Study Suggests Email Marketers Shouldn't Be Afraid Of High Volumes For Holidays

Chris CrumBusiness

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Are you concerned about consumers disregarding your holiday emails? Well, don't be.

Yesmail has a new study out finding that average monthly email volume increased 46% quarter-over-quarter for Q3 and Q4 2014 while average open rates remained steady at 15%. Meanwhile, holiday-themed open rates jumped from 14.2% in 2013 to 15.1% in 2014.

The company says the study suggests that increased volume during the holidays this year will not have an adverse effect on engagement levels.

"From back-to-school to Black Friday, all holidays lend themselves to one thing: an increase in promotional emails," a spokesperson for Yesmail tells WebProNews. "Though society assumes consumers disregard a large volume of holiday emails, their behavior indicates otherwise, and it’s paying off for retailers."

How do you feel about holiday promotions? Have you noticed an adverse effect on engagement? Let us know in the comments.

The study found that eighty-three percent of retailers sent general "holiday" or winter-themed campaigns, which is higher than any holiday-specific campaign in 2014.

Back-to-school, Black Friday, Thanksgiving and general holidays saw higher open rates when deployed closer to the holiday, it found, while Halloween, Cyber Monday and Christmas emails saw open rates decline as the holiday approached, suggesting the earlier the deployment of the campaign the better.

Christmas-themed emails sent in the days after the holiday saw a 15.7% open rate, compared to 14.9% for other communications deployed over the same timeframe.

“Consistent open rates while volume is spiking can be in part due to more strategic email marketing programs,” said Michael Fisher, President of Yes Lifecycle Marketing at Yesmail. “Brands are creating better mobile experiences, developing comprehensive segmentation strategies, and implementing advanced personalization. These practices translate into more informed campaigns that achieve better inboxing rates.”

You can find the full report here.

Earlier this month, we looked at a study from Return Path, which suggested that marketers should send more emails, just not to the recipient's primary account, but to a secondary one.

“As complaints increase, read rates decline with increased frequency, however the threshold at which more complaints offset the benefit of more reads is quite high,” a spokesperson for Return Path explained in an email to WebProNews. “Among highly active email users, most tolerate up to an average of five messages per week before complaints offset increases in messages read.”

“Primary users, whose accounts are most actively checked, are the key audience marketers should optimize their programs for, as they represent the majority of reads as well as complaints,” the spokesperson adds. “Primary accounts make up only 24% of all email accounts yet they represent 83% of all messages read. While primary users are highly engaged, they are also not shy in voicing their displeasure, accounting for half of total email complaints. Secondary accounts holder, whose accounts are less actively checked, are more tolerant; they are less than half as likely as primary account holders to complain.”

And according to Custora, overall during the holiday period last year, email marketing drove 17.7% of online orders, making it the third largest channel after organic search (21%) and paid search (17.5%).

Are you confident with high volumes during holidays? Or are you afraid of being ignored? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Thinkstock

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.