Hello, Stranger: Shoppers Welcome Holiday Messages, Even From Brands They Never Heard Of

Permission-based marketing may be getting observed in the breach.  

A startling 82.40% of consumers received communications from brands they never heard of during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday period, according to a study from Mitto, conducted by Pollfish.  

Even more surprising is the fact that 68% welcomed them.  

And of the shoppers who received at least one such message, 49.76% acted either by making a purchase (64% of that group did so) or adding an item to a shopping cart for later purchase (35%). 

Overall, 37% say the higher volume from brands drove them to purchase this year.  

In total, 51.60% received 1-5 messages from brands they never heard of, versus 16.20% who got 6-10 messages and 7.30% who were sent 10+. Only 17.60% received no messages, and 7.30% are not sure. 



More than 33% of consumers received between 6 and 15 messages from brands, including brands they knew, and more than 50% were satisfied with that volume. However, almost 50% of those who received 26+ messages found that volume excessive.

Email was the channel deemed most desirable by 50%, versus 20.80% for text/SMS and 13.8% for social media. Moreover, 37.90% of respondents said they wished brands used more email, followed by 22.10% who wished they used more SMS/text. 

The SMS channel produced the least desirable messages for 28% of those polled, compared to 25.60% for phone and 21% for email. 

“This holiday shopping season, brands took a more aggressive approach in their communications with consumers, messaging them more frequently and communicating with many consumers they don’t yet consider customers,” says Andrea Giacomini, CEO of Mitto. 

“This turned out to be the right approach -- brands this holiday shopping season are in the unique position to find consumers actually welcome messages from brands they aren't familiar with, with many driven to purchase from unsolicited brand communications alone," Giacomini says.

He adds that "personalized messages delivering real value and done so via consumers’ channel of choice is paramount to successful brand communications on any day of the year.”

Wait a minute: Does this mean that brands are sending personalized communications to people who have not opted in? Some might welcome them, but others might fear their privacy is being violated, including the 32% who did not want them.

Not so fast: The main criticism of the holiday messages was that they could include more useful information (50.66%), and 26.51% say the communications could have been better personalized. 

In general, 51% appreciate brand communications about products or services that are relevant to them. Another 45% enjoy visually appealing messages and 36% welcome personalization.  

Pollfish surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in December 2022. 



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