'Tis The Season: Epsilon Releases 2012 Holiday Trend Report
Findings Suggest that Marketers Need to Engage Consumers Pre- and Post-Holiday to Drive Purchases
Dallas, TX — July 25, 2012 — According to Epsilon's 2012 Holiday Trend Report, creating pre- and post-holiday strategies that leverage consumer segmentation strategies will help marketers break through the holiday noise and drive online and in-store purchases. Based on analysis of the 2011 holiday season, the research examines channel specific trends, the days of the week and weeks that are best for reaching consumer as well as how these trends compare to previous years.
"Holiday marketing communications, like all times of the year, need to focus on the consumer. Insights into past consumer behavior during this critical time of year will help marketers create more consumer-focused campaigns that really resonate," said Jill LeMaire, Senior Director of Digital Strategy at Epsilon.
Key findings from the Holiday Trend Report include:
- For the second consecutive year, overall sales increased during the 2011 holiday season;
- Online sales peaked during the week of Cyber Monday, and again two weeks before the Christmas holiday;
- For Online and Call Center/Mail Order, sales increased in Week 49, two weeks after Thanksgiving and Black Friday and two weeks before the Christmas holiday;
- Retail reached its peak in Week 51, leading up to Christmas Day in Week 52.
- Email volume was at its highest the weeks of November 27, Cyber Monday and December 4;
- Conversion rates reached their highest level (15.7%) the week of Black Friday, one week before holiday email volumes peaked;
- Wednesdays and Fridays were the heaviest email volume days;
- Opens were highest for Tuesday delivered emails; Click rates were highest for Sunday delivered emails; and for the second consecutive year, Wednesdays saw the highest conversion rates;
- The words "Shipping," "Free" and "Sale" were most often used in subject lines but did not necessarily drive open rates;
- The use of the word "Coupon" drove high open rates, but was less frequently used.
"Email remains a powerful marketing medium, especially when integrated with other channels. To maximize ROI this holiday season, retail marketers should synchronize efforts across channels, engage their target audiences by incorporating sophisticated segmentation strategies and leverage insights of past purchase behaviors and overall trends to achieve success," said LeMaire.
Tips for multichannel marketers as they plan for the 2012 Holiday Season:
- Incorporate pre- and post-holiday campaigns into your 2012 Holiday Planning;
- Be prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday volume;
- Test a mix of tactics and leverage these learnings in your 2012 holiday planning and strategy;
- Implement segmentation strategies that appeal to consumers' past behaviors, interests and other information available.
The 2012 Holiday Trend Report examined more than 1.4 billion email messages from more than a dozen campaigns from October, November and December 2011 and part of January 2012. The findings also reflect a segment of historical purchasing activity from the Abacus Cooperative database from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2011. Additional in-depth information about the Holiday Trend Report can be found here.
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