Email Rules In Prime Day Run-Up As Amazon And Its Rivals Flood Inboxes

Today is the day that retailers have been anxiously awaiting: Amazon Prime Day. 

It would be hard to top the giant when it comes to email. Amazon deployed 800 Prime-Day email campaigns worldwide during its Prime Day run-up, reaching a circulation of 760 million and achieving 24% read rates, according to a study by eDataSource. 

But other brands are aiming at inboxes, too. “The fact is, Amazon’s email audience is so enormous that it creates powerful overlaps with virtually every major retail brand (and many others in most consumer-based industries),” John Landsman notes in a blog post on the eDataSource site.

Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods “paper to have been timed to begin and end before Prime Day,” the study notes. 

The run-up to this happy event was a record 22 days.

Overall, 59% of those receiving email from other major multichannel brands are also getting emails from Amazon. This tops 60% for Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, Ikea and Best Buy. Home Depot has the lowest average, hovering around 50%. 

Among online brands, Zappos has the highest email overlap with Amazon, nearing 70% StitchFix tops 60%. Ebay reaches 40%.

But retail brands are up against a strong adversary. 

Amazon deployed emails promoting “Early Prime Day Deals’ as early as July 1. That day, it also announced its Prime Day Concert, starring Taylor Swift. 

Here are themes posted by the major multichannel brands:

  • Bed Bath and Beyond — “Summer Black Friday Deals”
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods “20% off Ends Tonight”
  • CVS — “Hot deals at your CVS Pharmacy.”
  • Kohl’s — “Announcing doorbuster deals." 
  • Walmart — “Biggest savings of the season.”
  • Office Depot —  “Swing of summer sale.”
  • Macy’s — “Ends Tonight! Don’t miss Black Friday in July.”
  • Target — “Sale on Summer Faves”

Here are some of the themes for specialty online brands: 

  • DSW “Clearance Event!”
  • eBay  “Prime deals!”
  • Wayfair — Multiple messages with subject lines variously referencing, “CLOSEOUT,” “Deals” and “Major Markdowns.” 
  • Overstock — “Summer Savings” 
  • GAP — “Deals on deals”
  • Modell’s — “25% Off”
  • Overstock — “Warm weather deals!  Summer savings won’t last.”
  • Shoe Carnival — “FLASH Sale Extravaganza!” 
  • Children’s Place — “60% Off Entire Site!”

However, the blog concludes: “Not only is Amazon a formidable competitor in every product and service category they occupy. They’re also — due to their best-in-class audience and message optimization — formidable competitors for attention and engagement in their customers’ email inboxes."

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