Oops — I meant to publish this last week. A bit delayed, but happy #TBT!

I originally published this on ClickZ last year just after Cyber Monday. I realize we’re a week out but if you are planning a high frequency campaign here are some things to keep in mind based on programs done last year by Keep and Essential Apparel. If you’re not going high frequency on Monday — it’s not too late to add in at least one more send to see if you can boost performance.

And you might also want to check out a companion post I did here on the blog last year called Cyber Monday 2014: Highlights with information on the email marketing I received from 51 brands last Cyber Monday. Enjoy!

How many messages did you send to your email subscribers on Cyber Monday?

Multi-effort email campaigns can dramatically increase your open and click reach. The charts below are from an actual client campaign and illustrate the relationship between single campaign rate metrics and reach metrics.

Open Reach

The first email in the series had an open rate of just more than 14 percent (left axis); you’ll see that the open reach for that first send is also just more than 14 percent (right axis). With each additional effort or send, we picked up people that hadn’t opened the previous email(s). This is what drives reach; reach measures the percentage of your list that has opened at least one email in the series.

Now look at where open rate and reach are after the final email, effort six. Open rate is just below 12 percent; but open reach is nearly 25 percent. The additional five messages nearly doubled the number of people that opened at least one of the emails.

Click Reach

We see a similar story when we look at click-through rate and reach on this same campaign.

The click-through rate wasn’t huge (there’s a story there for another column), but you can clearly see the benefit of the six effort campaign. The first message had the highest click-through rate – roughly 1 percent. But over the course of the six efforts, more than 3 percent of the list clicked on at least one message. The additional efforts more than tripled the number of subscribers that engaged with the email.

While this campaign was sent over the course of 10 weeks (roughly weeks between sends), Cyber Monday campaigns are much more concentrated (although there were companies that have extended their Cyber Monday deals and campaigns).

On my blog I’ve published a list of 50 brands that emailed me on Cyber Monday along with how many messages each one sent me and some additional analysis and tips. But here I wanted to focus on two high-frequency senders: EssentialApparel.com and Keep.

EssentialApparel.com sent me five emails beginning at 4 a.m. and ending just after 7 p.m.; Keep sent me six messages between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. Let’s go in reverse alphabetical order and start by discussing Keep’s program.

This is Keep’s second foray into high-frequency Cyber Monday communications. I’ve worked with the Keep team so I know that last year’s campaign was very successful; I wasn’t surprised that they did it again.

Keep Keys to Success:

  • A content strategy tailor-made for Cyber Monday: everything featured was on sale, which is really the point of Cyber Monday.
  • A single template, but completely different products featured in each message: roughly a dozen products in every email, all on sale, with no repetition between emails.
  • An additional opt-out for Cyber Monday messages: this was included along with the standard unsubscribe for people that didn’t want to receive the Cyber Monday emails but who did want to remain on the list.

That last point is critical to success; a screenshot of how they did it appears below.

Keep Cyber Monday

A partial screenshot of one of Keep’s emails appears below.

Keep email

EssentialApparel.com sent almost as many emails as Keep (five) but their approach was very different.

While the subject lines were all different, the body of four of the five emails from Essential Apparel were the same (see below).

essential apparel email

I didn’t open any of the EssentialApparel.com emails until I wrote this, so they may have been doing resends to non-openers. I’m not sure. Resends aren’t a bad strategy, but it’s a very different approach to including unique content in each email, as Keep did.

You’ll also notice that it’s a strictly promotional offer. No product images, just an across-the-board offer.

The one message I got from EssentialApparel.com that was different from this one was for hosiery – and it was a resend of an email I had received on Sunday.

From the perspective of a consumer and an email marketing consultant looking in from the outside, the Keep program is more interesting. That said, what really matters is revenue – and if you can generate more revenue with a less interesting campaign, more power to you.

Until next time,



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