Seguno’s 2023 BFCM email marketing results
Another Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is in the books!
How did Seguno email marketing merchants fare? What were the sending trends and correlating purchase behavior? What — if anything — can we glean from the mound of data on hand?
We narrowed in on the five-day BFCM period known as “the Cyber 5” (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) to analyze Shopify accounts using Seguno for email marketing. Most of our BFCM 2023 email marketing report pertains to newsletters, whether single emails or part of a campaign.
One conclusion reared its head a few times: The earlier, the better.
We also peeked into email automations during BFCM and uncovered some interesting and compelling insights. Stick around — you don’t want to miss that bonus material.
2023 BFCM: a bird’s-eye view
Seguno merchants sent more emails during the BFCM period than in 2022, to the tune of 15%.
Merchants whose revenue is in USD increased their sending even more by 31%. (Note that all other data referenced hereafter pertains to USD accounts only.)
Overall, emails sent on Thanksgiving saw the most improvement compared to last year for many reasons that we’ll address throughout this post.
Stew on this, for starters: the revenue they generated went up 17%. That’s impressive, considering Thanksgiving emails made for a lesser share of the BFCM sending pie than in 2022, as shown in the graph below.
With Thanksgiving standing out for performance gains, we wondered what was happening in the lead-up to Turkey Day.
So, we pulled data for Nov. 20 to 27 (the Monday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday). We found an overall 12% increase in sending over the eight days, with a combined 12.9% increase in revenue.
The lesson: Don’t wait until Black Friday to send your promotion. People are shopping early, so capitalize by getting in front of them.
The impact of BFCM on revenue and order value
We’d expect most merchants to make more money during BFCM than the rest of the year.
But how much more? We’ve quantified some averages for Seguno merchants through two data points:
- Revenue per day
- Average order value (AOV)
The findings reinforce the wise idea of sending multiple emails during and before BFCM.
First, we looked at how many emails Seguno merchants sent in October and calculated an average quantity per day.
Then, we totaled how many emails were sent over the five-day BFCM stretch and computed an average.
The results? Seguno merchants increased sending during BFCM by 175%.
We performed the same math for average daily revenue, comparing October to BFCM.
Revenue more than tripled for BFCM — a 237% increase.
Average order value (AOV)
Here’s how Seguno merchant AOV stacked up:
If there was a day for impressive AOV, it was Small Business Saturday.
In our BFCM 2022 analysis, we advocated leaning into Small Business Saturday. It was a top-converting day, accounting for just 15% of sends over the five days but 22% of revenue.
Seguno merchants seemingly listened and sent a lot more in 2023 — increasing sends by 54%. Performance fell short of our expectations in 2023, except for the AOV category:
- AOV was $124.64 (that’s +9.83% versus the October AOV average) and much higher than the second-highest AOV day on Thanksgiving ($114.44)
- AOV was even better for accounts with above-average conversion rates: $127.93 (+12.73% versus the typical Seguno AOV)
The takeaway: Don’t ignore Small Business Saturday. There’s an opportunity to snag highly valuable orders since people are willing to open their wallets for small businesses.
BFCM email metrics by day: click rates, conversions, and revenue
We’ve dug up a number of details for you to ponder. They all point to two broad conclusions:
- By far, Black Friday is the best day for Seguno Shopify merchants. It qualifies as the only other day besides Thanksgiving when the share of conversions (sales) and revenue exceeds the share of emails sent (see in the graph below). Black Friday scored the highest number of conversions (by a lot) and the highest total revenue.
- Cyber Monday is a strong second contender. It ranked as having the second-most conversions. It also generated the second-highest revenue, slightly edging out Thanksgiving.
There are multiple ways to examine the nitty-gritty email marketing metrics. We’re looking at click rates, conversions, and revenue by day.
Following is how click rates stacked up over the Cyber 5, as in the percentage of subscribers who clicked within the email after opening it. Click rates are ranked highest to lowest:
- Black Friday
- Small Business Saturday
- Cyber Monday
We’d expect Black Friday to be among the top, as it does. We’d also presume the same for Cyber Monday, but that didn’t pan out.
Perhaps most unexpected is Thanksgiving’s No. 1 spot. Remember the mantra, “The earlier, the better?”
Number of conversions
Conversion tallies can tell us the number of transactions from email marketing.
It's no surprise that Black Friday accounts for the most significant share among the BFCM days — about 1.4 times more than the No. 2 slot of Cyber Monday.
Once again, it’s Thanksgiving’s time to shine.
Conversion rate refers to the percentage of subscribers who received an email and purchased.
In 2022, Thanksgiving had the lowest conversion rate among the other BFCM days. This year, it leaped to the top.
The top-converting day to lowest-converting are:
- Black Friday
- Small Business Saturday
- Cyber Monday
Black Friday emails took the cake for revenue share, topping Cyber Monday sales by about 44%.
A closer look at the rise of Thanksgiving
Now that we have called out Thanksgiving emails a few times, let’s provide a clearer perspective. Scattered data makes it difficult to understand why we think it deserves your attention next year.
Sending emails on Thanksgiving ranked as the second-lowest choice in popularity. They accounted for just 14% of sends among the Cyber 5.
- Accounted for 19.85% of BFCM conversions
- Landed top spot for conversion rate
- Rang up the third-highest revenue
- Acquired the highest click rate
- Scored No. 2 for AOV, beating Black Friday and Cyber Monday
How you use this information is up to you.
Email automations during BFCM
Until now, all data has been about newsletters.
We were curious whether email automations pull weight during BFCM. Do email workflows triggered by a specific action (i.e., subscribing to an email, abandoning the checkout process) make an impact?
Data shows BFCM conversion rates aren’t different from the rest of the year. But, automations stand their ground in contributing toward overall revenue.
When looking at all emails sent during BFCM — that’s newsletters plus automations — just 0.51% were automated.
Less than 1% isn’t much, right? It’s mighty powerful, though, as automations generated 9.92% of the revenue across BFCM.
Further, automations are the AOV champs, crushing Seguno’s BFCM AOV:
- AOV for welcome emails is $132.96
- AOV for abandoned checkout emails is $205.81
Undoubtedly, you need automations running in the background to maximize profits.
It’s never too late to set up your email automations! Be ready to reach customers after the holiday rush with post-purchase automations.
Email subject lines
There’s much more nuance regarding email subject line analysis than other metrics, so we caution you to take our findings with a grain of salt.
We’ve tried to gather some generalities by surveying open rate, click rate, conversion rate, and revenue.
- Subject lines containing “BFCM” (of which there were very few) had higher open rates and AOVs than those containing “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday”
- Three words or less had higher open rates than those with four or more words
- “Discount” outperformed those containing “%” or “$”
- The jury is out on emojis; the open rate was slightly lower for those containing four or more versus those with one to three or none
Look ahead to BFCM 2024
Our BFCM 2023 email marketing report covers a lot of ground. Is your head spinning?
Here are the points that emerged for us, paired with advice:
- BFCM is more than Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Cyber 5. Consumers are shopping earlier. Start promoting the Monday of Black Friday week or earlier, and consider sending one on Thanksgiving.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to prove their dominance. If you’re going to do any email marketing during BFCM, make it those two days.
- Automations have superpowers. Ensure you have a welcome and abandoned checkout automation at minimum.
We can’t promise that our advice (except for setting up automations) will boost your performance next year. Consumer behavior is unpredictable. We can only make suggestions based on the data we see for this year.
And at some point, reserve time to investigate your brand’s BFCM email metrics. Pair your observations with ours to get a head start on 2024.
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