The number of promotional email campaigns sent by major retailers set a new record in 2011, according to Responsys, a provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions, which tracks the email activity of more than 100 retailers.
"Retailers sent each of their subscribers 177 promotional email campaigns on average last year, up 16 percent from 2010," said Chad White, research director at Responsys, in a statement. "Since 2008, the average number of promotional email campaigns sent by the top retailers to each of their subscribers has risen 51 percent."
For the second year in a row, Friday was the busiest email marketing day of the week, with 55 percent of retailers sending at least one email on average on that day. Only 28 percent of retailers sent emails on Saturday, which continues to be the slowest email marketing day of the week.
"While Friday is the most popular day for retailers to send email campaigns, its popularity is driven more by the announcement of weekend promotions than by increased response rates," noted Heather Blank, vice president of strategic services at Responsys.
Cyber Monday, November 28, was the busiest email marketing day of the year. Eighty-seven percent of retailers sent at least one promotional campaign to their subscribers on that day. Online retailers pulled in $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday, making it also the largest online spending day ever, according to comScore.
Black Friday followed as the second busiest day for email campaigns, with 81 percent of retailers sending email; Thanksgiving saw 75 percent; and 74 percent of retailers sent email on December 21, the last day that consumers can place online orders in time to receive them for Christmas.