November 23, 2010, 4:28 PM

At least 70% of online retailers plan e-mail marketing pushes by Monday

Black Friday could top Cyber Monday for messages sent, Responsys says.

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Black Friday will edge out Cyber Monday for having the largest number of e-mail promotions this holiday season, according a report today from e-mail marketing services vendor Responsys Inc.

Black Monday is the shopping-heavy day after Thanksgiving, while Cyber Monday, the first Monday after the holiday,  is a term coined five years ago in response to large numbers of consumers shopping online after they returned to work from the Thanksgiving holiday. Responsys arrived at its findings by tracking the e-mail marketing efforts of more than 100 large e-retailers.

The vendor expects no less than 70% of those online retailers to send promotional e-mails on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, 69% of retailers sent Black Friday e-mails, up from 59% in 2008, while 71% of retailers sent Cyber Monday e-mails, up from 70% in 2008.

“Cyber Monday has been the biggest e-mail marketing day of the year for the past three years in a row,” says Chad White, research director at Responsys. “But as more Black Friday deals have become available online, e-mail has become a critical channel for promoting Black Friday sales as well.”

Retailers also will not ignore the Sunday before Cyber Monday, Responsys says.  At  least 50% of retailers will send a promotional e-mail on that date—which Responsys has taken to calling Cyber Sunday—up from 45% last year and 36% in 2008.

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