Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which "Holiday" is More Popular in the Inbox?

We all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two popular “holidays” for email marketers in the retail space. But what about marketers outside of the traditional retail space? Are other marketers jumping on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon?

Black Friday

Not surprisingly, marketers in specific retail verticals were more likely than non-retail verticals to use the words “Black Friday” in their subject lines during the week of Black Friday.  The following chart shows verticals that had at least 10% of their campaigns for the week of November 24 – 30 containing the words “Black Friday” in the subject line. Senders in the Furniture and Sporting Goods were closer to 20% with senders in Home Improvement and Jewelry not far behind.  Senders classified as retail, electronics, pets and apparel wrap up the rest of the verticals that concentrated more heavily on Black Friday in their subject lines.


When we look at senders that had less than 10% of their campaigns during the last week of November with the words “black Friday” in the subject line, we still see senders in retail dominating this space with Office and  Books leading the way. It is interesting to note that we saw senders in the Restaurant, Hotel, and Travel Booking space send a small percentage of campaigns with the words “black Friday” in the subject line during the week of Black Friday, but had no campaigns with these words” in the subject line sent the week prior (Nov 17- 23). Albeit small, it definitely appears that more than retailers are using Black Friday as part of their email marketing strategy. And which verticals were milking Black Friday into the week of December 1st? While small, 2% of email campaigns for senders in Furniture, Sports, Home Improvement and Jewelry used the words “black Friday” in their subject lines.



Cyber Monday

When we look at data for subject lines that include the word “Cyber Monday” in the subject line for December 1 – 7 against the subject lines that contain the word “black Friday” for the week of November 24th, we can quickly see that senders favored campaigns focused on Black Friday over Cyber Monday. Senders in Furniture, Home Improvement, Jewelry (sound familiar?), as well as Pets, had a higher percentage of their campaigns with “Cyber Monday” in their subject lines than senders in other verticals.

Senders in Sports, Retail, Books, and Flowers had the largest declines from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. With these two “holidays” so close together, it is likely difficult for marketers to promote both events aggressively in their email campaigns and it appears that in the email marketing world for retailers, Black Friday is winning out. Well, you ask, did senders start promoting Cyber Monday more heavily during the week of Black Friday? Apparently not. The vertical with the highest percentage of campaigns sent during the week of November 24th with the words “Cyber Monday” in the subject line was Electronics (only 2% of campaigns).

While still small, we saw a slight uptick in the focus on “Cyber Monday”  for senders in the travel industries. Hotel senders had 3% of their subject lines include the words “Cyber Monday” while the Airlines referenced this online holiday in 2% of their campaigns (up from 0% for Black Friday). Travel Booking companies also used Cyber Monday slightly more than Black Friday in their subject lines. Given that most travel is booked online these days, it makes sense that travel companies would focus on the Cyber Monday “holiday” focused on online shopping. Will we continue to see more focus on Cyber Monday for travel companies in years to come?

It appears that Cyber Monday is the holiday of choice for non-retailers with Rental Property and Credit Card senders even hopping on the Cyber Monday bandwagon.

Interested to see which campaigns generated better engagement for senders? Stay tuned for my next blog post to find out the answer.

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