Study: Email marketing strategies must evolve as Black Friday's role shrinks
- Yes Lifecycle Marketing looked at almost 8 billion emails sent through the Yesmail360 platform and found that over the 2016 Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, emails sent on Black Friday had a higher open rate outperforming everyday emails by 52.5%, but emails sent on Cyber Monday boasted a conversion rate 53% higher than Black Friday emails, per a press release from the company.
- While the conversion rate difference was fairly dramatic, the open rate difference was slight, with Black Friday emails achieving a 14.6% open rate and Cyber Monday 13.2% for the same metric.
- The report also uncovered a potentially underutilized date in holiday email marketing — Green Monday, which is the second Monday in December. The report found only 6% of marketers sent Green Monday campaigns, but those effort garnered a 50% higher conversion than business-as-usual emails.
With the growth in e-commerce and mobile shopping, Black Friday has been losing its importance as a retail holiday over the past few years. Consumers are increasingly buying online when it is convenient for them and researching their purchases from their smartphones when they have a few minutes during the day. Savvy retailers need to make sure their email marketing strategies reflect the evolving holiday shopping season.
The Yes Lifecycle Marketing data illustrates that conventional thinking around email marketing practices shouldn'd be about set-in-stone rules and that marketers and retailers should assess their goals for engagement and conversions and create campaigns with the “right timing, content, and context in mind,” Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, said in a statement.
One takeaway from the report is marketers should take their email marketing goals into account when planning holiday campaigns. It’s likely email recipients open Black Friday emails at a higher rate in order to get information on deals and discounts for when they hit brick-and-mortar stores, and Cyber Monday recipients are converting at a higher rate because they are making their purchases from the device they used to open the email in the first place.
Other key findings from the research include that Thanksgiving campaigns sent on Wednesdays saw the highest engagement among Thanksgiving emails with a 15.5% open rate and Thanksgiving emails sent on Mondays saw the highest conversion rates at 4.8%.
For Cyber Monday emails, the fewest volume of emails was sent on the Thursday following the event but campaigns sent on this day generated the highest open rate because of their focus on an expiring sale or final chance to save.
Email marketers should also keep in mind every subscriber list is different, and one best practice that always applies is marketers should engage in testing and optimization on an ongoing basis to learn how their particular email list engages and responds to email campaigns.