Themed marketing emails for holidays that typically do not involve gift-giving (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday) have the best open rates right before the holiday or actually on it, according to recent data from Yesmail Interactive.
On the other hand, Christmas-themed and general holiday season emails have better open rates when sent weeks or months earlier.
The report was based on fourth quarter 2013 data from the campaigns of 30 major brands.
The analysis found that Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday-themed emails last year all had higher open rates the week of the holiday compared with the weeks preceding the holiday. Cyber Monday emails had a particularly short window of higher opens, with consumers responding most to quick, exclusive deals.
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The declining open rate of emails in the fourth quarter is due mainly to increased volume. The analysis found that consumers are steadily bombarded with more and more marketing emails starting before Halloween, with the peak coming right before Christmas. Therefore, overall average open rates were highest in October and lowest in December.
For certain holidays—such as Cyber Monday—you may want to focus on providing great offers during a small window of time. For others—such as Christmas—you should start campaigns long in advance so you can get ahead of the competition.
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