Marketers sent a record volume of email during the holidays and although overall open rates declined, the record level of email marketing activity produced transactions and sales growth, according to Experian Marketing Services.
Experian said that email volume increased 13% during the holiday season and was driven by a nearly 36% increase during the final 10 days before Christmas. While email click-through rates and transaction metrics decreased year over year, the increase in email volume led to a 9% rise in the number of total transactions from email marketing campaigns and an 18.4% increase in overall revenue.
“Marketers have become more sophisticated in their email marketing strategies, and we’re seeing that reflected in the data,” noted Peter DeNunzio, general manager of cross-channel marketing with Experian Marketing Services. “Traditionally, as email volume increases, performance decreases, but in the 2013 holiday season we saw the opposite. An increase in total transactions and revenue tells us that leading marketers have found their stride, sending more relevant emails to each customer based on his or her unique needs.”
According to the company, two of the top 10 transaction days of the 2013 holiday season occurred during the first half of November. In 2012, the earliest top 10 transaction day was the day before Thanksgiving. In 2013, Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 made it into the top 10, coming in at 7th and 5th, respectively.
"With Thanksgiving late again in 2014, the key lesson for marketers is that there is an opportunity to win early in the season and before the weekend,” said DeNunzio.