Black Friday Sales Reflect The
State Of Email Marketing In 2014

Written by Rob Lane.

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1. Overview

As 2014 winds down and we look back at the year that was in the evolving world of digital marketing, some interesting patterns are emerging and worth paying attention to. As more of us immerse our everyday selves online, it’s only natural that ecommerce sales are rising, buoyed by the freedom of mobile shopping, and driven by automated email marketing. Nowhere was this trend more clearly demonstrated than during this past Black Friday (cyber-shopping-weekend).

Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day in the U.S. for over a decade, kicking off the critical holiday shopping season, where many retailers earn their real profits. The dust is now settling from Black Friday 2014, which for many traditional retailers across America was indeed a little too dark, as total spend in the U.S. the was down 11.3% percent from last year. Fortune

2. Black Friday - Cyber Monday: Online Shopping Goes Up

A different story surfaced on this peak-shopping weekend for ecommerce, “Black Friday online sales were up 9.5% over 2013, peaking at 8:55 a.m. PST,” and online sales for Cyber Monday showed an increase of 8.5% over last year, making it the busiest online shopping day of the year (IBM: Digital Analytics Benchmark Reports).

Other sources have even stronger estimates of ecommerce growth for Black Friday 2014, attributing mobile shopping, promotions and email as the main marketing components for online sales success. As the initial sales results for Black Friday came in, Forbes reported that:

Black Friday 2014 online sales grew 20.6% over Black Friday 2013, driven by mobile shopping, promotions, and email marketing. This makes it the biggest day in US e-commerce ever.


3. Shifts In The Digital Marketing Landscape

Email marketing is becoming more attractive as the channel matures in its ability to effectively connect with consumers, but recent shifts in other digital marketing options are also making email shine for business owners.

Facebook is clearly the biggest social media network on earth, with 1.35 Billion users, which is about the population of China, representing an amazing reach for digital marketers. However, many businesses are disillusioned after working hard to build an audience through their fan pages, only to have the reach of their posts gradually reduced to low single digits; unless, they are willing to pay the emerging Facebook ad machine, that is starting to challenge Google.

Search is another area of digital marketing that is shifting. Google’s continuous updates to its search algorithm have made it more daunting for business owners to succeed with organic SEO. This squeeze is nudging marketers to its paid platform, Adwords, which itself is not a turnkey operation.

Amidst this digital backdrop, email stands out an asset that companies typically have much greater control over, and which is seeing a surge in popularity and utility as businesses are learning to combine automated email marketing with predictive analytics.

4. Why Does Amazon Have 30% Of Ecommerce Marketshare?

A leading example of this strategy in action comes from Amazon, which is in the online shopping pole position with 30% of marketshare this year. A big part of Amazon’s success is driven by their approach to email marketing, which differs from traditional static blast email, sprinkled with promotional material:

Amazon takes an entirely different approach. Every email is personalized using every scrap of information they have about their users: on-site behavior, past purchases, amount spent, location, age, gender, etc.


5. Automated Email Marketing Picks Up Traction In 2014

Personalized email, that speaks directly to our individual needs and interests as consumers, certainly has its appeal. I’m a lot more likely to open an email that has something I actually might want inside, tailored to my tastes. I’m also more inclined to trust the email sender; the more they satisfy this expectation once it is set.

Being able to deliver effective, personalized email on a mass scale, with sophisticated email marketing automation, has caught the attention of the business world in 2014:

"Nearly 70% of businesses are using a marketing automation platform (MAP) or currently implementing one… Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform. Aberdeen Group “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce.”

Email Monday

Going into the holiday shopping season, and beyond to 2015, consumers will continue to buy online in greater numbers. Companies, which leverage the growing reach of mobile technology and the efficiency of automated email marketing, personalized by predictive analytics, will cash in on the new economy, while those who don’t adapt will be left behind:

In fact, in their 2014 update to the SiriusView for Marketing Automation Platforms report, SiriusDecisions suggests that marketers who do not use and understand marketing automation are quickly becoming a dying breed.


6. Conclusion makes it easy to start using automated email campaigns for common challenges like: Welcome Series, Abandoned Carts, Order Follow-up emails and more! You can learn more about our powerful email marketing automation features here or go ahead and get started right away by using for FREE.

And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.

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