3 Email Marketing Trends From Cyber Monday and Black Friday
1. The emergence of Cyber Sunday. In an effort to get a jump on Cyber Monday, when inboxes are super crowded, a growing number of retailers began sending their campaigns on Nov. 29 this year — Cyber Sunday — particularly after 5 p.m. EST.
Sears, for example, emailed subscribers on Cyber Sunday to let them know Cyber Monday deals were available starting at 8 p.m. that evening. Sunday is generally not a very popular day with email marketers, but on Cyber Sunday 45 percent of major online retailers sent at least one email, making it the busiest Sunday ever for retail email marketing.
2. Growing comfort with the term “Cyber Monday.” While the percentage of retailers sending email on Cyber Monday crept up only slightly, the number of retail emails referring to Cyber Monday by name rose 54 percent this year compared to last. This is a sign that retailers are becoming much more comfortable with the term and confident that consumers recognize the term, thanks to plenty of mainstream media coverage.
Still, a number of retailers just couldn’t quite bring themselves to say “Cyber Monday.” Sam’s Club, for example, held a “Cyber Event” and Nike had a “CyberSale.” There were still plenty of retailers that held generic one-day, online-only sales. I expect fewer holdouts next year.
3. More of a buildup to Black Friday. In addition to the large increase in the number of retailers sending promotional emails on Black Friday itself, retailers promoted Black Friday in their emails much more vigorously and much earlier. During the four weeks leading up to Nov. 27, the number of retail emails referencing Black Friday rose 96 percent this year compared to 2008.
Starting on Nov. 14, for example, Overstock.com began including a banner in its emails counting down until Black Friday and providing a link to a preview of the deals.
Chad White is the research director for Smith-Harmon, a Responsys Co. Chad is also the author of the Retail Email Blog, which tracks the email marketing campaigns of top online retailers. Reach Chad at email@example.com.
Chad S. White is the author of "Email Marketing Rules" and research director at Litmus, which provides email teams with powerful tools for email creation, testing, analytics, and collaboration. He has written more than 3,000 posts and articles about email marketing trends and best practices. A former journalist, Chad previously served as lead email marketing researcher at Salesforce.com, ExactTarget, Responsys, and the Direct Marketing Association.