Introduction and Key Takeaways

•We looked at Holiday-related email for the early interim period between Cyber .Monday week and Christmas. Our focus was on the week ending 12/14, which was also “Green Monday.”
•We screened for select subject line references including certain incentive keywords, to determine extent of use and engagement levels. Keywords of primary interest included: Sale, Save, Percent-Off, and Free-shipping. Many of these are used in combination.
•The following slides show what we found for each, along with an example of the best performing emails in each category.

•Takeaways:

• We detected very little Green Monday activity — even expanding the view to the month prior.
• Cyber Monday-themed mail actually continued, but at a very low level.
• Inevitably, in the white-hot competitive retail drive associated with Holiday, emails are highly promotional, Most subject lines and associated content clearly reference various types of direct discounting.
• Percent-off references are the most heavily used, variously, from 20% up to 70%, with the preponderance on the lower end of that range.
• Sale and Save are also heavily used, but each at about one-third the level of percent-off.
• Free-shipping is used, but at a surprisingly low- level (in the subject lines); i.e., at about one- third the level of Sale and Save.

Green MondayScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.55.56 PM

•Did you know that December 14th was Green Monday? Not many other people did either. We saw very little mail deployed around that theme over the month preceding its date. Engagement levels are lower than those observed in the email-types shown below.

•Best performer example: Sports Memorabilia.com
• Subject: Green Monday Special Offer Inside + 50% Off, Ends at Midnight
• Read: 33%Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.55.36 PM

Cyber MondayScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.07.48 PM

•Believe it or not, there was still Cyber Monday themed email — though not very much — being deployed during the week after Cyber Monday week ended.
•Best performer example: America’s Test Kitchen
• Subject: Who says Cyber Monday sales can’t last all week?
• Read: 47%Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.07.39 PM

 

SaveScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.05.44 PM

•“Save” references occurred frequently in Holiday emails over the past week.
•Best performer example: Sports Authority
• Subject: FLASH SALE! Last chance to save 20%.
• Read: 38%Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.05.32 PM

SaleScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.02.46 PM

•“Sale” references occurred somewhat more frequently than “Save” in Holiday emails over the past week; often without any reference to Holiday (in the subject line).
•Best performer example: Pier 1
• Subject: A standout sale
• Read: 31%Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.02.58 PM

Precent OffScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 1.54.37 PM

•“Percent-off” references occurred with the greatest frequency
•Best performer example: Robert Mondavi Winery
• Subject: 🎄 20% OFF + Last Chance for On- Time Delivery!
• Read: 31%

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 1.54.19 PM

 

Free ShippingScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 1.29.54 PM

• “Free-shipping” references, surprisingly, occurred (in subject lines) with relatively low frequency, and almost always in conjunction with other offer incentives
•Best performer example: Coldwater Creek
• Subject: ENDS TODAY! 1 Day Only! ALL orders get an EXTRA 25% OFF Regular & Sale prices + FREE Shipping
• Read: 33%

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 1.41.50 PM

 

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