It’s that time again, when we cover some of the best US digital marketing stats we’ve seen in the past seven days or so. 

From punctuated emails to online-to-offline marketing, not to mention some really good news for advertisers, there is plenty to get exciting about this week. 

Punctuation marks increase email open rates by 9%

According to research from Retention Science into email subject lines, question marks have the biggest impact on opens with a 44% higher rate than exclamation marks. 

Other key findings include: 

  • Conversion rates are highest in July and December and lowest in January and February.
  • Novelty items featured in subject lines boost open rates, but not conversion rates.

32% of Americans began Christmas shopping by first week of November

A new survey by Adlucent has shed light on the Christmas holiday shopping habits of American consumers. 

Other key findings include:

  • 47% of respondents plan to start their holiday shopping research on search engines vs. 31% on Amazon and 13% in stores.
  • 46% of males are turning to search engines, while 34% of females are going straight to Amazon.
  • 61% cite no preference between in-store or online shopping, while 20% say they will only buy online this year. 
  • Females are more likely to shop online while males prefer in-store.
  • 49% plan to do their research on smartphones, with 42% willing to purchase on that device.
  • 25-34 year olds (66%) were most likely to turn to their phones, followed by 18-24 year olds (63%).

Facebook referral traffic to its top 30 publishers fell 32% this year

Since January 2015, the amount of monthly traffic the social media giant sent to its top 30 publishers – brands such as Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post – fell significantly, according to a report by Digiday

Key findings include:

  • Huffington Post – Facebook traffic fell 60% to 16m. 
  • Fox News – down 48% to 4.3m.
  • BuzzFeed – down 41% to 23.7m. 

The biggest drop was in February, when publishers’ Facebook traffic fell an average of 75%.

Advertising created $5.8tn in output and 20m jobs in 2014

Research by HIS Economics and Country Risk has found that advertising adds an enormous amount of value to the US economy.  

Don Draper advertising

Every dollar of adspend in 2014 resulted in an average of $19 economic output (sales) nationally. For every $1m spent, 67 American jobs were supported across a wide range of industries. 

$5.8tn represents 16% of total US output for 2014, and when considered as a fraction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that percentage increases to 19%. 

By 2019, adspend is expected to have increased at a rate of 3.3% annually, amounting to $7.4tn of economic output and 23m jobs. 

Facebook ad sales increased 45% year-on-year

It’s not all doom and gloom for Facebook this month, as the social network reported ad revenues of $4.3bn in its Q3 report, an increase of 45% on the same period in 2014. 

Mobile revenue was $3.4bn, accounting for 78% of all Facebook’s ad sales, a 66% increase on its share of total ad revenue last year. 

Elle beacons prompt half a million store visits

Elle launched its ‘Shop Now’ digital program in the September edition of the magazine, enabling readers to receive location-based information and discount offers from selected apps. 

Users who signed up received push notifications when they came within a mile of certain retailers, followed by a digital discount offer if they visited one of the stores. 

The scheme resulted in roughly 500,000 in-store visits from Elle readers. 

Relevant push notifications on smartphones make purchases more likely

A new survey by Onestop Internet has found that push notifications on smartphones can be an effective way to boost sales, provided they are relevant to the recipient. 

25% of respondents say receiving a relevant push notification on their smartphone “always” makes them more likely to complete a purchase, while 49% say they “sometimes” do. 

For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           

Download Econsultancy’s Internet Statistics Compendium, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.

It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.