The dog days of summer have come and gone and all smart marketers know it’s time to start planning for the holiday season. While it may seem like the holiday season is still a long way away, it’s actually closer than you think. According to the recently released 2012 Holiday Trend Report from Epsilon, pre- and post-holiday strategies focused on leveraging consumer segmentation will help marketers drive online and in-store purchases during the 2012 holiday season. This research is based on the analysis of the 2011 holiday season and examines channel specific trends and the days of the week and weeks that are best for reaching consumers.
Here are some key findings from the report to help guide your holiday marketing strategy:
- Social media was a key driver for sales on Thanksgiving as consumers looked for product reviews and testimonials.
- Consumers used mobile devices heavily for website review, promotions, and price checking.
- Online sales peaked the week of Cyber Monday and again two weeks before the Christmas holiday.
- Email volume was highest the weeks of November 27, Cyber Monday and December 4
- Conversions rates were highest (15.4%) the week of Black Friday.
- Conversion rates spiked a second time the week of December 4th.
- Email volume was highest Fridays and Wednesdays.
- Open rates were highest for emails delivered on Tuesdays.
- Click rates were highest for emails delivered on Sundays.
- Wednesdays had the highest conversion rates followed by Saturdays which also had the highest average order value.
- “Shipping,” “Free,” and “Sales” were the most commonly used words in subject lines, but did not necessarily drive open rates.
- The word “Coupon” had high open rates, but was less frequently used in subject lines.
Tips for 2012:
- Create a strategy that includes both pre- and post-holiday marketing.
- Expand the holiday season by starting your email campaigns earlier in November when conversions are high.
- Use Sundays to send last chance offers and follow-up messages to help drive online sales.
- If you are emailing consumers on Fridays and Wednesdays when email volume is highest, make sure to create a compelling offer to stand out from the crowd.