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Black Friday Emails: 2019 Statistics and Forecast for 2020

Whitney Blankenship
Content Marketing Manager
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Black Friday is always the highlight of the online shopping industry, as it’s the period that can make or break an online store’s profits for the year. So every year, we study Black Friday emails and marketing channels: what’s different? What trends are appearing? How are consumers changing?

All so we can keep up with the latest ecommerce trends and stay on top of what our customers want and need.

We analyzed email send data for over 3 billion Q3 2020 emails sent by Omnisend’s marketing platform, and we’re here to give you the latest statistics going into Black Friday.

The Biggest Ecommerce Marketing Statistics 2020: Three Takeaways for Black Friday

It’s no secret that Black Friday is the event of the year for most online sellers, with Cyber Monday nipping at its heels. In this difficult, pandemic-affected year, more shoppers than ever will flock to ecommerce stores to purchase from the safety of their homes, while looking to take advantage of the best deals of the year.

To help you gain an edge on the increased competition, we’ve prepared a sneak peek at our top ecommerce marketing statistics for Q3 2020, with three big takeaways to help you make the most of this record-breaking holiday season.

1. SMS continues to go from strength to strength:

With businesses on Omnisend sending 96.85% more SMS messages than in Q2 2020, and 237% more than during Q3 2019, the days of SMS being an underused channel are over. Retailers are quickly discovering the effectiveness of SMS alongside email, and are hopping on board the bandwagon. The fact that these trusted, opt-in messages are continuing to grow shows that consumers are embracing the text message trend too, with SMS looking to become a major source of revenue for retailers this holiday season.

How to benefit from this trend:

SMS will be a difference-maker this holiday season, so if you’re not already, start collection phone numbers now to stay ahead of the competition.

Make use of free SMS on platforms like Omnisend and use SMS in combination with email and even push messages to form a potent omnichannel strategy, delivering personalized and timely messaging that adds a sense of urgency and exclusivity to your deals.

Learn how to do this effectively in our article: 5 Ways to Use SMS with Your Holiday Promotions in 2020

Sign Up to Omnisend and start sending text messages right away!

2. Push messages are on the rise too:

Similar to SMS, web push messaging is a growing channel that offers a more urgent, time-sensitive element to supplement your email campaigns.
In Q2 2020, we saw a 1,035% increase in push messages sent compared to Q2 in 2019. In Q3, this increased even further to 1,681%. Not only that, these push messages registered an impressive 53.6% view rate and a 30.3% conversion rate, showing just how effective they are.

How to benefit from this trend:

These instantaneous messages, short and sweet and delivered directly onto a user’s browser, are ideal for cart abandonment workflows.

With a low cost and high conversion rate, simply set up a push message to appear a few minutes after a customer has abandoned their cart, delivering a polite reminder while the product is still fresh in the mind.

As an example, INGLOT Canada used push messages effectively in their cart abandonment workflow, managing to earn a massive 4,798% lift in revenue per message!

3. Marketing automation is no longer optional

In case you didn’t know it already, the numbers show that marketing automation is now the main driver of revenue.

Automated emails sent with Omnisend were less than 2% of total sends over Q3 2020, yet they generated nearly 32% of all conversions, and even the worst-performing type of automated message still outperformed those of promotional campaigns.

How to benefit from this trend:

We found that welcome, cart abandonment, and browse abandonment messages perform the best of all automated messages—with welcome messages achieving rates of more than 50%.

Make sure you’ve got your automated messages optimized and ready to go for the holidays, we expect them to be significant drivers of revenue!

Learn how to do this effectively in our article: 6 Ways to Optimize Your Holiday Workflows in 2020

So how does this compare to last year’s Black Friday insights? Let’s have a look at what we learned from 2019.

The Biggest Black Friday Statistics 2019: Four Takeaways

The following insights were made immediately after the Black Friday 2019.

1. Ecommerce Marketers Earn Nearly 7 Times the Order Rate of Single-Email Campaigns with SMS on Black Friday

While SMS was on the rise in 2018, the channel absolutely exploded in 2019: ecommerce marketers sent more SMS campaigns this Black Friday than ever before, sending over 1 million campaigns over the week of Thanksgiving.

