E-mails increased by 45% during the holidays: EEC

In a move to shake the weak economy, retailers increased their e-mail volumes by 45% during the holiday season, according to the Email Experience Council.

In its report, the Email Experience Council looked at volume data collected by RetailEmail.Blogspot on 109 of the top online retailers and defined the holiday e-mail season as the six-week period running from November 10 to December 21. It was compared to the 12-week period that preceded it, August 18 to November 9. At the peak of the season, during the week ending December 21, retailers sent 3.3 e-mails each on average, up from the 1.9 e-mails sent in the pre-holiday season.

“With the clearly weakening economy, retailers were under pressure even early on in the holiday season,” said Chad White, director of retail insights and editor-at-large at the Email Experience Council. “And e-mail is a very inexpensive and effective way of driving sales, and I think that’s why they pulled the trigger.”

The percentage of retailers sending more than three e-mails per week doubled during the holiday season. Some retailers were sending more than five e-mails per week increasing nearly threefold, from less than 4% to more than 10%.

Overall, 88% of retailers increased their frequency during the holiday season.

The peak in weekly e-mail volume was even more pronounced, rising 73% above the pre-holiday norm, compared to a peak increase of only 66% during the 2006 holiday season.

Sixty-five percent of retailers increased their frequency by 100% or less, and 23% increased their frequencies by more than 100%. This year’s most aggressive sender was Harry & David, who increased their frequency by 744% during the holiday season.

“I think the question now is will this come back to haunt them,” White added. “Will they have higher list churn, spam reports or deliverability issues. All of this could mean that this increase in sales during the holiday season, could hurt sales later in the year.”

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