Happy Holidays!

On behalf of my family and the entire ExactTarget and Salesforce.com family, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and hope that this holiday season has brought you many happy returns!


Merry Christmas!

121813 HayneedleWith retailers putting greater emphasis on stretching out the holiday season in recent years, Free Shipping Day has emerged as a major email messaging occasion for marketers. However, this year retailers seem to be cooling Free Shipping Day.

Among nearly 110 major online retailers that we’ve been tracking throughout the holiday season, 77% of them sent at least one promotional email to their subscribers on Free Shipping Day (Dec. 18). That puts Free Shipping Day right between Green Monday (76%) and Thanksgiving Day (78%)—and well below Cyber Monday (88%).

Fewer retailers mentioned “Free Shipping Day” by name, but the day still seemed to inspire retailers to experiment with their free shipping offers.

>> Read the full post on the ExactTarget Blog

Read the full column on ClickZIn my second guest column for ClickZ this holiday season (here’s the first), I take a deeper dive into the cart abandonment email research that’s highlighted in our Email Insights & Trends from Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday #Infographic.

On Cyber Monday, ExactTarget clicked through the promotional emails sent that day by more than 90 major online retailers and filled our shopping carts with more than $100 of merchandise. Then we walked away, closing our browser after each shopping session.

Only 21% of those retailers sent a triggered email in response within 3 days. Emails that follow up on shopping carts that are abandoned by subscribers often mean the difference between a completed sale and a lost sale on this high-value shopping day. So the low adoption of shopping cart abandonment emails presents retailers with a wonderful win-win opportunity to serve shoppers better with service and product information and increase their sales.

Our research also uncovered several opportunities to implement these triggered emails better, which I discuss in the column.

>> Read my column on ClickZ.com

Read the full column on ClickZIn this guest column for ClickZ, I take a deeper dive into the email mobile-friendliness research that’s highlighted in our Email Insights & Trends from Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday #Infographic.

Looking at the promotional emails of nearly 110 major online retailers, we found that from early October to late November the percentage of retailers using mobile-friendly email design rose by more than 40%—from 23% to 32%. That substantial increase bodes well for gains to come in early 2014.

The details are even more encouraging, with responsive design making a huge jump and positive signs among those retailers still using largely desktop-centric designs as well.

>> Read my column on ClickZ.com

The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend includes some of the busiest email marketing days of the year, including top email day Cyber Monday, famed Black Friday, and the up-and-comer Thanksgiving Day. However, consumers behave differently on each of these days, which means retailers have to use different approaches on each day.

Based on our anonymous tracking of nearly 110 major online retailers, our latest infographic examines email volume patterns during the critical Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend, in addition to addresses issues that are unique and important to Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For example, on Black Friday we looked at whether retailers’ email were mobile-friendly or not.

Overall, our findings indicate that there continue to be great opportunities for retailers to gain a competitive advantage by addressing consumer needs and expectations when it comes to email marketing.

Email Insights from Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday #Infographic

The Last Word on November 2013

A roundup of articles, posts, tweets and emails you might have missed last month…

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Consumers Expect Optimized Mobile Experiences, Retail Sites Need Improvement (MediaPost)

Subscriber Engagement Over Time (MailChimp Blog)

A How-To Guide For eReceipts (Marketing Land)

A common preference request error that’s easily fixed (Zettasphere Blog)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@ScottDorsey: Cyber Monday record at @exacttarget – our customers have sent over 1 billion permission-based digital messages today! Awesome! cc: @Benioff

@rcadden: If your email unsubscribe page requires me to enter my email address or has a captcha, I’m just going to report you as spam. #makeiteasy

@brbarrett: Amazon drones will guarantee thirty minute delivery of free Cyber Monday marketing for Amazon and that’s about it.

@MikeBloxham: What you’ll receive when your Amazon Drone delivery goes astray http://t.co/yCz9RBvi1X

@LorenMcDonald: An estimated 4% of recipients open emails on multiple devices – @litmusapp – those that do are very likely to convert #emailmarketing

@markbrownlow: If Santa was an email marketer… 1. Open rates would mean something (and 15 more like that) –> http://t.co/0TrjbKOiZN

