by Sean Hargrave, Staff Writer, December 2, 2016
The figures are in, and email is again bucking the trend. According to Adobe, it greatly increased its share of directing and influencing Cyber Monday sales while the two channels that ranked above it — search and direct traffic — dipped.
In fact, the role of email in driving sales was up nearly a third compared to last year, while search and direct traffic each saw a dip of around 5% in their contribution to Cyber Monday sales. So that meant that very nearly one in five items sold over Cyber Monday were driven by email, while roughly a third and a quarter of all sales were driving by search and direct traffic. This puts mail in third place, as it was on Black Friday, but the key point is that the two channels above it are starting to weaken. It’s also arguable that email plays a large role in keeping brands fresh in the minds of consumers and so could well play an important role in driving direct traffic.
Social media, interestingly, doesn’t get given a percentage of sales. When Adobe did grade the channel alongside email for Black Friday sales, the comparison was pretty embarrassing for the channel beloved by the “social ninja” and “guru.” It delivered just under 1% of sales compared to email’s near 18%.
Well, with its Cyber Monday figures all I could see from the figures was that social was reduced to a measure of “buzz” that saw eBay beat Amazon, apparently.
And there, my friends, we have all we need to know about the channel. While email is there and is being compared to search for driving sales, social is instead being talked about for which brands got the most mentions. Not too sure about your CEO or your main contact at a major client but the last time I checked, they are more likely to ask how many sales their marketing budget managed to drive, rather than how many times people mentioned their brand in Facebook and Twitter.
So, there you have it. Email absolutely thrashed social on Black Friday — in fact, it wasn’t even a contest. Then on the other side of last weekend, it drove a fifth of sales and was the only of the three top sales drivers to see substantial growth compared to last year.
Keep these observations ready for the next time a social “ninja” tries to persuade you that email is dead.