FLASH! Email Black Friday Run-up
We’re still analyzing full email activity around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here’s a quick look at what key early senders did.
As you witnessed the Holiday hustle and bustle that the Thanksgiving weekend ushers in, perhaps you were also wondering how major retailers were emailing their customers for the early approach to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday crush. The answer is surprising: there was far less early activity than you’d think explicitly themed to Black Friday. Have a look.
- The analysis (see table below) covers thirteen major retail brands, during the October 31 – November 14th period in 2018, and for the comparable (November 1st – November 15TH) year-ago period.
- We focused primarily on Black Friday-themed emails. Cyber Monday emails were, as expected, virtually not in evidence for the analysis period. These tend to ramp-up during the post-Thanksgiving weekend itself.
What We Saw
- There was heavy overall email activity for the analyzed brands during this period. Moreover, almost all of them increased their year-over-year campaign send activity. The only exceptions were eBay, JC Penney and Office Depot.
- Inbox performance, measured as the percentage of campaigns exceeding 90% deliverability, improved year-over-year for all but Penney’s, Staples and Best Buy.
- Read rate performance, measured as the percentage of campaigns exceeding 20% read rates, improved for about half the analyzed brands.
- However, Black Friday themed emails were a relatively small percentage of these brands’ overall period activity, and none at all for this category were detected for Macy’s. Dick’s Sporting Goods showed the highest percentage (1.7% of total), but the rest were in the range of 0.3-0.4% of total period campaigns. This pattern is not appreciably different from the one we observed in 2017.
- Why so little Black Friday emphasis during this period? It’s speculative, but our sense is that the general customer base is so accustomed to the onset of the intensely promotional Holiday shopping period that not a lot of uniquely-themed reminders are necessary to create a seasonal spirit around a promotional event that virtually everyone knows Is happening. General email messaging can carry that same spirit, especially in the early run-up period to Black Friday.
- (Not in table) For the true record-keepers, Best Buy owns the earliest “Black Friday” promotional reference, which we saw in a campaign they deployed on October 15th.