Promo Retail Email Targeted Last-Minute Shoppers

December 29, 2011

responsys-retailemailindex-dec23.jpgThe top online retailers sent each of their subscribers 5.7 promotional emails on average during the week ending December 23, 2011, representing fractional week-over-week growth, according to December 2011 analysis from Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog. This means that unlike previous years, when holiday email volume has peaked 2 weeks before Christmas, this year retailers targeted holiday shoppers until the last minute, offering free or discounted express shipping, directing subscribers to their stores, and promoting gift cards and e-gift cards. The weekly volume of emails was up 15% from 4 weeks ago, and 35% year-over-year.

Responsys’ findings come on the heels of a December survey from PriceGrabber, in which 41% of online shopping respondents indicated they planned to shop between December 21 and 24 for holiday gifts. Similarly, an Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of RetailMeNot, found that as of December 12, just 16% of adults claimed to have finished all of their shopping, with a plurality (33%) reporting having done less than one-quarter of their shopping.

Wednesday Biggest Day for Promo Emails

responsys-email-participation-rate-dec23.jpgDuring the week ending December 23, Wednesday, Dec. 21 was the most popular day for promotional retail emails, with 74% of major online retailers sending at least one. Retail Email Blog analysis indicates that Wednesday’s popularity was due to express shipping deadlines.

Sunday, Dec. 18 took second place with a 72% participation rate, followed by Tuesday Dec. 20 (70%) and Friday Dec. 23 (68%). Saturday Dec. 17 (56%) had the lowest promotional retail email participation rate of the week.

Super Bowl Makes Appearance

Retail Email Blog indicates that while Christmas messaging continued unrelentingly, mentioned in roughly 90% of retail emails for the week ending Dec. 23, retailers will now quickly shift gears to promoting other selling seasons. In fact, the first Super Bowl reference made an appearance that week, while New Year’s messaging inched up, although it remained at marginal levels.

B2B Emails Down, But Page Views Up

Meanwhile, contrary to B2C companies, who sent out 28% more emails in November and December than in August and September, B2B marketers deployed fewer emails in November and December, according to December 2011 data pulled from Eloqua. However, surprisingly, the number of page views of those companies’ digital assets actually rose 13% in November and December compared to the rest of the year.

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