2018 Holiday Send Times: Catch Subscribers at Their Cheeriest

November 19, 2018
Libby Croak
Libby Croak


November 19, 2018

Now that you have your content strategy mapped out (2018 Holiday Content: Be Merry, Bright, and Profitable), you want to make sure your beautiful creative and carefully curated deals get seen by the right subscribers...and that comes down to timing.

4 Holiday Send-Time Lessons from Our Data:

The holiday shopping rush seems to expand with each passing year – Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Green Monday, and beyond, all the way to the new year. But when are consumers looking through their inboxes and actually making purchases?

  1. In 2017, Cyber Monday Had the Highest Average Conversion Rate out of All the Q4 Holidays at 8.9%1.
    Compare this to Black Friday, which had an average conversion rate of 6.4%. If you are trying to drive traffic to store locations, Black Friday is your best bet – but you might want to put your biggest digital focus on Monday to catch those online shoppers.
  2. Open Rates Are Higher on Giving Tuesday – but Conversion Rates Lag in Retail Messaging.
    Interestingly, retail emails sent the day after Cyber Monday (Giving Tuesday) piqued more interest, with average open rates that were 30% higher than they were on Cyber Monday. That said, their significantly lower 2.7% conversion rate suggests that customer expectations were not met, likely because many of the messages only announced an extension for a Cyber Monday deal, and not something new. Be careful with sale extensions between the two days – training customers to wait can lead to indecision and inaction.
  3. Knowing What Time to Send Is Crucial.
    Omnisend analyzed email interaction on millions of messages for the Black Friday – Cyber Monday period in 2017. This research found that 10am and 4pm were the busiest times for open and click activity2. These times make sense – around 10am many people are getting their day started, sifting through email. At 4pm, many people are winding down their work day and taking another pass through their inbox.

    Note that these times are respective to recipient time zones, and segment your list by geography.

    Go even further by checking out Shaw + Scott's Send Time Optimization: Learn when individual customers are most likely to open your emails, and automatically set personalized send times to boost your conversion. (See how STO boosted ModCloth's newsletter performance by 21%!)
  4. It's Worth Trying a Lower-Competition Day: Green Monday.
    Green Monday was the name coined to mark the best sales day of December, typically on the second Monday of the month. Email marketers haven't aggressively pursued this “holiday” yet, with a 2017 adoption rate of only 7%1. Standing out in the inbox will be much easier on Green Monday than on Cyber Monday or Black Friday, and conversion rates for Green Monday emails were up 8% YOY in 2017, beating out conversion rates of BAU emails by 35%1.

    Consider sending a Green Monday email, targeting late shoppers or highlighting deals aimed to help them finish their gift-shopping. This move might just give you the late boost you need to meet or exceed your revenue goals.

Overwhelmed By Holiday Workload?

All these deals! All that cheer! So much merriment! It can get overwhelming on the marketing side of things. That's why we offer Shaw + Scott Holiday Services – on a full-service or ad-hoc basis. Get in touch to let us know how we can support you.

Check back next Monday after 9 AM PST for our next post regarding holiday triggered sends or sign up below to receive our weekly blog digest.

Ready to chat? Give us a call at +1.520.762.4842 and press option 1, or reach out through our simple contact form.

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Holidy Secrets Series Part 2

(1) 2018 Holiday Marketing Guide: Lessons & opportunities from the 2017 holiday season. Yes Lifecycle Marketing. 2018.
(2) The Absolute Best Time to Send Black Friday Emails. Omnisend. September 2018.

Tags: Digital Marketing, Digital Strategy, Best Practices, Email Sent Time, 2018 Holiday Secrets

Digital Strategist, Shaw + Scott (Seattle) Libby is a data-driven digital marketer with deep expertise in the email channel. She brings more than 6 years of experience crafting triggered emails, lifecycle programs, mobile-first strategies, behavior-focused dynamic campaigns, and much more to the Shaw + Scott digital strategy team. From publishing to travel, Libby has applied her skills for iconic brands such as The Boston Globe, Alaska Airlines, TaylorMade, and Forever 21.

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