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Data Shows Smaller Discounts, Fewer CTAs Lead to Better Sales During Black Friday

Ecommerce brands around the world are preparing their Black Friday-Cyber Monday campaigns to take advantage of the biggest sales season of the year. However, while they're planning their perfect copy and the biggest discounts they can give, a new report suggests that they may need to take the opposite approach: fewer words, and smaller discounts, will lead to bigger sales.

Omnisend's new research shows that this "less is more" aspect applies to nearly every part of email marketing:

Omnisend - BFCM research
Discounts vs Click rates
Discounts vs Click rates

• Discounts offering 10%-25% off show better click rates than lower or higher % discounts

• Emails with 2-3 CTAs show the best click rates. Emails with more than 3 CTAs have lower click rates

• Subject lines that have up to 7 words have better open rates

• Emails containing up to 480 words have higher click rates

These findings are a part of Omnisend's new BFCM research that analyzed over 229 million emails (from 40,283 total campaigns) sent from November 25 - December 2, 2020. This research reveals what email elements—products, buttons, words, subject lines, etc.—lead to the highest engagement and, most importantly, sales.

"Nearly all of the findings point to a simple trend: after a certain sweet spot, the higher you go, the less you get," says Bernard Meyer, Director of Content & Research at Omnisend. "The higher your discounts go, the lower your click rate. The more CTAs you have, the worse your email performs. The longer your subject line, the lower your open rate."

The key takeaway here is that it's better for ecommerce merchants to have a central focus in their newsletter campaigns, rather than to bombard customers with too many choices, words or discounts. "This is definitely a win-win situation for both sides," Meyer continues, "as marketers can spend less time creating too much variety in their campaigns, and customers get a much more concise message. "

Other highlights in the report include:

• "Thanksgiving," while a less popular word to use in subject lines, has the highest open rates compared to the other BFCM days

• Subject lines offering special promotions with longer deadlines are less popular but have higher average open rates

• The phrases "chance to save" and "coupon" have better open rates than "free shipping" or "BOGO" when used in subject lines

CEO and Co-Founder Rytis Lauris said that Omnisend's continuous analysis of various aspects of email marketing really supports the company's goal of helping ecommerce brands get much more from their campaigns.

"The Black Friday-Cyber Monday period is the busiest time for our many customers, and our research helps ecommerce brands understand what kind of communication works best for their customers and subscribers," Lauris said. "This makes it easier for them to increase their sales, while doing less work, and really connect with their customers."