Unlocking Email Engagement Secrets During the Festive Season

The holiday season is upon us, heralding the busiest yet most crucial time for email marketers. As colleagues revel in festive joys, you’re tasked with the monumental challenge of meeting annual goals amidst heightened stress levels and soaring email volumes.

In this hustle to the finish line, email marketers find themselves in a race to ensure the success of high-stakes campaigns and revenue targets. The result? Inboxes flooded with holiday promotions, making it a challenging period for email marketers.

Fret not! We’ve delved into data to provide insights into email engagement during the holiday season. Our analysis of 2.5 billion email opens from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day in 2021 unveils compelling trends in holiday email engagement.

Key Insights for a Successful Holiday Season:

The Mobile Shopping Surge:

Mobile devices reign supreme during the holiday season. Approximately 44.2% of people opened emails on mobile devices, surpassing webmail (34.6%) and desktop applications (19.8%). Saturdays witnessed a surge in mobile email opens, emphasizing the importance of mobile optimization for holiday campaigns. Notably, 47% of online sales occurred via mobile devices in 2022, rising to 51% during Cyber Week. Ensuring mobile-friendly emails is imperative, especially for seasonal and triggered campaigns.

Timing Matters—Especially in the Evening:

While 10 AM is traditionally considered an optimal sending time, the holiday season reveals a shift towards evening engagement. A staggering 9.45% of email opens occurred at 7 PM on average. During the holidays, people exhibit a preference for opening emails during specific times, such as 7 PM or mid-morning. Experimenting with email send times, especially during the holiday season, is crucial for maximizing engagement. Try a year-in-review style email or mix up your send times for added impact.

Exceptions to the Evening Trend:

While 7 PM is a popular time for email opens, exceptions arise during Sundays, Christmas, and major shopping days. Lunchtime emerges as the preferred time for email engagement on these occasions. Analyzing the top three most popular email open times for significant sales days reveals that people tend to focus on shopping during lunch breaks, maximizing their attention to sale emails.


The holiday season demands strategic adjustments in email marketing approaches. Mobile optimization, evening send times, and recognizing exceptions to trends are pivotal in crafting effective holiday campaigns. By leveraging these insights, email marketers can navigate the holiday rush with confidence, ensuring their messages stand out amidst the festive noise.