Citation from the Q4 2018 Megaphone Report on how marketers spent the 2018 holidays. The Megaphone Report is a quarterly benchmark analyzing the digital marketing strategies of 44 digitally-native and traditional consumer brands and retailers. Read the full Q4 2018 Megaphone Report and the Digiday Retail Briefing.

On The RealReal’s email marketing strategy and attempt to lure customers into its stores:

The RealReal set the record for the highest number of marketing emails at 77 in December, or almost 20 per week, followed by Revolve and Everlane. While no emails featured offline retail—a missed opportunity for consumer companies hoping to drive foot traffic to their stores via online marketing—The RealReal was one of the few brands or retailers to highlight a non-product sales opportunity by centering 16.7 percent of its emails on services such as in-store authentication for luxury consignment items or in-store gift wrapping.

While only 15.7 percent of emails during the survey period incited shoppers to sign up to a membership or loyalty program or download the company’s app, 100 percent of The RealReal’s emails featured a box reminding recipients to download the retailer’s app.

On brands and retailers’ resistance to customer engagement in their Q4 2018 email campaigns, and the curious case of Glossier:

Despite Glossier’s lauded peer-to-peer marketing strategy, which the company has claimed accounts for 70 percent of online sales and traffic, only one of its emails during the survey period featured someone who appeared to be a customer, though the brand’s recent paid video marketing push might be reversing this.

The same goes for plugging social media accounts—only 0.6 percent of emails sent during the survey period focused on social networking, showing little interplay between marketing channels and minimal engagement with shoppers.

Brands and retailers toned down their corporate messaging slightly more on Facebook and Instagram where 2.2 percent of ads featured testimonials. Fenty reigned in this category—customer testimonials comprised 43.8 percent of its paid digital ads, followed by Away (15.5 percent) and Harry’s (13.9 percent). All of these testimonials were video ads.