The 2023 holiday season is well underway, and retailers and consumers are in the midst of a market shaped by continued inflation concerns, changing consumer shopping behaviors, and emerging technologies. The holiday shopping season is critical for marketers and small business owners. In fact, two-thirds of marketers estimate that the holiday season drives between 21%-40% of their company’s annual revenue. That means a lot of businesses are racing to capture the attention of their customers and drive conversions for more sales. All of this combines for a high-stakes holiday season for marketers and small and mid-size businesses around the world.
With all of these challenges and opportunities, Mailchimp’s customers once again proved just how innovative and adaptable they are. Here’s where Mailchimp customers netted out in November and during the holiday shopping season kickoff from Thanksgiving to Giving Tuesday 2023.
- Nearly 26B emails sent in the month of November
- Nearly $288M in revenue for Mailchimp’s e-commerce customers in the month of November
- Nearly 7B emails sent between Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday
- Nearly $85 million in order value between Thanksgiving (11/23) and Giving Tuesday (11/28)
- Nearly 6M SMS sent in the month of November
- Top 5 Cities for email send volume (senders): London, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago
Interpreting the Numbers
Over the past year, Mailchimp customers have diversified their marketing channel strategies, opting to pair email marketing strategies with channels like SMS, as consumers have drastically changed how they shop in a post-pandemic economy. Overall, we find that our customers are sending fewer, more targeted emails as they focus on deep personalization, but that doesn’t mean they’re making less money. Mailchimp e-commerce customers grew their revenue by 1.08% from November 2022 to November 2023 with lower email send volume, proving that the blast may be a thing of the past. Data-driven and customer-focused email marketing strategies help them win.
Let’s dig into some of the trends shaping how Mailchimp customers have planned and executed their marketing strategies so far:
Starting Marketing Earlier and Making it Personal
Consumers are changing their behaviors to begin shopping for the holidays earlier and longer than they have in recent years, and marketers and small business owners are matching that change with campaigns that launch earlier. Over 60% of consumers start thinking about what they’re going to purchase during the holiday season before late November (source).
And we know marketers are following their consumers’ leads, since nearly 70% of marketers and SMBs have been thinking about their holiday marketing campaigns long before shopping tends to kick off in late November (source).
But the name of the game this holiday season is personalization. Marketers and small businesses are using tools like segmentation, automation, and AI to build loyalty, drive conversions, and motivate repeat purchases. It’s not about sending email marketing blasts anymore— it’s about refining communications to be as tailored to customers’ needs as possible.
"I’m encouraging my clients to get super-personal with their holiday marketing this year, with the focus on building connections between the people behind the brand name and the people on their list, all with a little fun and imagination that has the added bonus of improving engagement and deliverability to benefit them going forwards," said Claire Witz, founder at Chimpology and Mailchimp Pro Partner. "I’ve been sending them a series of ideas and suggestions for different things they could try out and it’s gone down a storm with so many of them coming on board and embracing it. I’m excited to see the impact they'll have in reaching their customers and driving conversions this holiday season."
This year, we launched SMS marketing for US-based marketers and have seen fast adoption of the medium, especially as the holiday shopping season begins. Mailchimp customers sent almost 6 million SMS messages in the month of November this year. SMS can help you create personalized marketing that drives results, especially when marketers combine it with email, automations, and social campaigns. And SMS can have higher open rates than traditional email. In fact, one of the best SMS strategies is one that’s paired with email marketing.
Mailchimp customers sent nearly 19M emails with promo codes included in them during the month of November. While it’s nothing new to advise marketers to make discounts front and center of all marketing activity over the holiday shopping season (90% say they are offering holiday promotions this year), one size doesn’t fit all. We’ve found that marketers are split on giving out the same discounts to all customers. Instead, many are customizing different discounts to different audience segments to drive sales and increase loyalty.
Promotions and incentives can encourage customers to take action, but that doesn’t mean marketers and SMBs have to offer deep discounts on everything to their entire audience for an extended period of time. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, consider offering exclusive promotions for valuable customers, limiting promotional periods to create urgency, or discounts that require spending over a certain amount. Over time, marketers will learn which type of offers resonate most with their target audience and generate the most sales for their business.
AI’s Impact on Holiday Marketing
Marketers have been thinking about the new technology they’ll need to adopt to compete and convert. On top of changing economic conditions and consumer behavior, the AI revolution is impacting the world fast – especially for marketers. Mailchimp customers used AI to share out personalized holiday email campaigns. From October through November of this year, approximately 16,000 users sent over 160k emails using generative AI. The most popular generative AI feature our customers used over the course of November is our in-line editing feature, powered by Intuit Assist.
Using tools like segmentation and AI to personalize emails can create more effective campaigns. This year, Mailchimp users who sent segmented email campaigns between November 1st and November 30th had a 1.65% higher click-through rate over users who did not send segmented campaigns.
All of the success that Mailchimp customers achieved to kick off the holiday shopping season is why our teams have been laser-focused on developing new features over the past year, investing heavily in AI-powered features, and obsessing over the reliability and world-class deliverability of our platform. Congratulations to all of our customers for an amazing start to the holiday shopping season, and best of luck in the coming month!