Veterans Day Redux: Using Email Competitive Intelligence

Veterans Day Redux

Last year, I wrote about Veterans Day emails from two online electronic retailers, NewEgg and TigerDirect. Now that has a year has passed, let's see what has (and hasn't changed) with their Veterans Day email approach. Monitoring what your competition is implementing (or not implementing) year over year can help you determine tactics to employ in your own email program. Layer on competitive email intelligence and you have easier access to these campaigns and can use performance metrics to further enhance your email program analysis.

What's the same:

  • NewEgg didn't reference Veterans Day in the subject line 2012 or 2013.
  • Instead of focusing on Veterans Day, NewEgg once again focused on "Black November" and sent emails announcing Black November in 2012 and 2013.
  • On the first Friday of November, NewEgg sent the exact same message in 2012 and 2013 with the subject line "72 Hours Only| EARLY BLACK FRIDAY STEALS—Lowest Prices in Our Black November. Guaranteed." Both campaigns were sent to around 50% of their list and had the same read rate in 2012 and 2013.
  • In 2012 and 2013, TigerDirect sent four campaigns that referenced Veterans Day in the subject line.

What's different:

  • Through November 12th last year, neither sender had mentioned the holidays. However, 2013 was different. NewEgg's first mention of "holiday" this year was advertising a specific product: "Festive Holiday String Lights $7.99" on November 11th. On the other hand, TigerDirect actively promoted the holidays during this timeframe. TigerDirect  sent an email announcing their holiday gift guide on November 10th this year. Like many senders this year, TigerDirect is starting their holiday messaging earlier than in 2012.
  • While NewEgg still promoted "Black November" in 2013, it was with much reduced frequency. Through Nov 11 of this year, NewEgg only mentioned "Black November"  two times. In 2012, NewEgg had promoted "Black November"  in 11 emails through November 12th.
  • With the apparent reduction in "Black November" focus for NewEgg, their welcome strategy also changed. In 2012, the email accouncing "Black November" with the subject line “130+ Black November Deals—BLASTING OFF Our BIGGEST Sale of the Year”  was sent to the entire list. The 2013 "Black November" welcome message was only sent to 31% of the NewEgg list with the subject line: “Welcome to Newegg's BLACK NOVEMBER - 100+ Deals at UP to 87% OFF.”   While the 2013 welcome email appeared to be more targeted than 2012, the read rate was 13% lower.
  • And while a first glance at the creative for the "Black November" welcome messages may lead you to believe that the creative is the same, NewEgg made some subtle changes to this template in the last year.
    • The navigation bar has been simplified in 2013
    • The 2013 version includes a call to action in the upper left of the email for subscribers to tell NewEgg what deals they are most interested in during Black November
    • A clear call-to-action "Check it Out" link has been added in 2013
    • Text navigation links have been added to the bottom of the template in 2013

Don't know what your competition is changing this holiday season or what tactics they will likely implement again? With data from Inbox Insight, you could.

2012 "Black November" welcome email with the subject line "130+ Black November Deals—BLASTING OFF Our BIGGEST Sale of the Year”

 

2013 "Black November" welcome email with the subject line "Welcome to Newegg's BLACK NOVEMBER - 100+ Deals at UP to 87% OFF"