The holiday season is upon us. Many retailers have already started to ramp up their email deployment schedules, which is a key tactic to making your Q4 revenue goals. However, it's important to remember that just sending more emails alone isn't a strategy - you need to consider when and what to send - and which channel to deliver it to.
We looked at the email sending patterns and online traffic for over 1,000 retailers during the 2016 holiday season, and we put together an infographic that shows you the best time to send multiple messages on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
But first, it's important to understand how additional email sends impact revenue. We found that adding just four emails per month will greatly impact sales. With a low CPM and high return, our clients are seeing $59.26 for every dollar spent on average, an 18.5% increase over the $50.00 return they average on their regularly scheduled campaigns.
Holiday Deployment Schedules
On Thanksgiving 2016, email volume spiked at 10:00 am and then drastically dropped off until 4:00 pm. There was a small bump in evening email volume. However, when compared to site traffic, which remained strong from noon through 10:00 pm, you can see that shoppers would have benefitted from receiving an additional email after dinner when they're online.
Tip: Send at least two email messages on Thanksgiving - one in the morning and one in the evening. While many retail stores will remain closed on Thanksgiving this year, consumers will still shop online and eCommerce revenue is expected to increase over 2016.
The numbers for both email and site traffic looked similar to Thanksgiving on Black Friday, but with morning email volume spiking at 9:00 and steadily dropping throughout the day. But, again, site traffic peaks early afternoon and remains high throughout the afternoon and evening.
Tip: Send at least three email messages - one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening to ensure you are at the top of the inbox.
Cyber Monday 2016, as expected, had email volume spike at 8:00 am and 11:00 am, and again at 8:00 pm while site traffic steadily increased from 7:00 am, spiking around 9:00 - 10:00 pm.
Tip: Don't be afraid to send three or more messages on Cyber Monday. Consider offering different deals throughout the day to keep messaging fresh.
The NRF found that 27% of consumers begin shopping for the holidays at the beginning of December, and with Cyber Monday falling in November this year, it's important to keep your campaigns going strong that whole week.
Tip: Create a deployment schedule that will keep customers engaged throughout Cyber Week. Monitor your site traffic and send during the traffic spikes.
Other things to know
- The NRF projects holiday sales to increase 3.6% - 4.0% this year
- There are 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, one more than 2016. Christmas falls on a Monday, meaning there are five full weekends in the holiday season
- We are expecting email volume to increase as well. Email volume during the 2016 holiday season increased 38.5% over 2015, and we're expecting another double digit increase this year
- Customers want messages that are personalized to their needs and experiences. Product recommendations onsite and in emails help customers make purchasing decisions and will increase engagement and sales. In 2016, 54% of shoppers utilized the personalized product recommendations they received from retailers, and we expect that number to increase this year.
Email volume is expected to rise this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that every shopper will receive the same message. We expect marketers to send more sophisticated campaigns, including segmented messages, product recommendations, predictive content and more. We also expect to see more integrated campaigns as marketers implement SMS, display and social marketing into their holiday strategies. Are you ready? Talk to your Listrak Account Manager or contact us for more details.