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  • March 28, 2012

Season Finale: New Year's 2012

A look back on seasonal trends, email activity and standout B2C marketing:

Start to finish: The first reference to New Year’s was on Nov. 15. The final reference was on Feb. 9.

The biggest day for New Year’s emails was New Year’s Day itself, Sunday, Jan. 1. Retailers sent the majority of their New Year’s-themed emails after Jan. 1.

Click to view the New Year’s 2012 retail email distribution curve larger

Noteworthy trend: The most apparent trend this year was the decline of resolution-themed messaging. There was a lot less of it than in past years and what there was this year was more vague, featuring across-the-board discounts rather than inspiring subscribers with specific ideas and suggestions to better themselves. It’s possible that the longer-than-usual holiday season squeezed the planning for New Year’s messaging, making it shallower and less developed this year.

A second trend was a slight rise in “Happy New Year” emails. While emails that wish subscribers a Happy New Year aren’t as popular as season’s greetings emails, there’s potential there that might be going untapped. Because the days right around Christmas are high sales days, season’s greetings emails increasingly include promotional messaging. Because of the pressure for sales, the pure season’s greeting email is in decline. But those sales pressures aren’t nearly so high around New Year’s Day. That means that retailers could more easily follow the lead of Ann Taylor, Victoria’s Secret and others and send a message that’s entirely non-promotional and just about building the brand. An email like this is a great complement to that highly promotional season’s greeting email.

For instance, in a Dec. 31 email with the subject line “Happy New Year Wishes From Us, To You...,” Ann Taylor uses a letter-style design and highlights the charity work that ANN Cares has done over the course of the year.

Click to view this Dec. 31, 2011 Ann Taylor email full-sized

In a Dec. 31 email with the subject line “One Last Thing (Before The Clock Strikes Midnight)...,” Victoria’s Secret keeps the Happy New Year message simple and on brand.

Dec. 31, 2011 Victoria’s Secret email
View this email full-sized.

Standout subject lines:
Oriental Trading, 12/17 — Hundreds of ways to ring in 2012. Start with FREE shipping!
TigerDirect, 1/1 — 10 Tech Resolutions for 2012
Lands’ End, 1/1 — Thank you! And the happiest of New Years to you and yours.
Sam’s Club, 1/2 — Achieve your New Year's Resolution for less
Musician’s Friend, 1/3 — Make A Resolution To Learn & Improve In 2012!‏
Lowe’s, 1/5 — Resolutions Are Good, Results Are Better -- Complete Your Kitchen in 2012
Ann Taylor, 1/7 — New Year. New Dress Code. Plus, 40% Off EVERYTHING!
Alibris, 1/9 — Your New Year's resolutions will last longer than this $15 coupon
Coach, 1/11 — Our favorite new year's tradition.

Read previous New Year’s Season Finales: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

Explore New Year’s tag.
BROWSE... Archive / Post Categories / Selling Seasons / Topics Covered / Retailers Tracked

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