Retail Promotional Email Volume Sets Record

December 6, 2010

Top online retailers sent each of their subscribers an all-time high of 4.4 promotional emails on average during the week ending December 3, 2010, according to Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog.

Weekly Promotional Email Average Up 19% YOY

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Last week’s retail promotional email volume was up 7% week-over-week compared to a little less than 4.1, up 35% from about 3.2 four weeks ago, and up 19% year-over-year from a little more than 3.6.

With email volume set to climb further during the next two weeks, Responsys predicts this all-time high will be pushed even higher. The previous all-time high was hit during the week ending December 18, 2009, when retailers sent subscribers 4.1 promotional emails on average.

Cyber Monday Sets One-Day Email Participation Record

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Monday, November 29, 2010, which was Cyber Monday, was the most popular day to send retail emails last week, with 77% of major online retailers participating. It was also the most popular day ever to send retail email, up from the previous record of 71% on Cyber Monday 2009.

That increase was preceded by strong growth in email volume on Cyber Sunday (Nov. 28, 2010), when 56% of retailers sent promotional email, up from 45% in 2009. Friday, Dec. 3, had the second-highest rate of retailers sending promotional email (67%). As is usually the case, Saturday featured the lowest email participation rate (30% on Saturday, Nov. 27).

More than 80% of Emails Mention Xmas

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More than 80% of retail promotional emails sent the week of Dec. 3 mentioned Christmas or the holidays. About 20% mentioned Cyber Monday, a sharp gain from the prior week, while email mentions of Thanksgiving and Black Friday plummeted to almost nil. Other than Christmas/holidays, the only other significant seasonal event coming up in the near future is New Year’s Day (Jan. 1, 2011).

Thanksgiving Week Email Volume Near Record

Top online retailers sent each of their subscribers 4.1 promotional emails on average, just shy of the all-time record, during the week ending Nov. 26, 2010 (Thanksgiving Week), according to other recent data from Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog. A sharp increase in Black Friday messaging helped drive this volume.

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