With Christmas over and done with, we’re already looking towards the holidays yet to come. And what better way to analyze holiday marketing than to take a brief look back at last month’s Cyber Monday extravaganza? As Cyber Monday wrapped up, the digital marketing community finally got a chance to sit back and analyze their results. By taking a look at the numbers, the kickoff to the holiday season was a huge success for retailers. According to an online retail benchmark study conducted by IBM, Cyber Monday 2011 outpaced the Black Friday that fell just a few days before it by 29.3% in terms of sales. In comparison to the same Monday in 2010, its performance was up by 33%. That one day alone brought home well over $1 billion in sales. With numbers like this, it is easy to see why John Squire, Chief Strategy Officer of IBM’S Smarter Commerce division, hailed Cyber Monday as the clear cut victor of the 2011Thanksgiving shopping season. Retailers relied on a host of tactics to drive their promotional efforts, and many decided that email would be the workhorse to carry them to the finish line. Who were the winners and losers? While all that is still being determined, there are a few important lessons that have been learned from Cyber Monday. Email Marketers Weren’t Prepared for Mobile IBM’s research shows that mobile shoppers were out in full force on Cyber Monday. According to its study, mobile sales this year were nearly triple of what was calculated in 2010, a sign that brands who planned for smartphone and tablet devices and optimized to accommodate the mobile shopper made out nicely. What is interesting about this is how email marketers failed to capitalize on the mobile trend. Social Wasn’t a Big Factor Here’s a bit of surprising news. While social media did have an impact on holiday shopping, it was not as big a factor as you may have thought. According to the IBM study, social accounted for just 0.56% of all online sales on Cyber Monday. Its influence on Black Friday sales was even less at only 0.53%. However, social media may have played a bigger role than we will ever know by generating chatter that led to sales. IBM’s data shows that social discussion heading into Cyber Monday 2011 grew by 115% in comparison to 2010. Subject Lines Were Dressed for the Occasion Sometimes the difference between success and failure could be the appeal of your subject lines. That definitely looks like it could have been the case this year. Data compiled by eDataSource shows that 1,252 of the 7,520 permission-based commercial emails it monitored used “Cyber Monday” in the subject line. 1,440 of them used the term “Cyber.” While it is safe to assume that this subject line tactic was effective for some, I can’t help but wonder how many marketers struck out by using it. Unopened messages have a habit of blending in with the rest of the inbox when all the subject lines look similar on first glance. Cyber Monday was without a doubt one of the biggest parts of the holiday shopping phenomenon, but the metrics for Christmas are still to come. Will email marketers learn from their mistakes, or continue to swing and miss? With so many research parties working diligently to track down the results and transform them into comprehensive data, something tells me that we will all know soon enough.
If you haven’t heard of this one yet, you’re not alone, but in the pantheon of after-Thanksgiving sales and events, this one is Benchmark’s favorite. Small Business Saturday takes place the day after Black Friday, and it’s an event that celebrates and encourages small businesses across the country. Whether you are a small business, support small businesses or are looking to start a small business, this is your day to get the word out. Benchmark Email has created 3 Small Business Saturday templates for you to customize. Email your subscribers and let them know about a sale or discount you’re offering to the folks who brave the weather and turkey-induced comas of the days before. There’s no time to lose! Click on the link to learn more and customize a free Small Business Saturday Email Template today! Benchmark has HTML email templates for any occasion! Check them out by following the link to our custom newsletter page.
Black Friday has become a phenomenon. Mere hours after being stuffed to the brim with turkey and all the accoutrements, we stand in lines that wind around the corner from our local mega-store for bargain basement prices. I have to admit, I am guilty of this myself and on more than one occasion. One year, we spent several hours hanging out with my friend\'s dad before he had to go into work as an early morning radio sports reporter. He was even kind enough to give us a shout out on the radio, though we could have done without being called crazy idiots. Last year, I was in dire need of a new television. The TV in my apartment had broken, and the part needed was irreparable. Since the TV had been discontinued, it would cost less to buy a new one than to fix the old one. I did my research and found a decent enough TV at an excellent price. I volunteered to go pick it up too. Wow, was I unprepared. There was a line that stretched halfway around the building. Throngs of people sat wrapped in blankets, reading books, playing cards… you name it. I resorted to playing games on my phone. That is until the battery died an hour into my wait. Many of the people in line didn\'t even know what they were looking for. They just wanted to buy as much stuff on sale as possible. The representatives at the mega-store I was at handed out brochures and sales sheets to everyone in line. I couldn\'t help but think how much more effective it would have been to send them emails with all that information. Get ready for your big sales with a Benchmark Black Friday email template View all Email Templates Black Friday shopping strategies: - Research the best sales and prices well before Thanksgiving. - Get there plenty early, and bring activities and snacks. - Go with friends. Time will go by faster. - Look for online only Black Friday specials (and laugh at us fools in line at 2am). - Make a list. Don\'t let all the sales prices lure you in. You could end up spending way more than you intended if you succumb to impulse purchases. Sample subject lines: - Black Friday deals leave you with more green - Your wallet will be the one stuffed after Thanksgiving - Big savings on Black Friday from [your company]