Some say email is or will soon be dead, but try telling that to retailers promoting Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2016 sales in recent weeks.
Amazon, Walmart and the rest absolutely inundated shoppers who wittingly or not had shared their email addresses with retailers.
Email marketing analysis firm eDataSource reports that more than 35,000 Black Friday-themed email campaigns were mailed during the period from 10 days before Black Friday (Nov. 25) to Cyber Monday (Nov. 28), representing a 50% increase from a year ago. The Cyber Monday messaging deluge followed suit, with about 24,000 campaigns mailed over the same period and a 36% increase from 2015.
(eDataSource monitors 1.5 million active consumer inboxes and 90,000 brands.)
And it's not like the emails are going straight to the trash. About 20% of Black Friday emails had a read rate of 20%-plus, versus 13% last year, and about 19% of Cyber Monday emails had a read rate of 20%-plus, versus 12% in 2015.
Data from Adobe (based on aggregated and supposedly anonymous data from 23 billion visits to retail websites) showed that Cyber Monday 2016 was the largest online sales day in history with $3.39B spent (including more than a third of that via mobile devices).
Amazon smoked the rest of the field in terms of email volume for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, more than tripling runner-up Walmart's Black Friday message volume and far surpassing its Cyber Monday pitches (Walmart actually decreased its Cyber Monday messages significantly from a year ago, according to eDataSource).
Amazon's success in selling its own devices over the busy holiday shopping weekend certainly won't discourage it from holding back on emails going forward. The retailer boasts that its device sales more than doubled from a year ago, as it pushed Alexa-powered devices such as Echo and Dot, along with Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Kindle e-readers.
Walmart too claimed big wins over the holiday shopping weekend, claiming that the Apple iPad mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7-inch tablet were among its big tech sellers. Walmart says it saw record numbers of visits to its website and specified that 70% of Cyber Monday traffic came from mobile devices.
With retailers playing increasingly faster and looser with the definitions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, deals started in early November and some extend right into December. So this ain't over yet.