Great additions to the Email Swipe File pinboard

Zulily email sent on 11/13/13 >> View the pin

QVC email sent on 11/14/13 >> View the pin

Frank & Oak email sent on 10/9/13 >> View the pin

Lowe’s email sent 11/1/13 >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Banana Republic, 11/30 — 40% off + win a Hilton weekend getaway!
Costco, 11/30 — Additional Black Friday Weekend Deals on Costco.com!
Michael’s, 11/29 — 7PM – 10PM Only! Friday Night Madness‏
ThinkGeek, 11/29 — ThinkGeek’s #000000 Friday deals + 20% off sitewide!
Zulily, 11/29 — Black Friday Special: 100% off crowds + guaranteed cute‏
Lenovo, 11/30 — My boss didn’t love that last email‏
Lenovo, 11/29 — Ever tried to gift wrap a pony?
Toys “R” Us, 11/28 — Set Your Alarm Now! NEW Doorbusters Start Tomorrow at 5AM‏
Target, 11/28 — Black Friday starts tonight. Doors open at 8pm!
Home Depot, 11/28 — Turkey Can Wait…Save Up to 40% NOW!
West Elm, 11/28 — Up to 25% off EVERYTHING. Shop from your sofa!
Karmaloop, 11/28 — This Ain’t No Thanksgiving Leftover: New Arrivals Every Hour from Crooks & Castles, LRG, & More‏
ModCloth, 11/27 — It may be Wednesday, but our Black Friday Sale is ON!
Jos. A. Bank, 11/27 — Starting at Midnight Tonight… BLACK FRIDAY DOORBUSTERS with FREE Shipping, No Minimum!
Toys “R” Us, 11/27 — Black Friday Savings Start Online Tonight at 12:01!
Six Flags New England, 11/27 — Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!
Express, 11/25 — Black Friday starts online at midnight TONIGHT – and in-store tomorrow!
Sony, 11/25 — Black Friday Deals Start Now | Save up to 50%
Lego, 11/25 — Exclusive “Brick” Friday Offers start Friday, Nov 29 at 12 am EST!
Expedia, 11/27 — Start saving early: Black Friday deals all week‏
Walmart, 11/27 — Be prepared with your Black Friday Ad and Map‏
Gander Mountain, 11/21 — Black Friday Pricing Without The Crowds!
Walmart, 11/21 — Why wait? Pre-Black Friday specials are now online!
St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 11/25 — Today only: Feed the BuzzMeter #ThanksandGiving‏
Sephora, 11/22 — #WantThemAll‏
Pier 1 Imports, 11/21 —Holiday lights, no wiring.
Barneys New York, 11/21 — Give Thanks: Shop Gifts for Your Holiday Hostess
Michael’s, 11/20 — Have you created your holiday cards?
Banana Republic, 11/18 — Enjoy merry savings (even more for Cardmembers).
Crate & Barrel, 11/16 — Is your turkey toolkit ready?
Blue Nile, 11/17 — Try Our New Mobile Shopping Experience‏
The Container Store, 11/15 — Help us collect 15,000 Coats‏
Volkswagen of America, 11/13 — Zero reasons to wait.
The Container Store, 11/13 — Wrapped up in Hanukkah
Moosejaw, 11/13 — We lied last time. THESE are the best Moosejaw jackets ever.
JCPenney, 11/13 — Pinterest faves for your home for 20-50% off!
Godiva Chocolatier, 11/13 — NEW! GODIVA on Mobile & iPad (+ Save on Truffles)
Jos. A. Bank, 11/12 — All Clearance REDUCED 25% – Plus Buy 1 Suit, Get 2 FREE + ‘Give’ 1 to a US Military Veteran‏
Toys “R” Us, 11/1 — Sneak Peek – The Great Big Toys“R”Us Wish Finder Catalog!
ThinkGeek, 11/1 — Be the first to get ’em: holiday gift sneak preview!
Lego, 11/1 — Give the Gift of Better Building!
REI, 11/1 — Great Gifts for Everyone on Your List‏
Gap, 11/1 — Our top 6 cozy must-gives‏
TigerDirect.com, 11/1 — 73 Hour Early Christmas Sale: 24″ LED Monitor $129 | New 22″ All-in-One PC $429 | 28″ LED TV $129, more‏
Hayneedle, 11/1 — Pre-holiday-season savings: up to 60% OFF + room makeovers, bar stools, accents & more.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 11/1 — It’s Your Moment: Holiday For Her‏
Clinique, 11/1 — Our Holiday Shop is Open + All Orders Ship FREE‏
Olive Garden, 11/1 — For Military Family Appreciation Month, we’re honored to serve.
The Container Store, 11/1 — Real Daylight Savings – UP TO 40%!
SkyMall, 11/1 — Turn Back the Clock Sale! Save 20% Site Wide‏

Most popular posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

1. The Many Uses (and 2 Drawbacks) of Animated Gifs

2. The One-Two Punch of Subject Lines and Preheaders

3. 2 Key Techniques for Making Email Content More Mobile-Friendly

4. Audience Growth Swipe File Debuts: Ideas to Reach More Consumers

5. My Dreamforce Presentation: The Good, the Bad, and the Best

Download the Email Marketing Holiday Calendar InfographicDuring November, retailers sent each of their subscribers 20.5 promotional emails on average, up 15% from October. Non-retailers sent each of their subscribers 7.0 promotional emails on average, up 13% from the previous month.

This data is based on the anonymous tracking for more than 150 B2C brands, including retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, travel and hospitality, political groups, and nonprofits.

Among both retailers and non-retailers, increases in per subscriber email volume were driven by holiday messaging, including a busy Thanksgiving Week. For more on seasonal email marketing trends, check out the Email Marketing Holiday Calendar and this month’s update…

>> Email Marketing Holiday Calendar 2013: November Review & December Preview

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsIn my latest Email Insider column for MediaPost, I share my top 3 insights from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which are that…

1. Thanksgiving Eve is the new Thanksgiving

2. Black Friday prompted an increase in mobile-friendly email designs

3. Cyber Monday is the busiest email marketing day of the year…but perhaps only for the next two weeks

For all the details…

>> Read my Email Insider column on MediaPost.com

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at Dreamforce, the world’s largest software conference, about email marketing best practices. My presentation discusses eight email marketing practices and shares real-world examples of good, bad and the best executions. Thanks to all of you who attended.

You can watch my presentation on YouTube or you can flip through my slides below. You can check out all the keynotes and other video recorded sessions from the conference on the Dreamforce YouTube Channel.

More Insights on Birthday Email Programs

0413 Olive Garden - birthdayOur Birthday Emails Infographic clearly showed that there’s a big opportunity for brands to collect birth dates and use that information to send triggered birthday emails. In this follow-up, I share five more insights from our research, which involved more than 180 B2C brands:

  1. A lack of follow-up on birthday email offers.
  2. Too many birthday offers involved printing out coupons.
  3. Some brands promised birthday emails but didn’t follow through.
  4. Don’t ignore the other birthdays in your subscribers’ lives.
  5. Subject line trends from birthday emails.

>> Read the full post on the ExactTarget Blog