If you opened your email inbox this past holiday week, you were a part of history in the making. According to Chad White of the Retail Email Blog, “The record-setting Cyber Monday helped propel email volume over the 5-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend to an all-time high. Major online retailers sent each of their subscribers an all-time high of 5.3 promotional emails on average during the 5-day period beginning on Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday. That was an 18% increase over the same period last year.” Furthermore, Chad states, “On Thanksgiving, more than 83% of major online retailers sent their subscribers at least one promotional email, setting an all-time record for the day. In 2011, 75% of retailers sent their subscribers email on Thanksgiving; in 2010, 60% did; and in 2009, just 45% did.”

At VerticalResponse, we sent over 157 million emails on behalf of our customers from Wednesday, November 21 through Cyber Monday, November 26. With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday all occurring in a five-day period, we knew email volume would be record setting. What we found interesting was the number of customers who sent their campaigns on Wednesday, November 21 – A head start (2 full days early) on Black Friday promotions. In fact, our customers sent more campaigns on Wednesday than they did on Black Friday or Cyber Monday as illustrated below:


However, the actual number of emails sent was highest on Cyber Monday as illustrated below:


We’ve also seen many Cyber Monday promotions extended beyond the initial one-day savings, turning the weekend sales into a nearly 2-week affair. With the addition of #GivingTuesday, many non-profits and charitable organizations joined the hunt for inbox dominance.

According to the National Retail Federation, all that email is paying off in the form of sales. “A record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year. Making sure to take advantage of retailers’ promotions to the full extent, the average holiday shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion.” The NRF also states, “consumers also spent more of their holiday budget online. According to the survey, the average person spent $172.42 online over the weekend, or approximately 40.7 percent of their total weekend spending, up from 37.8 percent last year.”

And, we’ve still got over a full month until 2012 comes to a close. Will more record email volumes be sent in the course of the next 4 weeks? You know we’ll be keeping our eyes on it, and give you the details.

© 2012, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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