Retailers were right to follow their instincts, as SMS campaigns earned immense value in 2019. On Black Friday alone, ecommerce brands earned a 14.03% click through rate and received a 592% higher order rate than email. On average orders, SMS earned retail brands 21% more orders per campaign than email on Black Friday.

How to benefit from this trend:

While it’s not a good idea to opt for SMS over email completely, ecommerce marketers would get the most out of this trend by incorporating SMS in their bigger campaigns. There isn’t yet a lot of competition in SMS marketing, and customers offering a phone number in addition to their email address are showing an even higher level of intent.

Getting in on this strategy, and sending SMS campaigns for your best promotions and news will earn you higher click through and order rates.

Sign Up to Omnisend and start sending text messages right away!

2. Order Confirmation Emails Offer High Black Friday Potential

There’s no other message that has a higher open or click through rate than order confirmation emails. But when it comes to order rate, confirmation emails tend to fall short.

Order confirmation emails on Black Friday earned open rates of nearly 60%- astronomically high for the ecommerce industry. Click through rates are also significant at 9.83%.

However order rates fall among the lowest for this campaign, despite the highest open and click through rates. This can be attributed to customer intent when this kind of message is received.

With such good visibility, ecommerce marketers are finding ways to convert from order confirmation emails, despite the lower order rate.

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How to benefit from this trend:

With that said, there are ways to get more value from order confirmation emails. When the confirmation email is sent, the customer is at their highest level of trust, feeling happy about a recent purchase
Offering a discount on the next purchase with related product recommendations can bring the customer back for a second purchase even quicker.

3. The Birth of SMS Wednesday: SMS Campaigns Sent Before Black Friday Earn 75% Higher Order Rates than Cyber Monday

While campaign sending across all channels was increased during the week of Black Friday, the most campaigns were sent Friday, with Cyber Monday following close behind.

Customers were already looking for deals by the middle of the week- often purchasing during pre-Black Friday promotions. Surprisingly, campaigns sent the Wednesday before Thanksgiving were also successful, earning 150% higher order rates than email-only campaigns that same day.

Wednesday was even more successful than Cyber Monday in order rates, earning a 75% higher order rate via SMS.

How to benefit from this trend:

Using SMS on big shopping days like Black Friday are great, but using them on days where there’s less competition is even better. The Wednesday prior to Black Friday is a great day for SMS campaigns because customers are already getting excited about the shopping holiday.

4. Campaign Engagement Climbs the Week of Black Friday, but Falls the Weekend After

Starting Monday and leading up to Black Friday, we saw a sharp climb of campaigns being sent by the day, reaching a peak on Friday. Engagement stayed steady throughout the week leading up to Friday, even with the increase of volume and competition as the end of the week drew nearer.

However, all engagement dropped off during the weekend after Black Friday. We could attribute this to customers going out to physical stores during the weekend, or perhaps waiting for Cyber Monday deals to drop.

While it’s true that retailers sent fewer campaigns during the weekend, the pace was comparable to the amount of campaigns sent on the Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the end of the week.

Feel free to send your campaigns the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don’t count on high orders from these days.

Instead, use this time to tease your Cyber Monday deals, where engagement picks back up. Also, use the week prior to Black Friday and begin sending your campaigns that Monday. Whether you tease your Black Friday promotions or you offer Early Black Friday sales, you’ll be sure to catch the customer’s eye.

While we weren’t expecting the upward trends over Black Friday 2019 or this year’s Q3 to be quite so large, we weren’t shocked. Online merchants are quick to jump on new ways of connecting with their customers, and they know when their shoppers are the most open to deals.

These tactics are great because they can be used not only for the holiday season, but throughout the whole year. However, by really stepping up your marketing efforts in the days leading up to Black Friday, and not pulling any punches on which channels you use, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition and gain healthy profits from your holiday weekend deals.

What Black Friday statistic shocked you the most? Anything you weren’t expecting? Tell us below!

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Whitney Blankenship

Sr. Content Marketing Manager for Omnisend. When not writing awesome content, Whitney is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, ecommerce, and social media trends. Obsessed with pop culture, art, and metal. Powered by coffee. Fastest Googler in the West.