Email Volume Increased Post-Christmas Year-Over-Year

The end of the holidays may not have given marketers' inboxes any reprieve, as major retail brands analyzed by eDataSource increased their email volume significantly year-over-year during the week after Christmas.

eDataSource is an email intelligence solution that monitors the email activity of leading retailers in real-time via a consumer panel of 1.5 million active inboxes. The company investigated the email marketing activity of eight large retail brands to analyze email volume and read rates, including Amazon, Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, Toys R Us, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy.

Walmart and Kohl’s were the only brands to minimize email volume year-over-year, according to the study, while the other six retail brands increased the amount of emails they sent during the week after Christmas substantially. Walmart limited email volume year-over-year from 267 million to 219 million email messages sent during the week after Christmas, while Kohl’s reduced email volume from 119 million emails to 111 million.

Toys R Us almost doubled email volume from 83 million to 162 million, while Dick’s Sporting Goods increased email volume by nearly five times from 26 million to 127 million emails sent.

Amazon deployed more than 519 million emails in 1,039 email marketing campaigns during the week studied -- an increase from the 451 million emails and 650 campaigns sent in 2015. Macy’s increased email volume from 119 million to 162 million, Best Buy increased email volume from 240 million to 346 million emails sent, and Target increased email volume from 152 million to 238 million emails sent the week after Christmas.

“This season’s mailing trends are typical,” writes John Landsman, director of strategy and analysis at eDataSource, in a blog post online. “Retailers in the competitive pressure chamber of holiday want to do everything possible to maximize email message exposure. However, this approach often leads to over-mailing and risks both deliverability and engagement. Email marketers need to understand the nature and cost of this trade-off, and work toward offsetting it via well-known strategies: message relevance, appropriate timing, and matching higher contact frequencies to the more engaged customer segments.”

Email volume is not the only metric influencing email engagement, but the increased competition in a subscriber’s inbox all year means that marketers need to leverage data and creativity as tactics to stand-out amongst an ever-increasing crowd. 

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