MailChimp

Holiday Survey 2014

With the end of the year just a couple calendar flips away, we asked 1,067 MailChimp users how they planned to use email in their holiday marketing.Here's what we learned.

Respondents

100%

of the users surveyed said they planned to use email marketing to promote or increase their holiday sales in 2014.


73%

of their businesses are in the e-commerce realm

27%

are brick-and-mortar retail

51.1%

of respondents have one or more retail locations, such as a store or restaurant

78.1%

of those use email to support those brick-and-mortar shops


Company age

< 1 Year
20%
1 - 5 Years
37%
6 - 10 Years
18%
11 + Years
25%

User's position / role at their company

Principal
64%
Vice President / Director
7%
Manager
20%
Individual contributor
9%
Strategy

The vast majority of respondents handle their own email marketing strategy and execution. Most send weekly, monthly, or irregularly, and consider email marketing overall to be very important to their business.


How often do you send emails?

Not regularly
30%
Daily
4%
Once a week
31%
Once a month
35%

Which of the following uses of email marketing would you rate as “very important” to your business?

Email marketing overall
77.0%
Email newsletter for awareness
65.7%
One-off emails with special sales, offers, or promotions
67.1%
Email marketing to boost in-store sales during holiday season
49.3%
Email marketing to boost online sales during holiday season
63.1%

How do you handle your email marketing strategy and execution?

On our own / internallyUse an agency / consultant
Email marketing strategy97.4%2.6%
Email marketing execution97.0%3.0%
Targeting

Most users say they don’t send different email versions to different segments of their audience. But those that do most often target based on signup source, subscriber-defined interests, and purchase data from integrations.


Do you send different email versions to different segments of your audience?

Company sizeYesNo
< 1023%77%
11 - 5048%52%
5039%61%

How do you select which audience segments to target?

Demographic data from signup
32.4%
Purchase data from integration
34.2%
Signup source
37.7%
Subscriber-defined interests
34.5%
Subscriber communication preferences
16.7%
Other integration-provided data
12.8%
Other
13.2%
Holiday Tactics

Most users surveyed say they plan to use email marketing to promote or increase their holiday sales in 2014. Slightly more respondents rank Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday as “not at all important” (vs. “very important”) to their holiday sales—but about half say they’ve developed marketing plans for these days in the past, and will again in 2014.


Which of these marketing tactics will you be using more in 2014, compared to 2013?

Marketing TacticsE-commerceRetail
Banner or display ads23%18%
Blog40%28%
Email marketing59%61%
Facebook48%56%
Facebook paid ads33%29%
Google PPC26%10%
Other paid search marketing19%8%
Instagram41%42%
LinkedIn13%10%
Listings on Yelp / TripAdvisor6%9%
Pinterest45%38%
Twitter49%39%
YouTube23%17%

What kinds of communications are included in your holiday messaging?

New product announcements
76.9%
Special offers
90.1%
Shipping deadlines
32.9%
Targeted content based on purchases
12.8%
Gift guides
46.3%
Other
7.6%

On a scale of 1 (not important) to 5 (very important), how important are these days for your holiday sales?

Day12345
Black Friday28.7%14.4%22.5%12.9%21.4%
Small Business Saturday24.4%18.4%25.0%14.4%17.8%
Cyber Monday34.3%13.7%18.5%11.3%22.1%

Have you developed marketing programs in past years specifically for any of these days?

Yes, and will again this year
50.3%
Yes, but won't this year
4.0%
No, but will this year
24.3%
No, and won't this year
21.4%

Were they successful?

88%

Yes

12%

No

Revenue

The majority of respondents expect both their total revenues and end-of-year holiday revenues to be up by 10% or more in 2014. Email is among the top three reported sources of revenue for both e-commerce and retail businesses, and 36.9% of respondents use MailChimp to track the revenue they generate via email.


How do you expect your 2014 revenue to compare to 2013?

RevenuesUp by 10% or moreUp by < 10%Same as 2013Down by < 10%Down by > 10%
Total revenues55.3%20.0%14.0%5.8%4.9%
End-of-year holiday revenues55.6%21.0%16.4%4.1%1.9%

How much of your annual revenue comes from each of these marketing tactics?

Marketing TacticE-commerceRetail
Content marketing (e.g. a blog)11%8%
Directory sites (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor)1%2%
Email25%21%
Networking / events11%30%
Organic search46%21%
Paid search23%6%
Print advertising3%9%
Social media marketing11%8%

How do you track revenue you generate via email?

We don't
19.1%
Google Analytics
52.4%
E-Comm Dashboard
15.6%
ERP System
1.6%
In MailChimp
36.9%
Other
16.0%

How much does the holiday season contribute to your yearly revenue?

Less than 10%
23.1%
10 - 24%
48.3%
25 - 50%
24.3%
More than 50%
4.3%
Measuring Success

Sales and total opens are the two most popular ways to measure an email program’s success. Sales is also the most popular way to measure online marketing tactics’ success. New customers is second, at 69.4%.


How do you measure the success of your email program?

Clicks
64.4%
Total opens
68.5%
Unique or individual opens
30.1%
New subscribers
29.6%
Total subscribers
15.2%
Sales
67.9%
Other
6.3%

How do you measure the success of your online marketing tactics?

Awareness
43.4%
New customers
69.4%
Repeat business
58.0%
Sales
81.7%
Site traffic
54.0%
Store visits
28.8%
Other
3.5%
N / A
2.7%
Download the report