As the Black Friday/Cyber Monday excitement tapers off, we’re taking our customary look at some of the retail email activity that supported these events, especially in their immediate run-up.
Our view in this Blogpost covers thirteen major multi-channel retail brands, for the period between November 21st and December 2nd, the latter date being Cyber Monday. We compared this activity with that of last year, whose comparable period occurred one week earlier. Key activity and performance data appear in the table below. Highlights:
- Overall email campaign activity by these brands was heavy, Amazon and eBay being the most prolific mailers; Kmart and Barnes & Noble the lightest. Year-over-year activity trends were a mixed bag. Seven brands decreased their campaign activity; six brands increased. Amazon’s decrease was the largest change we saw in this group.
- Inbox performance, measured here as the percentage of campaigns exceeding 90% deliverability, also covered a wide range of performance. Amazon owns the strongest of this metric; Dicks Sporting Goods the weakest. This metric improved YOY for five of these brands, but eroded for the other eight. Notably, despite its inbox prowess, Amazon is among the group whose inbox performance declined, albeit only slightly.
- Read rate performance, measured as the percentage of campaigns exceeding 20% read rates, also covered a wide range. Target and Kohl’s owned the high end; Dicks Sporting Goods and Kmart the low end. Those same two brands were the only ones showing a YOY decline in that metric.
- Emails specifically themed to Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday had, for most brands, a surprisingly light presence as a percentage of the total period campaign activity. This percentage ranged from a high of 25% for Staples, down to 3.7% for Target. Versus last year, six of the brands increased Black Friday/Cyber Monday–themed activity as a percentage of their period totals. Among those with the largest YOY changes (all increases) were Amazon, Kmart and JC Penney.
- For most of the analyzed brands, Black Friday/Cyber Monday themed emails do not drive better engagement than other emails being deployed by those brands during the period of analysis. Only Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble and Office Depot can showed better read rate performance for their Black Friday/Cyber Monday themed campaigns than for others deployed in the same period.