StrongMail Study Reveals Email is Still the Leading Driver of Holiday Purchase Decisions

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Zumba Fitness Achieves Record-breaking Sales Figures During 2012 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping Season Using StrongMail's Email Marketing Solutions

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StrongMail - Email Marketing and Cross-Channel Marketing Solutions

Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns outperformed our 2011 campaigns by 400 percent, which is a testament to the marketing optimization we were able to achieve using StrongMail.

StrongMail, a leading provider of email marketing and cross-channel marketing solutions for enterprises, today revealed findings from its inaugural Holiday Retail Marketing Survey. With comScore reporting that Cyber Week alone had record-breaking online sales that topped $5 billion, StrongMail commissioned its own holiday shopping study to help understand how retailers’ marketing efforts directly affected the purchasing habits of U.S. online consumers, including the effectiveness of email versus other marketing channels.

The survey, conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of StrongMail from January 7-9, 2013 among 2,166 online adults ages 18 and older, found that 67 percent of U.S. online consumers made a purchase from a retailer during the 2012 holiday season as a result of a sale or promotion. Of those who made a purchase from a retailer as a result of a sale/promotion this past holiday season, more than half (51 percent) said an email from a retailer influenced their purchase decision, followed by TV ads (45 percent), print ads (newspaper/magazine) (42 percent) and online advertising (33 percent). Despite retailers’ emphasis on new social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, social media only influenced 17 percent of U.S. consumer purchase decisions.

“Email has typically been our strongest medium in terms of marketing effectiveness, and this year in particular was a huge success,” says Wayne Miller, digital marketing manager at Zumba Fitness, the global multimedia fitness leader and creator of the acclaimed Zumba® dance-fitness party. “Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns outperformed our 2011 campaigns by 400 percent, which is a testament to the marketing optimization we were able to achieve using StrongMail. We targeted some of our most engaged users with relevant messaging and content, resulting in our campaign success far exceeding our expectations.”

The U.S. consumer is continually on the hunt for deals and sales. That was even more evident during the holidays, as 74 percent of people signed up for email notifications from retailers to get coupons, while 66 percent signed up for sales announcements. It’s not all good news for retailers indiscriminately blasting out promotional emails though. Among those U.S. online adults who unsubscribed from retailer email notifications this past holiday season, 65 percent say they unsubscribed from two to five emails; a few key reasons:

  •     67 percent said they just received too many emails
  •     45 percent were no longer interested in that retailer and their goods/services
  •     37 percent said content of the emails were no longer relevant

“With retailers generating a large percentage of their annual revenue during the holiday shopping season, it's imperative that marketers understand and invest in the right channels to maximize conversions – and email clearly leads the pack,” said Kara Trivunovic, vice president of marketing services at StrongMail. “The effort and expense required to properly optimize email programs can really pay off, as demonstrated by many of StrongMail's retail clients who saw as much as a 4X increase in revenue over the holiday season."


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of StrongMail from Jan. 7-9, 2013 among 2,166 adults ages 18 and older; of whom 1,482 were identified as having made a purchase from a retailer as a result of a sale and or promotion this season; 859 were identified as having unsubscribed from retailer email notifications this holiday season. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Brynn Moynihan, 646-202-9753.

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

StrongMail empowers marketers to achieve their acquisition, retention and loyalty objectives with powerful email and cross-channel marketing solutions. With StrongMail's market-leading solutions and services, brands can quickly, simply and effectively employ these vital communication channels to expand both reach and revenue. StrongMail provides marketers the tools they need to drive more value from their marketing programs: a drag-and-drop interface for lifecycle marketing, real-time testing and optimization, dynamic reporting and unparalleled data access. StrongMail has a proven track record helping leading brands with sophisticated data needs boost the performance of their marketing initiatives across email, mobile and social channels. Learn more at, or follow us online at or

To schedule a free demo, call (800) 971-0380 or contact us via the following link:

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Brynn Moynihan
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