Bah Humbug on Black Friday Emails

Congratulations if you survived another Thanksgiving with family. It can be a wonderful time of year, or contentious, depending on the circumstances. Also congrats if your inbox survived Black Friday. I’m still cleaning mine up, which is not easy with all the Cyber Monday emails hitting me left and right.

Congratulations if you survived another Thanksgiving with family without some sort of verbal fist fight breaking out over politics or the proper way to carve a turkey. It can be a wonderful time of year, or contentious, depending.

Also congrats if your inbox survived Black Friday. I’m still cleaning mine up, which is not easy with all the Cyber Monday emails hitting me left and right.

Because I’m a nerd for numbers, I applied some search parameters to see what really DID end up in my inbox. Then I made a chart. Stop laughing at me.

Melissa's Black Friday InboxBetween Nov. 1 and Nov. 27, I received 127 emails with “Black Friday in the subject line. The chart above breaks it down by percentage received by date (and yes, I clumped Nov. 1-Nov. 14 together, since most of those days I received maybe 1-2 Black Friday emails tops).

Amazon emailed me the most, taking up 13.4 percent of my Black Friday inbox overall (from Nov. 1-27, and 10.3 percent of my Black Friday inbox on the actual day (Nov. 25). NewEgg came in second, and JCPenney third (Fun fact: I probably haven’t ordered anything from JCPenney since 2013).

Now, as I look at these numbers, everything seems fairly reasonable. But here’s the thing: Over the holiday while visiting my family for 4 days, I felt like this every time I picked up my phone:

Too Many EmailsOkay, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic, but I think at one point it got up to 36 unread emails. And what did I do? I cleared them all out, sometimes opening a message to see if there was a good deal, and usually not finding much beyond 20 percent off … which, c’mon! That’s a typical discount.

But maybe it’s just me. According to the National Retail Federation, 44 percent of consumers shopped online for Black Friday (while 40 percent trekked out to stores), and Millennials — my generation — helped to drive the increase in Black Friday sales. And according to information from an Adobe report, Black Friday online sales grew 17.7 percent over 2015, hitting $5.27 billion.

Black Friday Sales MemeLook, I can be sassy about this because it’s me. Again, I realize the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge for retailers … but as I mentioned, the Black Friday “preview” emails started Nov. 1 for me.

I really don’t need 28 days worth of “Ooh look! Online deals! Buy them now!” emails. And having my inbox hammered for almost an entire month made me numb to most emails … I swiped left so many times to archive things I almost accidentally swiped my aunt’s email right out of my inbox.

Maybe I’m jaded because I’m familiar with how this all works. Maybe I’m burned out on unimaginative email copy and the same old bland offers. Either way, I say Bah Humbug to Black Friday. Give me #GivingTuesday … at least then the money I drop can go do some good in the world.