The report was based on data from 8 billion messages sent by Yes Lifecycle Marketing clients in 4Q16. The researchers examined campaigns that incorporated messaging for nine holidays/special events: Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday, Christmas, New Year, and general holiday.
Campaigns for eight of the nine holiday/special event themes examined had lower open rates, on average, compared with business-as-usual (BAU) campaigns; emails themed around the ninth holiday/special event (Black Friday) had open rates on par with BAU campaigns.
However, campaigns themed around six of the nine holidays/special events had higher conversion rates (the ratio of unique email clicks to purchases) compared with BAU campaigns.
More than half (55%) of the brands examined sent general holiday-themed campaigns (e.g., "last-minute holiday sale") in 2016.
Percent-off discounts were the most effective general holiday email offers, on average, the analysis found.
Campaigns that did not include an offer had a better average open rate, unique click rate, and click-to-open rate compared with campaigns that did include an offer.
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji