Email activity and seasonal trends during the past week:
The Retail Email Index: The top online retailers sent each of their subscribers 3.0 promotional emails on average during the week ending Sept. 30, 2011. That’s up 1% week-over-week, down 7% from where it was four weeks ago, and down 1% year-over-year.
This is the first time during the more than 5 years that I’ve been tracking retail email volume that year-over-year volume has fallen. I wish I could say that this is the result of a pronounced shift toward holding the line on broadcast promotional emails, with a greater emphasis being placed on segmented and triggered emails. But I don’t think that’s the case. A few of the higher volume retailers in my tracking universe appear to be having deliverability issues or are transitioning from one ESP to another and have not been sending at their usual levels or at all over the past few weeks. It’s unclear at this point exactly what’s going on, but I expect volume to bounce back once these retailers’ programs have recovered.
UPDATE: This apparent decrease in year-over-year email volume was indeed caused by deliverability issues. Please see the Oct. 16 Week-End Trends for revised data.
The Retail Email Participation Rate: Friday was the most popular day to send retail emails last week.
The Retail Email Seasonality Meter: Today marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this line of messaging will likely not exceed 5% or so, unlike Halloween messaging, which should be included in more than 15% of retail emails by the end of the month when messaging peaks. Christmas messaging is a bit behind trend, but it’s early in the season.
Selling Seasons on the Horizon:
Columbus Day (Oct. 10): 2010 Season Finale
Halloween (Oct. 31): 2010 Season Finale
Thanksgiving (Nov. 24): 2010 Season Finale
Black Friday (Nov. 25) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 28): Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2010
Christmas (Dec. 25): 2010 Season Finale and Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season 2011
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