Email Marketing Trends for January 2013
The New Year started off with a bang! The first day of the year saw the number of brands sending more than one email within the first 24 hours of 2013 more than double. So, how did the first month shake out? Let's dig into sending trends for the first month of 2013!
Email Volume by Day
Surprisingly New Year's Day came in as the 21st busiest day of the month. The peak arrived on Jan 21st with 55% of brands mailing. Mailing volume on that day saw a mix of weekend sales extended, new sales launching, Valentine's Day promotions, Super Bowl Sales, and MLK Day events. It definitely was a busy week! The slowest day of the month was Jan 23rd with only 10% of brands mailing. The day nearly flat lined. Only a few one-day and weekend sales were seen.
(The number of brands I monitor increases each month. To provide more consistent data month-over-month, "Email Volume" is presented as the percentage of brands sending that particular day rather than quantity of emails received.)
Email Volume by Day of Week
Thursdays were the busiest day of the week in Jan. The month was filled with weekend sales. These are common throughout the year but there was an increase (especially for white sales) this month. Thursdays were used to announce the sales, drive in-store traffic or to reinforce urgency to shop before the sales expire. Saturdays were the slowest days of the month but it's interesting to compare the slowest days in Jan to those in Dec. 3.7% more brands were mailing during the holidays even on the slowest of days.
There was a shift to mailing later in the week in 2013 compared to 2012. New Year's Day 2012 was a Monday which helped push volume earlier in the week last year.
Emails Sent per Brand
The holidays are definitely over! The most frequent sender dropped by 26 emails! The average number of messages sent by all brands also dipped by nearly 5 emails.
Subject Line Trends
If the "list subject lines" are included, the longest subject line was by Gilt City NYC and clocked in at 233 characters. Excluding the "list subject lines," the longest subject line was 90 characters shorter at 143.
"WOW" and "Shop" popped up again in January. I see these subject lines frequently enough that they have started to lose impact. FredFlare's "<33 FF" shortie was fun, clever and communicated enough about the sale to pique interest.
“The Tiny Dozen” features subject lines that are 12 characters or fewer to give you ideas to keep it short and sweet!
|The Tiny Dozen|
|YANKEE CANDLE Alerts||4||Shop|
|Sephora||7||L ♥ V E|
|Haband Alerts||7||For You|
|The Body Shop||8||♥ XOXO ♥|
|OshKosh B'gosh||9||We ♥ New!|
|Tiffany & Co.||9||All Heart|
|OshKosh B'gosh||9||Stock up!|
|Roots USA||9||Be Mine ❤|
|FreePeople.com||9||Our Top 5|
|The Container Store||10||Sweet #16!|
|Club Monaco||10||Bold Blues|
|Lands' End||11||Happy 2013!|
|Old Pueblo Traders||11||Sneak peek!|
|OshKosh B'gosh||11||♥ Be Mine ♥|
|Buckle||11||NEW NEW NEW|
|New York & Company||11||Here's $100|
|Sephora||11||☞ Pick me ☜|
|Tiffany & Co.||12||A Chic Stack|
|Bedford Fair||12||Two day sale|
|FreePeople.com||12||fall in line|
|The Body Shop||12||★FLASH SALE★|
|JC Whitney||12||PRIVATE SALE|
|The Container Store||12||A must-read!|
January Subject Line Word Cloud
Free shipping loses some dominance this month with clearance, winter and spring sales creeping in. You can also see that "extra," "day," and "today" are bubbling up which fits well with the limited time offers seen in the month.
I honestly expected special character usage to spike during the holidays and decline again in the new year. I was wrong. The were used more often in January, this could be some post-holiday enthusiasm carrying over another month. This number may start to decline again in the coming months, though I predict that we will see more as we go from winter's snow flakes and snowmen to spring's sunshine!
Most Frequently Used Characters
Stars and hearts dominate once again though the bubbled numbers are still hanging in there. These numbers have been used to liven up # day sales.
Thankfully there brands are not saturating their subject lines with special characters. There were only 4 brands who used 3 or more special characters in their subject lines.
|Lillian Vernon||6||♥♥♥ Discover Valentine Décor that's absolutely engaging! ♥♥♥|
|Rainbow Shops||4||♥♥3 Sweet Looks for Valentine's Day ♥♥|
|Horchow||4||★★ 25%-30% off entire site ★★|
|Hartstrings||3||☀ 25% Off New Arrivals ☀75% Off All Fall and Holiday ☀|
Please let me know if there are other trends that you would like to see in the monthly Email Marketing Trend reports. And as always, I welcome your comments...any trends you're seeing? What do you make of the trends for January?
Manager of Marketing Research
Previous Email Marketing Trends Reports:
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About the Author
As an expert in email, mobile and social strategies, Jim Davidsonbrings over 14 years of experience in online marketing, managing email and cross-channel programs for top retail clients. From strategic vision to implementation, Jim has led clients to successfully meet aggressive revenue and performance goals. As Bronto's Manager of Marketing Research, he regularly publishes industry-focused white papers, research reports and contributes to the Bronto Blog. His articles can be found in publications such as DM News, ClickZ, eM+C and Multichannel Merchant.