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Holiday Email Best Practices: How Torrid Achieved Its Highest Revenue Hour in Company History (And You Can, Too)

black friday email strategy

With the right strategy and technology, email can drive unprecedented revenue in a very short amount of time.

That’s the happy holiday news that fashion retailer Torrid received following one very successful holiday email campaign. A data-driven strategy and the addition of real-time technology came together at just the right time to deliver the highest revenue hour in the company’s history.

If that sounds like a gift your brand could use this holiday season, see how Torrid outperformed its holiday email goals and adapt these lessons for your own campaigns.

Finding Success During the Most Competitive Time of Year

Torrid delivers sophisticated email campaigns throughout the holiday season. But like many retailers it puts a special focus on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period.

The company had ambitious goals and set specific targets related to increasing traffic (both to the site as well as its online store), driving incremental revenue, and achieving other aggressive goals for the holiday season.

We all know how big these shopping days are, but their growth rates—and the opportunity they represent—can still come as a surprise. In 2018, an estimated 164 million people were planning holiday shopping sometime during the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Black Friday was the single busiest day, with 116 million people reporting that they planned to shop that day. 

In 2018, Cyber Monday hit nearly $8B in total sales, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, and topping even Black Friday ($6.2B) in terms of online sales. Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday demonstrated significant year-over-year growth (20% and 23.6%, respectively), leading many analysts and retailers to think that 2019 will be even bigger.

Email Innovations Pay Off with Increased Traffic, Sales, and Revenues

Torrid wanted to create an engaging new Black Friday/Cyber Monday email experience to achieve its goals of maximizing campaigns sales and overall revenues.

The retailer’s marketing team came up with an innovative approach: to build emails that displayed a countdown timer that counted down to the end of each one of the company’s special live (limited time) promotions. 

Using the RealTime Email platform, Torrid designed highly personalized, extremely relevant content using customized messages and open-time data. When a specific promotion expired, the hero image disappeared, but it was replaced by a brief message telling the customer to visit the Torrid site to view the latest promotions and deals.

holiday retail email examples

Click here to see the complete email

Torrid found that these new emails led to new levels of customer engagement and urgency, both of which increased sales—from the email promotion as well as the site—as well as total traffic. Most importantly, customers paid attention to the countdown timer and made their purchases before the promotion expired. 

Swapping in dynamic content as offers changed over time enabled the brand to update its emails with the latest, most relevant messaging even after they were already sent and opened. This helped Torrid gain incremental revenue from campaigns sent days, even weeks, earlier. 

holiday retail email strategy

Even expired promotions led to revenue spikes and new traffic to the retailer’s site, with 37% of opens and a 3.6% click-through rate occurring after the sale ended. An updated image and CTA after the sale had expired created a large and long tail of continued site visits and sales well into the holiday season.

holiday retail email examples

Counting Down to the Greatest Hour in Company History

Torrid’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns were a success by any conventional measure. Traffic numbers increased over company and industry benchmarks. Total clicks, total opens, click-through rates, and conversions surged. 

But most important, Torrid hit the single highest revenue hour in company history and significantly exceeded its revenue goals. With Liveclicker, Torrid was able to achieve goals where they matter most: top-line revenue growth and a stronger bottom line. 

For more details on Torrid’s holiday strategy and results, download the complete case study here.

Have a Happy, Historic Holiday

The Torrid case study is just one example of how email marketing innovation can make this holiday season your most productive yet. For even more ways to drive greater revenue and overcome traditional holiday headaches, be sure to check out our ebook: Real-Time Solutions to 9 of Retail Marketers’ Biggest Holiday Email Headaches.

More than our gift to you, it’s your way to find other tips, tricks, and effective examples from leading retailers to reach customers throughout the holiday cycle!