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Tips Thanksgiving: The Best and Worst Days for Resort Email Marketing

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

In the United States, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Personally, it’s one of my favorite holidays (an unhealthy affinity for pie may play a role), but as a marketer, Thanksgiving has always been filled with questions and uncertainty:

  • Do people even check email?
  • What day is the right day?
  • What days should I avoid?
  • Should I just hold off on all campaigns completely?

Even trickier are the marketing-laden days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday that follow. Bloated inboxes and social feeds are rivaled by print ads that take years off the life of unsuspecting newspaper delivery kids all over the country (speaking from experience).

With so much happening in such a short amount of time, when should you send those resort email campaigns you’ve got planned?

Email Performance

Before I share these charts, let me clarify that this is first-hand data. We’re not reposting someone else’s chart where we can’t vouch for the methodology, these are numbers from our clients’ campaigns pulled directly from our database.

The results come from 100 different resorts and hotels spanning nearly a decade of marketing performance. Rather than just look at one or two days, we pulled a full two-week span. Here’s what we’re seeing for open rate.

And then click rate (clicks / opens).

Three things stand out.

Worst: Day Before

Interestingly, the day with the poorest open rate was the day before Thanksgiving, rather than the day of. Given how much travel and meal prep and last-minute shopping takes place, that makes sense.

That said, this frenzy seems to act as a sort of filter that leaves only the most engaged email users watching their inboxes, as click rates were a touch above average.

Best: The Weekends…Sorta

What surprised us most was the peak in open rates on the weekends. Click rates didn’t always follow, but if you look at the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving, you’ll find a nice little window where both open rates and click rates are well above the average.

This may be as close to a sweet spot as we’ll find on these charts. If you have something you want to get out this week, those days may be your best bet.

Remember: Opens, Not Revenue

While opens and clicks typically correlate to revenue generated, it’s not a perfect parallel. So even though the email marketing performance on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both average, these are days when consumers are more than willing to open their wallets for a good deal, even if the sheer volume of these offers means they ignore a greater percentage than usual.

In other words, if you’ve got a promotion that fits, give it a shot. We’ll talk about this more in an upcoming post (use the form at the bottom to make sure you don’t miss it).

Adapt and Adjust

While you can absolutely just take a break from marketing if you don’t want to add to the overload folks experience this time of year, I think the data suggest there are certainly times where marketing fits.

Maybe that’s not the day of, maybe that’s not the day before, but if your messages have some flexibility in terms of timing, there are definitely opportunities to get more eyes and clicks on your campaigns.

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