by Jess Nelson
As the month of August begins and students prepare to go back to school, marketers are likely already thinking of the next major retail season: the winter holidays.
Yes Lifecycle Marketing,
a multichannel marketing provider, examined the effectiveness of holiday email campaigns in its study, Holiday Email Marketing Guide: How Day of the Week and Offer
Type Impact Email Performance. Derived from an analysis of almost 8 billion emails sent from the company’s email service during the last quarter of 2016, the report suggests that consumers
are actually more likely to ignore holiday-themed emails and engage with business-as-usual marketing.
Holiday-themed emails generated a 14.6% lower open rate when compared to regular email
marketing campaigns, according to the study. Furthermore, emails without holiday offers in their subject line were more likely to be opened than emails touting holiday promotions.
no secret that consumers are inundated with email during the last few months of the calendar year, and that email overflow is likely turning consumers away from holiday marketing. Fifty-five percent
of brands analyzed sent a holiday-oriented email campaign last year, and overall, brands sent 14.5% more emails during fourth-quarter 2016 when compared to the rest of the year.
“It’s not a question of whether marketers are sending too many holiday emails, but rather we’re seeing an issue with the content relevance of those emails,” says Gurjit
Sandhu, senior marketing specialist at Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “In general, holiday-themed campaigns experienced lower open rates than business-as-usual emails in Q4 2016, however, they often
resulted in higher conversions. Emails that addressed specific holidays like Halloween and Black Friday tended to convert better than general holiday emails — emails that reference the
holiday season without specifying a particular holiday.”
Some specific holidays outperformed others. For example, Green Monday campaigns boosted conversions by nearly 300% compared
to traditional email marketing. Again, a correlation with email inundation appears, as only 6% of brands send a Green Monday campaign last year. Thanksgiving and New Year’s, on the other hand,
generally performed worse in terms of conversion rates compared to standard campaigns.
Sandhu says marketers need to be more strategic when developing their holiday marketing plan.
“By listening to their customer data and taking advantage of emerging holiday trends, marketers can create relevant campaigns that appeal to holiday shoppers,” she
Clear, unique, and timely offers, she says, are best to incentivize customers to open emails and eventually make a purchase.
“If you want to stand out,
consider pairing a strong offer with a subject line that conveys a sense of urgency,” recommends Sandhu. “We saw that for all holidays analyzed, those with a clear incentive drove the