By all measures, the 2010 holiday ecommerce shopping season was a great success. According to a comScore report, shoppers spent a record $32.6 billion online this past holiday shopping season, and overall sales were 12 percent higher than 2009's $29.1 billion.
Email marketing clearly played a key role in this success and growth. A survey by ForeSee Results found that 19 percent of 2010 holiday shoppers came to a website primarily because of a promotional email, while 8 percent arrived via search engine results and only 5 percent used social media.
Most retailers used a significant increase in frequency, typically about a doubling of "normal" cadence, to help drive holiday conversions and revenue. But many also added additional message streams to their programs as well as promotions such as free shipping, "Friends and Family" and heavy discounts.
While free-shipping offers have been popular the last few years, 2010 seemed to be the year they become ubiquitous. Further, the use of shipping deadlines and offline and online shopping "events" are driving a series of email "sending waves."
Shipping deadlines and shopping-days promotions are keyed to several dates in the post-Halloween to New Year's shopping season, including:
- Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2010)
- Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving – November 26, 2010)
- Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving - November 29, 2010)
- Green Monday (second Monday in December - December 13 in 2010)
- Free Shipping Day (December 17 in 2010)
- Shipping cut-off deadlines (e.g., ground, 2-day and overnight)
- New Year's
This approach emerged as a key trend during a recent Webinar I moderated with Tracy Taylor of King Arthur Flour and Laura Hnatow of Cuddledown, discussing what worked and what didn't in the 2010 shopping season.
Hear our discussion on the recorded Webinar and download the slide presentation so you can follow along and view the email creatives that worked for these two retailers.
I'd love to hear your thoughts below on what worked best for your company in the 2010 holiday season.