Digital MarketingEmail MarketingSmarterHQ: Retailers dialing back their ‘Black Friday’ email promotions

SmarterHQ: Retailers dialing back their ‘Black Friday’ email promotions

Only a few retailers are pushing “Black Friday” specific messaging and promotions. Of the 19 retailers tracked by SmarterHQ, only three have sent email promotions with “Black Friday” specific messaging so far this month.

30-Second Summary:

  • By tracking 19 retailers’ email promotions, personalization firm SmarterHQ has unveiled several trends.
  • Fewer retailers are launching “Black Friday” specific promotions this year, possibly because they want to encourage shoppers to start consideration and buying earlier in the month, due to Thanksgiving’s lateness this year.
  • But brands are pitching other email promotional angles besides “Black Friday,” including special sales and shipping offers.

Only three of 19 tracked retailers have sent “Black Friday” specific email promotions this year, according to multi-channel personalization firm SmarterHQ.

The Indianapolis-based firm has been tracking emails from the retailers in several categories since July, resulting in its recently-released report, “Email Marketing Retail Showdown: Black Friday Preview.”

Newsletter signups

The tracking was conducted by signing up for each brand’s email newsletter on its site. The November report is the latest of monthly reports on this topic that SmarterHQ has been releasing since July.

CEO Michael Osborne noted in a statement that the holiday shopping season this year is six days shorter than in the last two decades, because Thanksgiving is occurring later in the year.

He speculated that brands recognize shoppers should begin their holiday shopping this year ahead of Thanksgiving instead of waiting after, and they may be concerned that “Black Friday” promotions may encourage shoppers to “wait until after Thanksgiving to cash in on those deals.”

Therefore, he said, some brands “have all started pushing holiday promotions in their emails earlier than ever before but they may just not be putting the label of ‘Black Friday’ on it.”

‘Friends and Family,’ ‘Private’ sales

The tracked brands sending “Black Friday” email promotions this month are Target, Costco and Best Buy. SmarterHQ noted a trend for some brands, like Target and Sam’s Club, to send out emails early in the month that highlight deals ending before Black Friday begins.

Another trend: “Friends and Family” and “Private” sales from Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s that recognize VIP shoppers and encourage them to shop early for items that “rarely go on sale.”

Additionally, although many retailers are avoiding “Black Friday”-specific messaging or deals, SmarterHQ found that many brands are blasting out other kinds of pitches, including holiday décor deals, food and gift guides, and kids “toy shops.” Walmart and Target in particular are pitching their free shipping or other kinds of shipping offers.

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