First, it is never too early to get started on your P Day offering. Mirage Resorts were promoting its $500 an hour giveaway for the Presidents' Day holiday weekend as early as Feb. 2. Hopefully most of those people didn't book Jet Blue. Thomasville also seemed to generate some traffic to its site when it sent out a Presidents' Day Sale email on Feb. 11.
Others, like Spiegel, Newport News, Overstock, Stein Mart, and Vistaprint were still trying to squeeze those sales dollars by extending their sale offers to Monday, email heavily on the 19th.
From a pure response standpoint, however, those emails that went out late last week seemed to generate the most response, at least as far as Alexa Web traffic numbers are concerned. Sears generated a pretty dramatic surge in traffic on Feb. 16, the day the company sent out an email promoting its 20% off on all appliances sale. A one-day Presidents' Day offer for Guitar Center sent out by Exact Target also seemed to work nicely, spiking up traffic to the music stores' site on the 16th, the day it went out.
Lane Bryant seems to be adjusting to an identity crises. While traffic to its lanebryant.charmingshoppes.com site did well over the Presidents' Day period, according to Alexa results, traffic to the newly re-branded Lane Bryant Catalog, now renamed Woman Within, has dropped off since the name change. One wonders if there are deliverability issues since the senders' address in the emails has changed.
Of the car manufacturers, I only recorded Saturn getting involved in a Presidents' Day promotion with its "Get to Know Us" campaign. In general, though, it was the retailers' big day. And if we can gain any insight into it all, it would be the Goldilocks philosophy: don't promote too early, don't promote too late. Promote a few days before, when it's just right.