By John Landsman, Director of Strategy and Analytics

When we published our Mother’s Day Nugget a few weeks ago, we predicted that Father’s Day would “cast a smaller shadow”. We were wrong. Perhaps Father’s Day casts a smaller shadow of possible guilt, but its number of related email campaigns is almost twice as large. Dads definitely rule on this one. Here’s what we found (detail in table below):
  • For the thirty days ended June 19th, we detected over 15,000 emails themed to Father’s Day. This volume is 11% more than deployed during the comparable period in 2015. Only a relative trickle of Father’s Day emails appeared before mid-May.
  • Extending a pattern we’ve noted in reporting previous similar events, year-over-year read rate performance has deteriorated.  In 2015, 19% of detected emails had read rates exceeding 20%.  In 2016, that proportion had dropped to 15%.   Brands with declining read rates should be exploring opportunities for improvement.
  • About 2.5% of emails sent in both years reflected a dual “Dads & Grads” theme.  Although these emails reflect somewhat stronger read rate performance than the overall Father’s Day volume, a substantially smaller proportion had read rates exceeding 20% in 2016, than in 2015.

  • Extensive mailing activity took place on Father’s Day itself: 729 campaigns mailed, many deploying throughout the afternoon.
  • Once again, most of the biggest national retail brands were comparatively quiet for Father’s Day: Amazon (94 related campaigns), Walmart (22), Kohl’s (13), Macy’s (11), and Target (1).
  •  Examples (see table below) of high-performing Father’s Day emails show a range of subject lines whose explicit product references strongly outweigh any price-promotional focus.  Top read rate honors on this list go to a Disney Interactive email which connects Father’s Day to Disney Princesses.  Ancestry.com deserves an honorable mention for positioning its AncestryDNA service as a Father’s Day gift.

 

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