MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: 2013 breaks records for holiday email transactions, volume, revenue

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – The volume of emails sent by marketers increased nearly 13% during the 2013 holiday season compared with the 2012 holiday season, which also saw record highs in volume. Data from Experian Marketing Services shows that while email click-through rates and transaction metrics decreased year over year, the increase in email volume led to a 9% rise in the number of total transactions from email marketing campaigns and an 18.4% increase in overall revenue.

Furthermore, email volume within the last 10 days of the holiday season increased 35.8% from 2012. According to the Experian Marketing Services analysis, two of the top 10 transaction days of the 2013 holiday season occurred during the first half of November. In 2012, the earliest top 10 transaction day was the day before Thanksgiving.

In 2013, Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 made it into the top 10 (seventh and fifth, respectively). Meanwhile, eight out of the 10 days were Fridays. The percentage of total emails opened on mobile devices increased in 2013 for most industries. Multichannel retailers had the highest percentage of mobile opens this holiday season at 65% and were the only industry to receive more than half of their clicks on mobile as well.

The email volume and performance metrics are based on Experian Marketing Services’ analysis of 385 current brands that also mailed during the 2012 holiday season. All data was viewed at three days from sent.

“Marketers have become more sophisticated in their email marketing strategies, and we’re seeing that reflected in the data,” said Peter DeNunzio, general manager, cross-channel marketing, Experian Marketing Services. “Traditionally, as email volume increases, performance decreases, but in the 2013 holiday season we saw the opposite. An increase in total transactions and revenue tells us that leading marketers have found their stride, sending more relevant emails to each customer based on his or her unique needs.”

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FINANCE

Family Dollar increases quarterly dividend

BY Dan Berthiaume

Matthews, N.C. – The board of directors has increased the amount of the regular quarterly dividend payment to $0.31 per share, an increase of 19.2% from the preceding quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per share. The increase will be effective with the declaration of the next quarterly dividend.

“Family Dollar has a proven business model with a long-track record of success. For more than 54 years, we have provided our customers with a compelling combination of value and convenience,” said Howard Levine, chairman and CEO. “Our board’s decision to maintain our remarkable record of 38 consecutive years of dividend increases shows their unwavering commitment to shareholders, and the increase of 19.2% reflects our confidence in the company’s long-term growth potential and in our ability to deliver stronger financial returns.”

Family Dollar recently reported disappointing first quarter financial results, and also announced that president and COO Michael Bloom has left the company to pursue other interests. At the time, Levine said he and Bloom were not in agreement on merchandising strategies.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

CVS kicks off Project Health

BY Dan Berthiaume

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS/pharmacy has kicked off its annual Project Health wellness campaign. Project Health will deliver more than $15 million worth of free health services to multicultural communities across the U.S. in 2014.

During the months of January, February and March, more than 350 Project Health events will be held at select CVS/pharmacy retail locations in 15 markets across the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, New York City, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Washington, DC. Project Health events will also be held at select CVS/pharmacy stores in Puerto Rico in March and April.

Project Health offers an array of free comprehensive health risk assessments. Project Health events will also offer participants’ information on the new health insurance marketplace and their coverage options under the new health care law. Health insurance experts will be available at many events to provide guidance.

"Ninety percent of the people who attended our Project Health screenings in the fall told us they found the health insurance experts at these events to be extremely helpful,” said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS/pharmacy. “For that reason, we decided to offer this resource again in early 2014. We are focused on helping our customers make informed decisions about their health care and will continue to do so as the new health care marketplace is rolled out."

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