Here's What Went Down on "Black Friday" 2019

By 4. December 2019September 8th, 2020Mail Designer 365 Blog

Last year we took an in depth look at some of the email trends we noticed over the "Black Friday" weekend. We had so much fun analysing all the email marketing campaigns (#EmailGeeks) that we couldn't resist doing another one this year. Here's our 2019 roundup of everything that went down in the world of email marketing...

Our email sample

Like last year, we scoured our inboxes to find all of the emails sent out over the weekend. Our sample is made up of all the emails we received to our research account between 29.11 and 02.12.

In total, we managed to to identify campaigns sent by 46 different brands. These ranged from small businesses to huge corporations (hello Amazon), and covered sectors including travel, fashion, events, consumer goods and e-commerce.

All the stats from 2019

Which types of businesses got involved? 

According to our sample, "Black Friday" 2019 was a massive event for clothing retailers. Almost one third (30%) of the email campaigns in our sample were sent by fashion brands including Boohoo and ASOS.

Fashion brands made up the largest chunk of our sample.

While this doesn't come as much of a surprise, given the fact that most online fashion giants always have some kind of promotion going on, it was nice to see smaller boutique brands getting involved too:

Atterley were among one of the smaller fashion boutiques to get involved.

Our sample was split as follows:

  1. 30.1% fashion and accessories
  2. 10.9% consumer goods
  3. 10.9% software/computing
  4. 10.9% other
  5. 8.7% gifts, cards and flowers
  6. 6.5% travel
  7. 6.5% e-commerce
  8. 6.5% events
  9. 4.3% hospitality
  10. 4.3% beauty and healthcare

What were the offers like?

Each year businesses have the dilemma of choosing a promotion to run with. Really, there is no right answer, but it can help to see what other retailers have opted for. This year, over a quarter of our sample (26.1%) opted to offer a discount of 50% or up to 50% off. In second place was the 40% discount, which just under 20% (19.6%) offered.

50% off was this year's most common discount.

Just like last year where 83% of businesses went for a clear percentage discount, this year it was also the clear winner; however, with 73.9% choosing to advertise a percentage discount over a general sale or other promotion.

Interestingly, the discounts weren't all that impressive. Only 6.5% of businesses in our sample chose to offer more than 65% off. We discovered that the biggest discount was 74% and the lowest was just 10%.

Reebok was one of the retailers offering significantly larger discounts.

A handful of businesses also increased their offer over the weekend to keep things interesting. This could be a good technique to convince any customers who may have been on the fence about whether or not to shop. Overall, 8.7% of our sample had an additional offer which launched on Cyber Monday.

Feelunique surprised customers with an extra 10% off for Cyber Monday.

How many emails did businesses send out?

We noticed a relatively large fluctuation in the amount of emails businesses chose to send out as part of their overall email marketing efforts. In our sample, it ranged from many retailers choosing to just send one email over the entire weekend, to two businesses sending a staggering ten emails each (thanks for that, Groupon and eBay...)

The majority (41.3%) put all of their efforts into one email campaign; using a singular email to advertise their promotion. This was, in particular, a trend we noticed among smaller businesses. However, 26% of the sample were super persistent and sent out 5 or more emails within the time period.

Which techniques did marketers use?

Last but not least, we were also dying to look at the techniques used by marketers. Let's start with subject lines. Unsurprisingly, of all the emails we received, almost 90% (89.1%) chose to include the term "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday" in their subject line. This is a very easy and effective way to quickly show your subscribers that you're getting involved in the major shopping event.

We also noticed some businesses choosing to use emojis in their subject lines. From our sample, 41% chose to use an emoji. This is a clever technique to make your email stand out amongst the crowd over the busy sales weekend.

Other design techniques used

GIFs played a slightly bigger role in the email sample this year compared to in 2018. 34.8% of our sample opted to use a GIF or animation in their email design to liven things up a little. This is a slight increase on last year's 27%:

This simple yet stylish GIF from Wolf & Badger may have made all the difference to their 2019 campaign.

2019 also saw a fair amount of marketers going for the countdown timer option. This of course is a clever way to generate the all important sense of urgency needed for a big sales event. This year we noticed that 17.4% of emails included some form of countdown timer.

Virgin Experience Days were among the brands who opted for a countdown timer in their email design.

Hopefully you've found this roundup of everything that went down in 2019 during "Black Friday" useful. If you feel like trying out some of these techniques in your next email campaign, why not give Mail Designer 365 a go? Mail Designer has all the creative resources and design tools you need to build amazing email campaigns. Sign up free today to test the service.

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

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