To Everything There Is A Season

I'm sitting here looking at the email stats for the flower and gift sector during the month of February. The first thing that captured my attention was the spike in Web traffic. Of course you expect a spike at Valentine's Day, but what is interesting is that the spike in Web traffic is not on the 13th, friends. Or the days leading up to the 14th. No -- the majority of you are actually going to sites like Proflowers the day of Valentine's Day (one guesses -- the MALE majority of you) in a desperate attempt to get those flowers ordered and delivered before the ax falls.

Kind of sad, really. I'm just like those guys, heading to the CVS after work to see what kind of leftover heart-shaped box I can scrounge filled with something, anything, made of chocolate.

But my sad tale doesn't end there. I decided to take a look at the entire year's worth of emails going into that sector, and I noticed something strange. Feb. 14 is not even the biggest spike of the year! There is a clearly outlined spike in May. I'm thinking to myself, what could possibly be going on in May to elicit that kind of response. I had to ask someone in my office: "Hey, what is going on in May that you would need to send flowers?"



"Ah -- every heard of Mother's Day?"

Man, I'm not only a bad husband, I'm a bad son.

The emails leading up to Valentine's Day are fast and furious. Most flower, chocolate, and greeting card companies send out emails either every day or every other day leading up to the 14th, each one getting a little more desperate. And then on the 14th nothing, and nothing for about 10 days. You can almost feel the exhaustion as the gift, card, and flower industry just stops.

Taking a look at Mother's Day, however, we see a definite difference. Flower sites do well, in fact better than they do at Valentine's Day. Mother's Day is the big day for the flower industry, with the number of emails being sent driving traffic to these Web sites increasing by hundreds of percentage points. But chocolate and card sites remain almost unchanged. It looks like everyone is sending flowers to dear old Mom, but no one is attaching a card.

It got me interested in other sectors. We definitely see an upward trend in the dieting sector around Feb 14, with many of the diet sites starting to pick up traffic right after January and settling down as spring approaches.

Dating sites also start picking up traffic in the months starting after Feb. 14, with high traffic and email sends through the spring months, before dropping back down again.

And for the retail industry, year after year, there is a huge post-Dec. 25 spike in traffic as the post-Christmas holiday sale emails go out.

Each market has its season where its Web traffic and email volume peak. The trick is coordinating your email campaigns to correspond appropriately.

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