A recently released email marketing report by Responsys reveals that retail email volume hit an all-time record high level in 2010, with Cyber Monday (29 Nov. 2010) being the day that saw the greatest level of marketing emails being sent. An analysis of the statistics shows that major retailers have the pedal to the metal when it comes to both volume and frequency, with averages exceeding one email sent every second day.

Overall Volume of Emails Is Up by 61% from 2007

The volume of emails being sent by both e-tailers and brick & mortar commercial businesses was up 61% in just three years. Friday seems to be the day most email marketers target to send their promotional newsletters and missives. It’s interesting to note that Friday serves as a build-up to the weekend, while Saturday is the day with the lowest email volume. The trend reverses itself on Sunday evening, with marketers promoting their next-morning sales, especially during the holidays and of course for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. The holiday season became an even greater target of email marketing sends in 2010. Over 90% of all emails sent in December were focused on the upcoming holidays and the sending of holiday email actually began in earnest in late September!

Major Retailers Are Sending Emails Every Other Day

The frequency whereby major retailers are sending email newsletters is also rather surprising. Most seem to be thumbing their noses at the “conventional wisdom” recommendations that email missives should be evenly spaced and relatively infrequent. The report claims that in 2010 a stunning 152 emails were sent by each retailer to their subscribers on average. That exorbitant level of sends means that each customer received nearly three emails a week! This torrid pace was actually accelerated during the holiday marketing season, as the average sends per month between January and October was 11.8, but during November and December that spiked to 17.3! This statistic translates into email campaign subscribers in the run-up to the holidays receiving one email every other day… and then some!

Overall email campaign sending volume was also up considerably in 2010. The general level of sends was up by 16% over the previous year, with Black Friday / Cyber Monday November zooming up by 24% over the same month in 2009. Even in the relative sales doldrums of the dog days of summer, email volume was up by 8% in July.

Increased Application of Segmentation & Dynamic Content

The Responsys report demonstrated some interesting trends in email marketing that show the importance email marketers are giving to segmentation strategies. Both segmentation and dynamic content has been increasingly applied to boost the relevancy of the promotional messages and inactive users are justifiably being ferreted out of subscription lists with unprecedented zeal. The torrential cascade of emails also has the effect of weeding out any prospects unwilling to have their inboxes stuffed to such an extent. They’ll unsubscribe to leave only the customers who are willing to be barraged on the list… and that seems to be exactly how the major retailers want it.

Hyper-Volume Email Sending Seems To Be Working for Major Retailers

The statistics included in the Responsys report seem to indicate that the major retailers are breaking all the rules as they race their Ferrari FX70s at breakneck redlined velocities along the same highways as the Priuses and Accents toddling along at the speed limit. Exceeding a stupefying level of one email every other day is tantamount to advocating racing Formula One cars in school zones, but the major retailers are proving that the old bromide of “if it aint broke don’t fix it” applies to hyper-volume email marketing.