Email Marketing Helps Fuel Record Setting Cyber Week Sales

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A study by email marketing leader Elite Email reveals a correlation between email marketing activities and the rise in Cyber Monday and Cyber Week spending in 2011. By analyzing the email marketing efforts of over 2000 online retailers in comparison with 2010 levels, Elite Email was able to identify key trends, both in terms of sending volume and email engagement.

Elite Email

Elite Email

With the current economy and the rise of "Daily Deal" sites, consumers have been trained to turn to their inbox for special exclusive offers and discounts.

Email Marketing levels increased 32% on Cyber Monday and nearly 23% throughout Cyber Week in 2011, according to a study conducted by Elite Email. The study, which analyzed over 2,000 online retailers’ email marketing efforts surrounding Cyber Week, shows a large increase in both sending volume and consumer engagement compared to 2010 levels.

The study by Elite Email looked at the both the email campaign strategy, including sending volume and sending frequency, as well as email marketing results, including engagement metrics such as opens and clicks.

In the 2 weeks leading up to Black Friday (Nov. 11 – Nov. 24), email marketing sending volume increased 12.6% over 2010 volume as marketers began to prepare their customers for upcoming promotions. "One of the interesting trends we identified this year is that email marketers were running ‘teaser’ campaigns to try to build hype for sales happening on Cyber Monday," said Robert Burko, President of Elite Email. "Throughout the year most email marketing campaigns for online retailers are focused on driving immediate sales, but this time they were trying to setup sales for Cyber Monday."

Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) experienced a whopping 32.1% increase in email marketing volume as marketers vied to get their promotions and offers in the hands of customers.

The volume during Cyber Week (Nov. 28 – Dec. 2) also took a big boost, increasing 22.6% over 2010 levels, as online retailers continued to push their email marketing efforts in order to capitalize on the start of holiday spending.

The results of the study are in line with metrics reported by comScore Inc., which revealed record-breaking online retail sales this year.

According to comScore, the 2011 holiday season started with a bang as people searched, shopped and clicked their way to great deals on holiday gifts. Black Friday (Nov. 25) saw a 26% increase from $648 million in 2010 to $816 million in 2011. Cyber Monday, which has always been a day celebrated by online retailers, saw a climb from just over $1 billion in retail spending in 2010 to $1.25 billion in 2011, representing an impressive 22% increase. Cyber Week experienced a 15% boost, moving from $5.164 billion in 2010 to $5.959 billion in 2011.

Engagement metrics also revealed a parallel between the comScore spending numbers and the rise of email marketing. In the 2 weeks leading up to Black Friday, the businesses studied saw a modest increase of 7.9% on open rates and 4.2% on click-throughs. On Cyber Monday, however, open rates soared, increasing at 14.3%, while clicks rose an impressive and a 10.8% compared to the same day in 2010. Looking at Cyber Week overall, the metrics remained considerably stronger than the previous year, with opens increasing by 12.6% and clicks increasing by 8.8%.

"With the current economy and the rise of "Daily Deal" sites, consumers have been trained to turn to their inbox for special exclusive offers and discounts, Burko says. "While there are a multitude of factors that could have contributed to the rise in spending, there is certainly some degree of correlation between the increase in email marketing volume, increase in email engagement, and increase in cyber week spending."

Another contributing factor is the growth of small business email marketing. Since email marketing is affordable and easy to use, even small family-owned shops are using email marketing campaigns to drive holiday sales.

The study also showed a boost in nonprofit email marketing, with charitable organizations trying to capitalize on all the cyber week spending by encouraging donations.

About Elite Email

Elite Email is a leading North American email marketing service provider (ESP) that has been helping customers achieve greater email marketing results for almost 10 years. The Elite Email cloud-based (software-as-a-service) platform allows organizations of all sizes to build and grow their mailing list, create eye-catching emails, and track results with detailed reports and analytics. All services are backed by Elite Email's outstanding support and customer care.

Elite Email has been featured on TV, radio and print media and is a member of the Email Experience Council, eMarketing Association, Better Business Bureau, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Vaughan Chamber of Commerce and Toronto Board of Trade. Elite Email is the only Canadian company listed by the Utah and Michigan Child Protection Agency as a compliant sender. Elite Email recently won the Business of the Year award in the "Under 30" category at the Toronto Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards.

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Matthew Georgiadis
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