Though consumers have been primed to expect deep discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, several fashion brands started their sales in early November, signaling that the fashion industry’s stance on discounting continues to waver.

As Cyber Week wrapped up, Bloomberg reported that out of all clothing, shoes, and accessories brands, luxury brands like Fendi and Tom Ford had the highest amount of discounting over Black Friday weekend. This marks a stark contrast to efforts by several brands like Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren to reduce promotionality and restore their reputations of exclusivity.


To let customers know about all those discounts, brands are heading to email. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion finds that the average brand increased email marketing campaigns by 34% year-over-year, with the majority of the incremental campaigns focusing on discounts or new products.  

As a result, many consumers suffer from email fatigue. They are receiving more and more emails, but not finding content relevant to them. Consumers increasingly expect personalized emails with subject lines and content tailored specifically to them — yet brands have fallen short.

Email open rates

Open rates for emails about discounts are particularly low for brands on the higher end of the luxury spectrum, according to L2’s study. And for masstige brands, discount emails perform only slightly better than average. However, personalized subject lines including words like “just for you” generate an above-average open rate of 22%, a trend that holds true across price points. As brands seek to differentiate their emails from their competition, focusing on personalization rather than discounts may be a key way to drive higher open rates.


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