Survey: Half Plan to Send More E-Mails for the Holidays

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One out of two respondents to a DM News-Responsys survey plan to increase their e-mail frequency 50 percent to 100 percent this holiday season compared with the previous months this year.

The survey of 100 handpicked Responsys retail clients also showed that 27 percent plan to increase their e-mail frequency by 10 percent to 50 percent for the holidays compared with the prior months. Seventeen percent plan to maintain their year-round e-mail frequency.

Another key finding: 89 percent said they expect an increase in e-commerce activities because of escalating gas prices.

Responsys, Redwood City, CA, conducted this survey for DM News in the last week of October. The company provides e-mail services for marketers like Lands' End, Petco, The Sharper Image, Avery Denison, Office Depot, Avis Europe, Continental Airlines, Intrawest Corp., Corel and CDW.

Gina Perez, senior manager of e-commerce at cataloger Baseball Express and a Responsys client, was one of the respondents to this co-branded survey.

"Yes, we plan to increase frequency based on the success of last year's increase in frequency from the previous year," she said. "We have three different databases with three different e-mail plans, and all will be executed on the same schedule for the holiday shopping season. With data under our belt we are able to this year also target customers based on RFM measurements, and we can also target the best products based on Coremetrics' merchandise data for the appropriate time of year. We also started holiday campaigning sooner in the previous year based on the date Christmas fell, and we will repeat that trend this year."

The San Antonio-based baseball and softball equipment seller will debut its first targeted free shipping campaign this holiday season to its best customers. It will have a last-effort push in mid-December for gift certificates, a move aimed at last-minute shoppers or hard-to-buy-for consumers.

"We will emphasize the ability to print gift certificates online for next-day gift giving," Perez said. "We did similar campaigning with gift certificates last year that encouraged us to repeat."

Baseball Express expects no increase in e-commerce this holiday season because of higher gas prices. This is because the company is a cataloger at its core.

"Our customer normally calls or orders via the Internet," Perez said. "We may see an increase in product prices from our vendors, but the increase in sales is not due to people wanting to stay home and shop. I feel our online marketing efforts will be the leading factor in our increase in online sales."

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