This is the fourth and final installment in a series of articles that looks at the ecommerce holiday marketing landscape. In this article, learn about the discounting competition that occurs for consumers’ attention during and following the Christmas holiday. Competition is defined as the total number of campaigns sent on a daily basis.
You’ve conquered Cyber Weekend. Your holiday marketing strategy drove significant revenue for your brand over this critical weekend and your brand’s grown as a result. But just because Cyber Weekend 2019 has come and gone doesn’t mean your work is done. You’re now ready to close out the 2019 holiday sales season with a final push.
This year, the holiday marketing landscape is extra competitive since there are only 22 days between Cyber Weekend and Christmas. Over the last few weeks, we’ve explored the competition that occurs for consumers’ attention in their inboxes during this heightened time of year to help you get a leg up on the competition.
So far, we’ve seen how brands used discount-focused emails during the holidays to compete. Then, we examined what types of discounts performed best across different industries—dollars-off or percentage-off promotions. And we’ve explored why you need a post-Cyber Weekend holiday marketing strategy to finish out the holiday season.
While there are still three weeks until Christmas to meet or exceed your holiday sales goals, many brands will soon be closing their fiscal year on December 31st or working toward month-end sales goals if their fiscal year wraps up during another month. Ecommerce marketers and entrepreneurs will seek out last-minute opportunities to close the gap on 2019 revenue goals—or better, drive more growth if you’ve already exceeded your goals for the quarter.
In today’s fourth and final installment of this series, we’ll take a closer look at why you need a strategy to compete during the final week of the year—specifically, December 25th through December 31st.
While most brands spend months planning their Cyber Weekend and holiday marketing strategies, we were curious about what happens just after Christmas. Does competition remain as strong as it does earlier in the season? We had a hunch it would, especially when you consider how many gift cards go into circulation during the holidays.
Gift cards, across many categories, are the number two type of gift consumers plan to give this year, according to Deloitte’s 2019 holiday retail survey.
With so many gift cards in shoppers’ hands after the holidays and with just seven days left to drive any year-end revenue after Christmas, the last week of the year is a prime opportunity for brands to try and engage their customers to win their gift card dollars.
To understand the competition that occurs during this last week of the year, we once again turned again to Evan Cover on our business intelligence team to see what you can expect during this time of year. The data is based on 135,000 emails sent by 5,000 brands during the 2018 holiday season (November 1-December 31, 2018) representing $425 million dollars in sales.
Let’s take a look at the overall volume of emails that brands sent during December 25-31,2018 and how things break down by day during this timeframe.
A look at the post-Christmas competition
Of the 135,000 campaigns that Evan analyzed, brands sent approximately 11,000 campaigns between Tuesday, December 25, 2018 and Monday, December 31, 2018. Of the total campaigns sent, 45 percent contained a discount in the subject line. While brands sent more non-discount-focused campaigns per day during this timeframe (842) than discount-focused campaigns (693), it’s still a very competitive space to win your customers’ attention.
Campaigns sent during December 25-31, 2018 (overall)
|Timeframe: Tuesday 12/25 - Monday 12/31 (2018)|
|Total campaigns sent||10,749|
|Non-discount-focused campaigns sent (total)||5,895 (55%)|
|Discount-focused campaigns sent (total)||4,854 (45%)|
|Average non-discount-focused campaigns sent (per day)||842|
|Average discount-focused campaigns sent (per day)||693|
Campaigns sent during December 25-31, 2018 (per day)
|2018 timeframe (Sunday-Saturday)||Non-discount-focused campaigns sent per day||Discount-focused campaigns sent per day|
|Tuesday, 12/25 (Christmas Day)||819||408|
|Monday, 12/31 (New Year’s Eve)||1,030||814|
In the seven day period Evan analyzed, brands sent 21 percent more non-discount-focused campaigns but the distribution of those overall campaigns sent across the days he analyzed is vastly different.
During this last week of the year, brands sent the greatest volume of discount-focused campaigns on December 26, 2018—the day immediately following Christmas when many consumers are either off from work or anticipate a slow day at the office, which makes it a prime day for brands to try to engage consumers.
Across the final days of 2019, there was a small uptick in discount-focused campaigns sent on New Year’s Eve (Monday, December 31), but it’s likely that most brands chose to wait until New Year’s Day to launch any sort of large campaign (that’s an analysis for another day).
On the non-discount-focused side of the story, the most competitive day in the inbox was Friday, December 28th followed immediately by New Year’s Eve Day (Monday, December 31st). Interestingly, these findings aligned with earlier findings about the most competitive days of the week between Cyber Weekend and Christmas.
Evan also dove into the metrics for these campaigns on a daily level and, aside from the high levels of competition in the immediate days following Christmas and the high volume of discount-focused sends on December 26th, he didn’t find any other notable details to share.
A live holiday email marketing dashboard
While this brings us to the end of this particular series exploring the holiday marketing landscape, there’s still more to explore.
Data from 2018 clearly shows there’s much to be learned from the 7X increase in email competition that occurs during Thanksgiving week to the best days to either send or avoid sending emails between Cyber Monday and Christmas.
Based on the key findings about the competition that occurs for consumers’ attention and in conjunction with how short the 2019 holiday marketing season is, we created a live holiday email marketing dashboard to help you compete throughout the rest of the season.
While the holiday season will be over soon, use this information to test your messages and optimize your strategy throughout the rest of the holiday season and as you prepare for the year ahead.
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