Seguno’s 2022 BFCM email marketing results
Congratulations, Shopify merchants! You’ve gotten through (hopefully unscathed) the Super Bowl of ecommerce: Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM).
If you’ve plowed ahead without looking back — we know there are orders to fill! — won’t you stop for a moment and reflect with us?
While it’s relatively fresh in our minds, now is the time to look for possible successes and misses.
We sifted through Seguno merchant email marketing data over the five-day BFCM sprint (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) and found some things that surprised us.
The data is for Seguno accounts whose revenue is in USD, except where noted.
Our suggestion: jot down the insights that strike a chord. Stash them in a safe place, so you don’t have to rely on memory when mapping out 2023 BFCM email marketing plans.
2021 v 2022 email deliveries
First up, a small window into a year-over-year comparison.
Here’s a snapshot of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We totaled the email deliveries for each day to compare sending volumes. The chart below shows the breakdown, percentage-wise, for both years.
The least popular day? Thanksgiving in both instances. Its value decreased among Seguno merchants from 2021 to 2022, dropping from 30.8% of the volume share to 26.9%.
Black Friday was the day to beat for send volume in both years, with Cyber Monday trailing. Both days saw an increase in emails delivered since last year.
Overall, the total number of emails delivered over the three days increased by 11.8% from 2021 to 2022.
That’s not surprising. Even with rising prices throwing a wrench into the mix, the retail industry had predicted healthy spending and a growth in ecommerce sales between 10% and 12% this BFCM. Paired with that, Shopify merchants surely understand the weight of BFCM.
(Prognosticators were correct, by the way. BFCM was a record-setting weekend, with sales increasing worldwide by 19% from 2021. As for Shopify, sales rose by 12%.)
Email traffic by day
We were curious about 2022 sending trends for each day. As in the example above, we tallied the total delivered emails for the five days. From there, we calculated each day’s share.
We looked at all Seguno user data, then narrowed in on the USD accounts only.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday reigned supreme, with the USD groups’ deliveries racking up an even greater share on those days.
Despite the decrease in Thanksgiving emails from 2021, it was still the third-most popular sending day across the board.
Sending volume on Small Business Saturday was larger for the USD group, meaning Sunday was a busier sending day for the overall group.
Seguno’s email deliveries align with consumer patterns, according to a survey of U.S. shoppers conducted by the National Retail Federation. The chart below shows the number of online shoppers per day for 2022, by the millions.
Sales via email marketing
What about those sales? What days are the money makers?
There are a few ways to slice data when attributing sales to email marketing. We’re examining Seguno merchant numbers through three different lenses: sales revenue volume, number of conversions, and conversion rate.
From the chart below, emails sent on Black Friday took the largest chunk of the revenue pie, followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
After that, sales revenue on Thanksgiving and Sunday each accounted for less than 15% of the pot.
Number of conversions
Why look at conversion tallies? Because it provides insights into the daily number of transactions driven by email marketing.
In the case of Seguno merchants, the share of conversions for Black Friday mirrors the sales revenue results: it’s the top-performing day by a sizable margin.
As with the chart above, the graphic below illustrates the percentage share of conversions as divvied over the five days.
There are nuances at play when examining total conversions by way of sales revenues. For example, emails delivered on Cyber Monday barely edged out Small Business Saturday in driving subscribers to make a purchase. But the monetary value of Saturday purchases exceeded the value of Cyber Monday purchases by 17%.
A similar dynamic is at work between Thanksgiving and Sunday. Thanksgiving Day emails triggered fewer transactions but a higher spending amount.
Have you noticed that Small Business Saturday emails are a hidden gem by Seguno data standards? If not, the next bit of data is the nail in the coffin.
Turns out that Saturday-delivered emails were the winner for conversion rate. That is, the percentage of subscribers that made a purchase surpassed the rates of all other days.
Here’s the full ranking, from top-converting day to lowest-converting day:
- Small Business Saturday
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
The best daily performers
If you were going to decide your BFCM sending days based strictly on 2022 Seguno data, then you’d send emails on at least Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Black Friday is the all-around best performer in most categories.
Small Business Saturday has enormous potential. Let this one sink in: emails sent on Saturday accounted for just 15% of sends over the multi-day span, but generated 22% of revenue.
Sunday might be deserving of a second look, too. Yes, it was the least-busy delivery day among USD accounts and generated the lowest revenue. But it drove the second-best conversion rate behind Saturday emails, beating out Black Friday by a smidge.
Insights from the money-makers
We turned some attention to the most successful merchants within Seguno’s customer base, wondering if we could pinpoint any findings.
There are many variables at play. A complete analysis would take a team of experts to do it justice.
We addressed at least one question: "Is BFCM email marketing truly effective?”
The answer is yes.
Compared to a five-day average from October, the money-making merchants experienced:
- A 170% increase in conversions
- A 163% increase in revenue
The average order value (AOV) was $180 for USD accounts. That surpasses the global AOV of $102.10 for Shopify merchants.
The AOV for all USD Seguno senders combined, at $118, also exceeds the global average.
How are Seguno users faring outside of the BFCM dash? A five-day average from October shows an AOV of $109.
Subject lines are tricky to evaluate. There’s no exact science for determining what works.
However, we can glean some general inferences from the performance data. We analyzed open rate, click rate, conversion rate and revenue to draw our conclusions.
Here’s what we found:
- Subject lines of 7 words or less performed the best
- Subject lines with the word “discount” outperformed those that didn’t
- Subject lines with the $ symbol outperformed those with %
- Whether emojis make an impact is debatable, but having too many — more than three — won’t help
Overall, our findings are in line with best practices for email subject lines.
Where to go from here?
The above is a lot of data to digest. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to formulate clear-cut “do this and not that” paths.
As a Shopify merchant, we’re sure you’re all too aware that ecommerce email marketing is not a one-size-fits-all operation. Too many nuances are involved.
We encourage you to take this information as one more stash of data points worth considering. Block off time to explore your brand’s email metrics for the five-day BFCM run. You might find something surprising — something you wouldn’t have noticed without going one layer deeper.
Otherwise, there are two things we can say with confidence.
One, it would be wise to leverage email marketing on Small Business Saturday next year. People want to shop local and small. There is no better time for Shopify owners to toot their horns.
And two, BFCM email marketing is worth the effort.
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