If sending volume is any indicator, email marketers are out to make this holiday season more impactful than ever. Using our consumer data network to analyze messages delivered to Gmail’s promotions tab, we found during the last 15 days of November marketers sent far more messages this year than they did in 2014.
On Cyber Monday alone, subscribers typically received 92 percent more promotional messages than they did last year. During the entire span the average subscriber received anywhere from 11 to 17 messages a day, up from nine to 12 in 2104.
What impact did this amount of messaging have on subscribers? We looked at the three busiest mailing days in November and saw that marketers aren’t holding back this holiday season, making the competition for subscribers’ attention in the inbox tougher than ever.
In 2014, Thanksgiving was the third-highest sending day of the season, but this year it was knocked down to fourth place, surpassed by Tuesday, Nov. 24 as marketers increased their efforts to drum up excitement for holiday shopping early in the week. That doesn’t mean sending volumes dipped, though: Marketers sent more than twice as many Thanksgiving Day messages this year.
But the sending frenzy made it more difficult to engage subscribers, who only read 10 percent of the messages they received — a 15 percent drop from 2014 when they read more than 12 percent of their promotional mail. Of course this decline didn’t offset the surge of volume, so consumers collectively read far more email marketing messages than they did last year.
According to our data, 95 percent more messages landed in Gmail’s promotions tab on Black Friday than in 2014: Subscribers received an average of 17 messages. But was this too much? With the increased sending came a 12 percent drop in read rate from last year (10 percent vs. nearly 12 percent in 2014) suggesting that subscribers were slightly less engaged overall.