Listrak’s Ross Kramer shared his findings in an article for Internet Retailer posted on November 20, 2014:

Surprisingly few major retailers are emphasizing Thanksgiving in their marketing email the week before Turkey Day. Apparently, most merchants few Thanksgiving as just the first day in the crucial Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Cyber Monday retail trifecta, says Listrak CEO Ross Kramer.

The short holiday season is in full swing for retailers, who are attempting to ease shoppers’ stress and get sales started with gift guides and enticing promotions. So how are retailers (other than the obvious purveyors of food and holiday decor) taking time in the middle of the madness to acknowledge Thanksgiving?

With Nov. 27 just a week away, we have seen very few Thanksgiving-themed emails, however, a few from Internet Retailer Top 1000 merchants have caught my attention:

A handful of top retailers are hopping on the shipping promises bandwagon early, which is a great way to create urgency, secure the first sale of the season, and open the door for more opportunities to engage. I’m not sure if Gap, No. 19 in the IR Top 500, is marketing to folks who exchange holiday gifts on Thanksgiving Day or to those who just want to look their best at the table with this promotion:

But most likely the latter, based on an email earlier in the month with the subject line “we’re thankful for…these 10 pieces” that featured this Thanksgiving survival guide:

The purpose of Pier 1 Imports’ shipping promotion for the shopper who wants to spruce up the Thanksgiving table is a little more obvious:

And Burt’s Bees Baby takes an altogether different approach with the subject line “Bee creative this Thanksgiving with ideas from our Pinterest Board!” and this email that is not at all product-focused, but does subtly promote a sale:

J. Crew positions the week of Thanksgiving as the official kick-off to the holiday season, offering “dos & don’ts to get you through this superfestive-yet-sometime-stressful season,” including a 30% sale with urgent promo code:

With a limited number of days to promote holiday gift-giving, I’m not surprised to see many retailers treating Thanksgiving as little more than the first day in the crucial Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Cyber Monday retail trifecta. But whether officially acknowledging Thanksgiving or not, emails from wise retailers all have something in common this time of the season: They are all working hard to engage subscribers and get them browsing and buying, so retailers can collect as much data as possible to optimize their predictive analytics and present each shopper with the most relevant, personalized product recommendations in subsequent holiday campaigns.

And with that tall order before them, what retail email marketers are surely thankful for this hectic holiday season is automated solutions.

Listrak provides e-mail marketing services to 61 of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 web merchants.

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