Emails

As mentioned above, 69% of major online retailers sent promotional emails on Black Friday (Nov. 26), making it the highest participation day of the week. However, Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25) featured 60% participation, showing the increasing popularity of early online Black Friday specials on Thanksgiving.

Monday, Nov. 22 had the second-highest participation rate (62%), while Wednesday, Nov. 24 also had a 60% participation rate., Gmail Show Impressive Annual Growth

Among the five most-used email providers, and Gmail grew at substantially higher rates than their competitors in the past year, according to recent data from CompetePRO.

Although in terms of monthly unique visitors ranked a distant fifth in October 2010 with about 7.9 million, that figure represents an impressive 65% increase from 4.8 million in October 2009. The only other email provider in the top five (by unique visitor) to even approach that rate was Gmail (, which increased about 46%, from 27.6 million to 40.3 million.


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