3 Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Email Marketing Predictions

In advance of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, here are three email marketing predictions to consider while you’re enjoying spending time with your family:

1. Thanksgiving Day will surpass Black Friday. With more retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day and, more importantly, smartphones and tablets making online shopping easy while at grandma’s, Thanksgiving is the new unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. Robust sales growth over the past two Thanksgivings demonstrates that there’s strong consumer demand, despite all the handwringing over commercialism taking over this family holiday. I predict that within three years online sales on Thanksgiving Day will surpass those on Black Friday.

2. Cyber Monday will retain its throne as the busiest e-commerce and email marketing day of the year. Despite strong gains on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, neither of those days will catch Cyber Monday, which has been the biggest e-commerce day for the past two years and, according to our tracking, the busiest email marketing day of the year for the past five years.

3. Nearly two-thirds of major retailers will offer free shipping throughout the holiday season. During the holidays, free shipping with a minimum purchase has become an expectation, not an incentive. The new shipping incentives are free shipping with no minimum purchase, especially on Free Shipping Day; free or discounted express shipping, especially on Last Sleigh Day, when guaranteed Christmas delivery with express shipping ends; and free return shipping. Last year, 55 percent of major retailers offered free shipping throughout the holiday season. This year, I predict nearly two-thirds will.

Chad White is the research director at Responsys, as well as the founder of the Retail Email Blog, which monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers.

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