Happy New Year and Thanks for sticking around during the holiday break. ~Matt @emailkarma

Today Pivotal Veracity released some interesting numbers around seeded delivery monitoring during the 2009 holiday email season. Some of these numbers will surprise you, but should also explain some of the trends you observed in your December mailing campaigns.

This graph (showing the weekly blocked email averages) depicts a trend that actually mirrors the increasing volumes* for many online retailers the percent of email, being monitored by PV, that was blocked by ISPs had a significant performance impact – spiking upwards of 13.8% of emails being blocked on December 17th.

This will likely be a continuing trend for the next few holidays, as they approach email volumes will grow and so will the instances of blocked, filtered and deleted emails. Think about sending smarter offers with a bigger bang to differentiate yourself from the crowd, and don’t flood your subscribers… Remember over mailing was on my 2009 failure list.

Key findings:

  • Instances of blocking grew each week during the first three weeks leading up to Christmas.
  • The worst day to send email during the month was December 17th (NOTE: this is exactly 1 week before Christmas Eve), when 13.8% of email was blocked and just 78.8% of email was routed to recipient inboxes (with the remaining 7.5% found in spam or junk folders).
  • Blocking began to subside when most retailers could no longer fulfill before-Christmas shipping: 12.2% of email was blocked on December 22nd— by the next day, the number dropped precipitously to just 6.4%.
  • Blocks spiked again during the final days of 2009 as retailers pushed year-end clearance offers and post-holiday sales. December 28th – 30th saw blocking rates of 11.8%, 13.3% and 11.5% respectively.

* RetailEmailBlog.com: “Retailers sent an average of 15.4 email messages to each subscriber during the month, up from 14.6 in December 2008. Volume the week prior to Christmas 2009 was up 5% compared to the same week the year prior.”