What's In Your Inbox Today?

Happy Cyber Monday, folks!   It's that day of the year online retailers look forward to, especially given 2008's miserable numbers.  This year, the National Retail Federation is projecting a nice growth over 2008.  Black Friday is usually a precursor to Cyber Monday and if that is any indication, then we should expect more people hitting the sites and buying less.   That's right:  average order value will be down, but more people buying in a tight economy should = more sales revenue. 


The NRF reported that 49.4% of shoppers went to department stores during the weekend, a 13 % increase from 2008, while 43.2 % went to discount stores and 7.8% headed to outlet stores. Specialty electronic, clothing and grocery stores were also counted among the popular shopping destinations, while NRF noted that 28.5% of shoppers hit Web sites.

ComScore reported an 11% rise in online sales to $595 million on Black Friday, compared to 2008.  While Black Friday is typically known for the brick and mortar push -- get up at 5 a.m. and hit Target or Macy's for great sales -- it  was also a day for amazing online sales, marking the second highest online sales day of the holiday season.



All of this bodes well for retailers  Check your inbox this morning and see what Cyber Monday delivered to you: likely one of the highest volume email days of the year. As a marketer, do you have a chance amidst all the noise of the inbox today?

Amazingly, with the everyone going to back to work after the long weekend,  and the rapid growth of the mobile device and smart phone in the workplace, we are able to process more email, sifting through our personal email in a multitasking manner.  You can do true triage on your mobile, focus on the laptop and buy during your down time.  Does this sound like you and those in your office? 

As a practitioner, there are several things you can trend and watch for today, depending on how deep your monitoring program is:

·       Watch the subject lines. This is a great time to evaluate "urgency"-driven tactics, which are most effective during heavy volume days.

·       While I usually don't like to lead with discounts, this is the holiday known for discounting, so it's OK to lead with it. Look at the creativity in approaches to discounting and how it's communicated.

·       Look at the social mentions.  Everyone has a Twitter link, a Facebook link, so you should check out how some are proliferating discounts and promotions on those fan pages and sites.

·       While many use free shipping as a means of triggering a buyer, is it really effective?  Most are conditioned to free shipping online, so is it enough these days?

·       Creative is amazingly simple on days like this: fewer Hero images, more PRICE TAG metaphors to easily communicate the point.  Does this mean less targeting?  Likely, yes!

·       While Black Friday is brick and mortar, today's the day for the ONLINE ONLY sales. Try to assess how well companies targeted and communicated this to you.  Simple vs. advanced approaches?

I love this time of year, not just as a marketing practitioner, but as a consumer who's aware of the tactics and approaches by marketers.  I appreciate good marketing and creative approaches. And while I like discounts, I believe with so much email hitting our inboxes today, those marketers who provide quality marketing along with quality discounts and rewards will be rewarded. Email attribution will climb today..

How much will you buy today?

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