The National Retail Federation expects holiday spending to reach record levels this month and next, increasing between 3% and 4% over 2022. This means this year’s holiday spending is on par with pre-pandemic average annual increases of 3.6%. And while most consumers NRF surveyed planned to start their holiday shopping in October and November, 58% planned to finish in December. As a result, significant sales days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still important. A record 196.7 million consumers shopped over Thanksgiving weekend last year.
PebblePost’s data backs up these projections when it comes to marketers using Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM) for their holiday campaigns. We’ve found that PDM can be pretty cost-effective relative to the results it produces, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read on to see the biggest insights we unearthed about these deal days and how to use them to your brand’s advantage this holiday season.
- Brands increase their PDM spend during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, showing digital isn’t the only channel proven to perform during the holidays.
In a world where budgets are more precious than ever, PDM is a great channel to counter rising digital ad prices because it isn’t affected by cost surges during the holidays like digital ads. Postage rates are far more stable, making forecasting performance and managing budgets easier.
As a result of these stable costs, coupled with high performance, we see our brands increase their spend significantly in November ahead of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Last year, between October 31st and November 7th, our brands spent a whopping 5X more on their PDM campaigns. A week and a half after that, on November 18th, spending increased again by another 23.8%. This day represented the peak of spending last holiday season.
- As both spend and conversion rates increase, brands can reach and convert more shoppers with PDM.
While conversion rates are likely to go up across all performance channels during the holiday season, the value of PDM comes with being able to reach and convert more people with your increased budget. Why? The cost to reach a shopper via PDM (a.k.a. the cost of a postcard) remains flat. For instance, last year, on November 3rd, conversion rates soared to 24%—10% more than the total spend on that day. However, when looking at an auction- or digital-based channel during the holidays, brands typically see their cost-per-action (CPA) increase along with conversion rate due to increased competition.
Because we know the dynamic holiday period demands that brands stay flexible, PebblePost’s Performance Dashboard can help monitor spending, conversion rate, CPA, and return on ad spend. Brands can do this while their campaign is in flight, meaning they can make real-time adjustments to capture those critical Q4 purchases.
- Both spending and conversion rates remain high from November 1st through December.
Many brands make the mistake of pausing their holiday campaign spending once Black Friday hits. But in 2022, conversions remained higher than pre-holiday season right up until December 30th. As a result, brands shouldn’t pause spending come Black Friday/Cyber Monday—or in November in general—due to perceived “buyer fatigue.” The intent gathered during Black Friday/Cyber Monday website activity is still beneficial for December and end-of-year campaign pushes.
Since PDM transactions are measurable across digital and offline points of sale, brands can easily link their post-Cyber Monday campaign spend back to specific channels and strategies. This is true not only for evaluating how this year’s holiday shopping went but also for preparing for after the season and even next year’s campaigns.
Give your marketing campaigns the gift of PDM this holiday season.
Meeting sales goals can feel tricky during the holiday season, especially during economic woes. Incorporating PDM into your marketing mix can help you win over new and returning customers to make everyone’s holidays a little brighter. Are you ready to put a bow on your holiday marketing plans? Learn more about ourAcquisition Solutions.