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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: 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 studied 4299 campaigns that were sent out by our key customers during the shopping holiday and we’re here to give you the latest Black Friday statistics.

The Biggest Black Friday Emails: Five Takeaways for 2018

#1 Black Friday Still Trumps Cyber Monday for Both Retailers & Shoppers

Despite Cyber Monday being the designated “online shopping holiday,” consumers are far more interested in beating the lines at dawn and shopping in their pajamas on Black Friday with their in-store cohorts.

This comes as no surprise to retailers, who began pumping up the volume of their campaigns starting on Thanksgiving and peaking on Black Friday itself.

While email sends were at the second highest on Cyber Monday, Black Friday continued to be the highest grossing day. Black Friday was responsible for over 40% of the weekend’s email campaigns, with an average order count of 9.44.

Open and click-through rates fell slightly on Black Friday (mainly due to the sheer volume of emails being sent),  and despite Cyber Monday bringing in 30% of the weekend’s email campaigns, Cyber Monday only brought in a 5.56 order count.

Consumers were less ready to buy on Cyber Monday than they were on Black Friday or even Thanksgiving itself.

Is this the beginning of the end of Cyber Monday?

#2 Consumers Won’t Wait for Black Friday

It might be worth it to focus on the Monday before Black Friday. We’ve seen that holiday shopping starts earlier and earlier each year, with many consumers starting their shopping around the end of October.

We can see that open and click-through rate is significant in the days leading up to Black Friday. Even on Thanksgiving, consumers purchased nearly as many products online from email campaigns as they did on Black Friday.

black friday emails open rate per day

black friday emails click through rate per day

However, the weekend in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday drops off to nearly normal rates, despite many being off work and having more time to shop.

black friday emails order count per day

What does it all mean?

Consumers won’t wait for Black Friday- and they’re already susceptible to deals well before Black Friday even starts. Try sending your campaigns a bit earlier next year, rather than sending everything on Black Friday alone.

#3 Cart Abandonment Automation is Even More Profitable in 2018

We also studied automated email workflows used during the holiday period and we found some interesting Black Friday statistics.

black friday emails 2017 vs 2018

As in 2017, cart recovery emails had the most success during Black Friday weekend. Boasting a 34% open rate and a 9% click-through rate, 2.13% of all cart recover emails opened resulted in a purchase.

Compared with 2017, 2018’s Black Friday Statistics showed that cart recovery success increased:

  • Open rate dropped from 37.69% to 34% between 2017 and 2018 (mainly due to volume)
  • CTR increased from 7.62% in 2017 to 9% in 2018
  • Order rate jumped from 1.65% in 2017 to 2.13% in 2018

The biggest takeaway from this? Customers have a lot of deals to sift through on Black Friday. Call them back to their abandoned carts with a well-timed recovery email to close that conversion.

#4 Welcome Emails Bring in Almost As Many Orders as Cart Recovery

While cart recovery was particularly successful, the next category of successful automated emails might surprise you: welcome emails had considerable success across the board.

  • 38% of all welcome emails were opened
  • Welcome emails enjoyed a 9% CTR
  • Customers coming from welcome emails nearly matched cart recovery emails in order rate at 2.09%

But of all the emails sent, why would welcome emails be so successful?

black friday emails

This exact scenario happened to me on Black Friday: If you’re like me, I use Google when I have an idea for a gift. When I find a store that offers me something to sign up, say a pop up with a first-time discount, I’ll definitely sign up.

After all, why wouldn’t I want a discount on top of already discounted products? I then clicked through from the welcome email and used my discount code to pick up the gifts I was likely going to buy anyway.

Many consumers are not only clicking through the campaigns of the stores they love, they’re also open to finding new stores to shop from. So keep a 360 degree strategy for new visitors- pop up email capture OR exit intent, automated welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, etc to keep your customers’ attention.

#5 A Challenger Appears: SMS Emerges as the Channel with the ROI to Beat

A surprising contender this shopping season was SMS campaigns: according to our Black Friday statistics, SMS messages were sent 33 times more on Black Friday alone compared to a typical business day..

We’ve known that 94% of all SMS messages are read within the first 5 minutes, and that by 2020, the number of people subscribed to SMS marketing will reach nearly 50 million.

In 2018, our merchants took the plunge and chose to use SMS marketing to boost their campaigns.

Across our customers, we’re also seeing the wave of SMS-love from Black Friday: many spoke out saying that they were seeing 2000% ROI, and even up to 3300%!

For nearly 3300% ROI, it’s definitely worth jumping on this trend. If you keep your SMS campaigns few, far between, and well-timed, they can really impact the success of your email campaigns.

At Omnisend, despite sending in regular campaigns, we suggest adding them to a workflow for cart abandonment and reactivation sequences.

While we weren’t expecting such large hikes across our 2018 Black Friday statistics, we weren’t shocked by any means. Online merchants are quick to jump on new ways of connecting with their customers, and they know when their shoppers are the most susceptible to deals.

These are tactics we can use throughout the rest of the holiday season and the whole 2019 year. By kicking up your marketing efforts in the days leading up to shopping holidays, and by not pulling any punches on which channels you use, you can see amazing results from your holiday weekend’s profits.

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

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