Holiday-Themed Email Campaigns Grew in 2015, But Less May Be More Effective

christmasWhile holidays are natural times to pile on the email pitches, less might produce more, to paraphrase famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

The data backs up this assertion. For instance, though the proportion of brands sending holiday-themed emails has risen 13.4 percent (almost doubling for some holidays), a new study from Yes Lifecycle Marketing documented a 5 percent dip in open rates.

Why? “Consumers’ inboxes were inundated,” a report summary reads.

Yes Lifecycle Marketing’s report —“Engagement and Deliverability for Holiday-Themed Emails: Biggest Lessons from 2015 and What They Mean for Marketers in 2016” —  tracked the year-over-year performance of email marketing campaigns by 30 major brands, including Amazon, Target, and Nordstrom (for Q3 and Q4 of 2014 and 2015).

“Holiday-themed email campaigns are a great way for brands to engage consumers in a timely and topical way, but we saw some diminishing returns as more brands were competing to attract customers’ attention with the same tactics over the same period,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “These campaigns can still be highly effective and engaging, but marketers need to be thinking more strategically.”

The study also suggests a link between the abrupt increase in email volume during the holiday season and a decrease in open rates for all marketing emails during the same period.

So, what are the best ways to leverage the holidays in marketing email? Yes Lifecycle Marketing has a whitepaper with tips you can download here.