E-mail Post-Holiday Sales Drive Traffic

An examination of the post holiday e-mail offers from various catalog and retail vendors shows that these e-mail offers were extremely effective in driving traffic, in most cases far outstripping pre-holiday traffic. Below are some examples, taking data from e-mail intelligence tool E-mail Analyst and Web site traffic data supplied by Alexa:

The Spiegel Catalog sent out a one-day-only, 20-percent-off offer on Jan. 3. Take a look at the following graph, which illustrates Spiegel's Web site traffic. The red line represents the "Reach per Million" number according to Alexa. As you can see, traffic on the day of the sale was approximately 360 percent higher than pre-holiday traffic to the site.

William-Sonoma offered a 75 percent off winter sale offer on Dec. 29. The offer generated a 700 percent increase in traffic compared to pre-holiday traffic. In the graph below, the yellow line represents the traffic going to the William-Sonoma link in the e-mail (



On the other hand, Land's End used its post -holiday e-mail to promote a specific product--its new Polarguard Jacket--without any mention of a post-holiday sale. As a result, the traffic generated from this e-mail was typical if not below average for Lands' End. Without the sale, the company failed to generate the unusual spike in traffic that other retailers experienced:

Old Navy issued a big red winter sale offer on Dec. 27that generated a 162 percent increase in traffic. The following weeks' e-mail, which contained no "sale" creative, by contrast generated only a 46 percent increase in traffic, according to the Alexa data:

The conclusions are pretty clear: Post holiday e-mail offers work, driving considerable traffic and presumably sales.

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