It may be awhile before we know the full impact of COVID-19 on email marketing during this holiday season. But it’s clear that a shift is underway in both volume and results.
Take the stats released this week by Twilio SendGrid.
That company processed 5.8 billion emails on Black Friday, and 5.7 billion on Cyber Monday. In contrast, it handled 4.1 billion on Black Friday in 2019, and 4.2 billion on Cyber Monday.
“Black Friday volume exceeded Cyber Monday for only the 2nd time — 2016 was the last time we saw this phenomenon,” writes Len Shneyder, vice president of industry relations at Twilio SendGrid, in a blog post.
Shneyder adds: “This shouldn’t come as a surprise when you think about how our rituals and habits have changed over the course of the past year.”
Open rates soared to an average of 19.01% on Cyber Monday, up from 14.35% last year. On Black Friday, open rates rose to only 17.62% from 16.83% last year.
These numbers reflect a change from 2019, when open rates gradually declined going into Cyber Monday, Shneyder writes.
On Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, open rates fell to 15.22% from 18.19% last year. And on Thanksgiving day itself, the open rate hit 13.61%, versus 15.99% in 2019.
Another perspective on the period is offered by Omnisend in its Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 Email, SMS, and Web Push Marketing Stats & Trends Report.
The email conversion rate increased to 8.66% in November, a 143% YoY increase, Omnisend reports.
In terms of volume, November saw a 77.28% lift in email sends year-over-year. But the biggest increase came in the first half of the month, not in the latter part.
The conversion rate hit 11.98% on Black Friday, then rose to a full 12% on Cyber Monday — over a 100% YoY improvement on both days, the report says. Welcome emails alone drew a 75% conversion rate on Black Friday alone, it adds.
Moreover, one in six customers who clicked on an email bought something.
SMS also saw 20% growth in volume. And text conversion rates averaged 3.16% in November, a 136% increase YoY.
What’s more, SMS accounted for 2.5% of orders placed across all channels. And web push messages in November drew a 31.7% conversion rate, more than a 475% lift YoY.
Here’s one more finding: that 27% of all email marketing orders came from automation in November. The lesson: retailers that sent automated messages “saw record sales with minimal effort," states Rytis Lauris, CEO and co-founder of Omnisend.
Omnisend analyzed email send data for almost 2 billion emails and 15 million SMS and web push marketing messages sent through its platform.