Holiday Season Email Marketing Highlights

Chad White

The email marketing holiday season was a wild ride -- one that looked considerably different from past years and will surely set the tone for the 2012 holiday season. Here are some of the highlights that made this holiday season remarkable:

Retailers relied more on email marketing during the holiday season, especially early and late. Email volume continued to increase at above average rates during the holiday season, growing 20% during November and December compared to the same time period in 2010. Retailers once again extended Black Friday pricing and deals into early November as part of much better branded “Black November” campaigns. And email volume remained at or near the all-time high for three of the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

Thanksgiving Day is the new kickoff of the holiday shopping season. In 2011, 75% of major retailers sent at least one promotional email to their subscribers on Thanksgiving Day, making it the No. 3 email marketing day of the year behind Cyber Monday (No. 1) and Black Friday (No. 2). That was up from only 60% in 2010 and just 45% in 2009. This ncrease supported a huge leap in online sales, which rose 39.3% compared to Thanksgiving Day 2010, according to Coremetrics.

Big-box retailers opening their stores on Thanksgiving very quickly turned it into a highly promotional and hotly contested shopping day. This shift has been further catalyzed by ...

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