As the big shopping weekend approaches, a study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that Cyber Monday emails boasted a conversion rate 53% higher than Black Friday emails, showing that the online shopping day is on the rise.
That doesn't mean that Black Friday emails were unsuccessful. On the contrary, Black Friday emails outperformed business-as-usual emails by about 52% and posted a higher open rate (14.6%) than Cyber Monday emails (13.2%), according to the report.
Yes Lifecycle Marketing also found that around the same number of marketers used Black Friday and Cyber Monday in their marketing campaigns, coming in at 33% and 34% respectively.
Black Friday isn't a lone shopping day anymore. The holiday has evolved into a one to two week long period and consumers are spending more than ever, whether in person or online, where Black Friday is increasingly headed.
While calls for urgency aren't the most effective emotions to use in holiday marketing campaigns, that shifts during Black Friday week, when limited-time deals and sales are top of mind for every shopper. According to the study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, Cyber Monday emails had the highest open rate (15.6%) when they were sent out the Thursday after the event and made calls for final offers or the last deals.
"Black Friday is no longer the ultimate retail holiday. Cyber Monday, and increasingly Green Monday, are some of the most promising opportunities for conversions during the holiday season," Michael Iaccarino, CEO and chairman of Infogroup, the parent company of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, said in a statement. "In order to identify this and many other trends in advance and capitalize on them, marketers should invest in tools that consistently make data collection and analysis easy and intuitive. This will make the difference between brands that champion changes in consumer behavior and those that are blindsided by them."
That matches up with some other findings this year, which have claimed that Cyber Monday is slowly overtaking Black Friday in terms of popularity. Certainly, the online shopping day is growing on consumers, but retailers can reach holiday shoppers of all kinds with the right kind of marketing. According to the NRF, that means limited-time offers and deals, along with personalized recommendations and gift-giving guides.
But Black Friday isn't for everyone. Some retailers, REI and Modcloth included, will be shuttering their doors for the shopping day, but that doesn't mean they'll be losing out. REI, for its part, is using a social search engine to make connections with customers over the big shopping weekend, and Patagonia's decision to donate 100% of its Black Friday profits to grassroots environmentalist causes last year grabbed big kudos from customers, who also felt strongly about the environment.
Branding excluded, though, Yes Lifecycle Marketing's findings point to a big future for email marketing over the shopping weekend — and an even bigger future for Cyber Monday.