Experian releases first international holiday email performance study

Study reveals opportunities for global brands to capitalise on varying timing and tactical approaches by market.

London, June 25, 2013Experian, the global information services company, today announced its release of the first international holiday email performance study. The study includes an examination of more than 100,000 email campaigns sent by more than 1000 brands, across 10 markets, including Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, between October 2012 and the end of December 2012.

For many retailers, the holiday season generates the highest amount of revenue. This study provides global brands with insights and intelligence to help their marketing teams augment and optimise their holiday communication plans for the coming holiday season.

“The holiday season is incredibly important and significant to retail brands, as it can often make or break their revenue goals for the year. The international holiday email study shows that there are significant differences and similarities in customer behaviours and responses, among the tactics marketers employ across the various regions,” said Simon Martin, Managing Director, Digital, Experian Marketing Services. “Those behaviours highlight how marketers can gain insight to better execute global marketing campaigns at more a regional level.”

Key findings from the study:

  • Globally, the most popular types of offers sent by brands during the holiday season are percentage and money off vouchers, yet response results vary significantly by country.
    • China heavily uses percentage off campaigns, however, these campaigns had higher open rates than standard mailings, but lower click rates.
    • In Spain, the percentage off mailings performed worse than the standard mailings. The Spanish market also prefers to use the percentage off offer over euro off offer.
    • New Zealand and France rely most on money off promotions. Yet, despite the high proportion of campaigns promoting a money off in the subject line, these messages had lower open and click rates than the average campaigns.
  • The best day to mail (weekend versus weekday) may depend on the market:
    • UK consumer expectations for ecommerce sites to have the best deals and the explosion of smartphones and mobile devices may be contributing to higher response rates on weekends, as smartphones enable all shoppers to multitask and compare prices online whilst shopping in-store.
    • During the holidays, India and France experienced lower opens and clicks for weekends than weekdays. In the United States it was the reverse occurred, with higher engagement on weekends.
    • Australia, Singapore and New Zealand all have higher engagement during weekends than weekdays, yet Asia Pacific markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and China are not deploying a large amount of holiday emails on weekends. This might be a great test factor for email marketers sending to countries in Asia Pacific in order to optimize open and click rates of campaigns that currently are being deployed during the week.
  • Global brands can benefit from a “first mover advantage” in specific markets where email marketing is less mature, implementing practices and tactics that are not yet common across all markets.
    • Abandoned cart campaigns typically produce high response rates, especially in Spain where click rates during the holiday season were 13.2 per cent. However, many retailers in Spain are not using this form of remarketing, but should consider doing so especially during the holiday season.
    • Birthday emails around the holiday season also can be used to catch buyers in a “gift-giving” or “gift-receiving” mood. They are an easy win for email marketers, yet no Asian brands are employing this tactic.
  • Social media offers opportunities to increase open rates
    • For France, the United States and the United Kingdom, social media messages achieved higher open rates than standard mailings. In Spain the results were slightly below standard mailings. This is consistent with the overall usage of social media sites across the world, especially Facebook within European countries.
    • Brands therefore have an opportunity to develop this approach in countries not yet using this tactic, or at least to test campaigns mentioning social media in the subject line.

You can download the Experian Marketing Services international holiday email performance study here.


Alexandra Banks
PR Manager, Experian Marketing Services

About Experian Marketing Services

Experian Marketing Services is a global provider of integrated consumer insight, data quality and cross-channel marketing. We help organisations from around the world intelligently interact with today’s dynamic, empowered and hyper connected customers. By coordinating seamless interactions across all marketing channels, marketers are able to plan and execute superior brand experiences that deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximise profits.

For more information, please visit www.experian.co.uk/marketing-services/digital.html

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit www.experianplc.com