Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Email Experience Council Whitepaper

The Email Experience Council (EEC), the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) vertical working group focused on the e-mail marketing industry, today announced that the holiday e-mail marketing season for retailers has begun. Along with the announcement, the EEC released "Ring-Cha-Ching, Hear Them Ring: The Guide to Gearing Up for the Holiday Email Season," a 15-page report that discusses retail e-mail marketing trends and practices from the past holiday season.

According to DMA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh A. Lakshmi-Ratan, PhD, a DMA survey conducted last December found that 21.9 percent of those marketers surveyed had experienced an increase in their 2006 Cyber Monday sales compared to the same post-Thanksgiving Monday in 2005. "Many of those sales were the result of commercial e-mails," he added.

“Long before retailers hang any wreaths or tinsel in their stores, they send out e-mails promoting their Christmas deals to their subscribers — lots of e-mails!” said Chad White, the EEC's director of retail insights and editor-at-large, founder of RetailEmail.Blogspot, and the guide’s author. "Last year we tracked more than 2,000 e-mails from nearly 100 top online retailers during the fourth quarter and released daily reports on strategies, tactics, and trends via RetailEmail.Blogspot. Based on those reports, the EEC has produced this helpful roadmap to the e-mail holiday season so retailers and other companies can better formulate their campaigns this year."

Here are some of the metrics and advice from the guide, which is available in the EEC’s Whitepaper Room:

- The guide includes discussions and examples of the “12 Phases of Christmas,” the 12 strategies that retailers use at different points in the holiday season. Those strategies include promoting e-gift cards and “buy online, pick up in store” services.

- Last year major online retailers increased their e-mail volume by 47 percent on average during the holiday season.

- Seven of the eight biggest retail e-mail volume days of the year occurred in the weeks before Christmas last year. Those days included Cyber Monday (November 27) and all three “Echo Mondays” (December 4, 11 and 18) — the Mondays that follow Cyber Monday. Interestingly, two of the three Echo Mondays were bigger e-mail days than Cyber Monday, which is billed as the biggest online sales day of the year.

- E-mail volume should peak in the second week of December this year.

- Twenty-nine percent of major retailers promoted e-gift cards in their e-mails during the eight days ending Christmas Day.

- Just as some online and multichannel retailers promote Thanksgiving Day sales to get a leg up on offline competitors whose stores are closed on that day, some will also begin their post-holiday sales on Christmas Day and promote them in their e-mail campaigns.

The guide can be purchased for $99 by visiting the EEC’s Whitepaper Room at

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