Retail Email Shows YOY Spike in Feb.

February 28, 2011

retail-email-index-feb-2011.JPGThe top online retailers sent each of their subscribers 2.9 promotional emails on average during the week ending Feb. 25, 2011, according to Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the Retail Email Blog. That’s down 1% week-over-week, down 1% from where it was four weeks ago, and up 16% year-over-year.

During January and February 2011, retail email volume has been up substantially from where it was a year earlier. The impending Valentine’s Day holiday (Feb. 14) caused a notable week-over-week jump in average promotional retail email volume to 3.2 during the week ending Feb. 11, but otherwise average weekly email volume remained steadily between 2.8 and 3.

Late Easter Causes Seasonal Slump

retail-email-seasonality-feb-2011.JPGResponsys analysis indicates that promotional emails related to the Easter holiday do not typically pick up until three weeks before the holiday. Since Easter this year falls very late on April 24, mentions of Easter were negligible during February and are not expected to break 5% of total volume before the beginning of April.

Valentine’s Day messages accounted for a high of almost 35% of all promotional retail emails sent the week ending Feb. 11 and then plummeted, while Presidents’ Day messaging (Feb. 21) hit a high of 20% the week ending Feb. 25.

Looking ahead, currently negligible volume of St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) messaging should start picking up next week.

Thursday Popular Email Day

retail-email-participation-feb-2011.JPGThursday, Feb. 24 was the most popular day to send retail emails last week, with 50% of major online retailers sending at least one promotional email that day. Monday, Feb. 21 (Presidents’ Day) closely followed with 47% of major online retailers sending at least one promotional email. Saturday, Feb. 19 was the least popular day (17%).

In one unusual circumstance, although Sunday is usually the second-least-popular day of the week for retailers to send promotional emails, Sunday, Feb. 20 (35%) had a volume slightly higher than Wed. Feb. 23 (34%).

9 in 10 Email Users Have Unsubscribed

Nine in 10 (91%) US email users have subscribed to a company’s email and later decided they don’t want to receive it, according to a recent report from Exact Target and CoTweet. Data from “The Social Break-up” also indicates 18% of email users say they never open email from companies, and 77% of all US online consumers say they have become more cautious in the past year about giving their email addresses to companies.

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