Promotional Email Volume Drops Again

December 28, 2010

retail-email-index-dec-28-2010.JPGTop online retailers sent each of their subscribers 4.2 promotional emails on average during the week ending Dec. 24, 2010, according to Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog. That’s down 5% week-over-week from 4.4 promotional emails, up 1% from a little more than four promotional emails four weeks ago, and up 30% year-over-year from about 3.2 promotional emails.

Promotional email volume dropped for the second straight week after steadily rising every week from October 29, 2010 to December 10, 2010, when promotional email volume hit an all-time high average of 4.6.

Promotional Emails Peak on Tuesday

retail-email-participation-dec-28-2010.JPGTuesday, December 22 was the most popular day to send retail emails last week, with 62% of major online retailers sending subscribers at least one promotional email that day. This was followed by Monday, December 21, when 57% of major online retailers sending subscribers at least one promotional email.

Promotional email volume declined each day the rest of the week, hitting a week-low average of 36% on Friday, December 24 (Christmas Eve). This created the unusual situation where Saturday, December 18 was not the day of the week with the lowest volume (it narrowly beat Friday with 39% of major online retailers sending subscribers at least one promotional email).

New Year’s Messaging to Spike

retail-email-seasonality-dec-28-2010.JPGThe Retail Email Blog predicts New Year’s messaging will ramp up this week and spike next week as holiday messaging declines. The last holiday messaging is not expected to wrap up until the end of January or early February as retailers message after-Christmas sales, gift card redemptions, and other post-holiday offers.

For the second straight week, about 90% of promotional retail emails mentioned Christmas/holidays. New Year’s messaging slightly climbed but well less than 10% of promotional retail emails mentioned the New Year’s holiday.

Online Spending Grows 17% Final Holiday Weekend

The final shopping weekend before Christmas (Dec. 18-19, 2010) reached $900 million in retail e-commerce spending, representing a strong 17% growth rate compared to$767 million last year, according to comScore data. For the first 49 days of the November – December 2010 holiday season (Nov. 1 – Dec. 19), $28.36 billion has been spent online, marking a 12% increase from $25.27 billion the corresponding days last year. Overall online spending during the 2010 holiday season has consistently been running 12% higher than equivalent periods last year as measured by comScore.

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