Year End Report Looks at Email Marketing on the Biggest Shopping Days of 2018

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 Holiday Email Marketing Trends

The one marketing channel which has been delivering consistently for years is email. And with a record-breaking $7.9 billion in sales for Cyber Monday 2018, SendGrid wanted to know just how marketers were using email.

SendGrid analyzed the data from the record 2.9 billion emails sent on Cyber Monday alone. The company surpassed its highest sending volume to date and looking at this data the company found valuable insights marketers can use as part of their sending strategy.

For small businesses, this report highlights the benefits of using email as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Because according to SendGrid, email is the number one digital driver of ROI for brands responsible for 24.2% of traffic.

However, email is not being used as effectively by small businesses. In an email interview, Small Business Trends asked SendGrid’s Len Shneyder, Vice President of Industry Relations:

Why are more small businesses not taking advantage of email marketing considering it consistently delivers when it comes to conversions?

Shneyder said, “Email at scale is challenging, therefore, it might seem daunting to small business owners or they might think they lack the tools to utilize email as a growth channel. But that need not be the case. Email marketing is extremely cost-effective. It remains the best digital marketing channel for return on investment and email’s cost-per-acquisition is the lowest of all media types, according to the Data & Marketing Association. Our research also found that nearly 50% of consumers have purchased from websites after seeing a marketing email.”

Small Business Deals

Shneyder goes on to say while some businesses use email, they’re not taking full advantage of the full spectrum of tools available to them. He says small businesses can use, “A broad range of email applications from a simple newsletter, to an automated onboarding series, to similar product recommendations, promotions/sales and transactional emails like email receipts and password resets.”

2018 Holiday Email Marketing Trends

One of the data points most often cited is the time you send an email. However, SendGrid reports the time you send the email doesn’t affect open rates for most of the day.

It goes on to say when you send an email during the evening time it raises opening times to almost 8 hours. Therefore, the company recommends sending time-sensitive deals before evening time to make sure they’re well received.

What about Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Regarding Black Friday, the open rates for emails on this day were 42 minutes faster than regular Fridays, which stands at around 4.5 hours.

Ironically enough, using subject lines which use “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” were performing worse than those which didn’t mention the events.

SendGrid recommends marketers to use subject line which leverage segment specific interests, previous purchase behavior, or provide an innovative, clever, and compelling value proposition to entice the consumer.

Additional data points during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are: fewer exclamation points were used, even though this practice was higher in 2018; usage of discounts in subject lines fell to only 6%, and 26% will click more than once on links in the same email during Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

So, Small Business Trends asked Shneyder:

Why should email be part of the overall digital marketing strategy for small businesses?

“Besides being the most cost-effective channel in terms of ROI with $38 of return for every $1 of investment (DMA), email is consumers’ online identifier to sign up for new products and services and retrieve important user credentials. People change their home address more frequently than their email address, therefore, email serves as the system of record for our digital lives.”

He added, “Given the proliferation of email vs. the world’s population, it’s only natural that every new business will turn to email to create connective tissue with customers and prospects. In fact, we found that 67% of consumers believe email is essential to their lives and Gen Z expects to increase or maintain their email usage over the next 5 years.”

Whether it is Black Friday/Cyber Monday or any other day of the year, email is a cost-effective marketing solution for small businesses. This is especially true for startups with limited budgets.

As Shneyder said, “It’s important for small business owners that are not using it to understand that email will be the most effective means of reaching their audience out the gate and as they grow.”

Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

One Reaction
  1. Email is an investment. You have to put the work into it/spend the money before you realize the benefit. That’s why many don’t do it/don’t stick with it.

    However, the numbers don’t like, it works. Stick with it.