Bronto’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday Break Records Again

Erik Morse, Vice President of Software Development

Author Bio

As vice president of software development, Erik leads the effort to scale Oracle + Bronto’s technology organization in order to meet the increasing performance demands of the company’s rapidly growing roster of commerce-focused companies. Erik also leads Oracle + Bronto’s product development teams, bringing his lengthy SaaS experience to continually deliver innovative, yet easy-to-use functionality that helps retailers to maximize the impact of their marketing campaigns.

Prior to joining Oracle + Bronto, Erik was the founding employee at Peopleclick, where he served for thirteen years as COO and CTO. During his tenure at Peopleclick, Morse was instrumental in building the technology organization and leading key product development initiatives, including the establishment of the company’s successful and rapidly scaling SaaS business model. Prior to Peopleclick, Erik served as a director of development for Seer Technologies, a leader in enterprise software infrastructure products. Previously, Erik held a key role at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as a senior software engineer.

Thanksgiving weekend has long been the busiest email sending period for most retailers and for Bronto. It’s our Super Bowl, so to speak. And all year long, our engineers plan and prepare for the marathon weekend (and all the emails that go along with it) to make sure our customers’ holiday promotions are delivered without a hitch. All of this year’s planning and preparation definitely paid off, so we thought we’d share some of the big wins from our record-breaking weekend.

  • During a seven-day period (Nov. 25 – Dec. 1), we sent 56% more emails than this time last year.
  • We set a send record for Black Friday and increased our total send 50% over last year.
  • Smashing our sending record on Cyber Monday, we sent 45% more messages than 2014 and processed about 15,000 inbound marketing events every second.

Though we have to make sure every aspect of our systems can work well under the holiday load, we have a few key priorities: email must go out promptly, emails must open and load quickly, and when someone clicks a link in an email, we must get the user to the customer site quickly. In 2015, we invested a lot in the tracking infrastructure, as well as the data storage layer that underlies a lot of our key non-sending components.

So, how did it all go?

Things started early on Black Friday. The massive early day load stressed our sending systems a bit in the morning hours, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Since Cyber Monday is the biggest sending day of the year, we knew we’d need even more speed for Monday. We finished the record-setting Black Friday and took the weekend to breathe a bit and add some capacity before Cyber Monday. In the meantime, we still saw our two busiest weekend days ever.

On Sunday night, we were watching the systems closely as we crossed the midnight hour when the sending volume immediately kicked up. Then, it was all hands on deck early Cyber Monday morning. Fortunately, the adjustments we had made upped our sending speed even more and allowed things to continue smoothly throughout the day. We set our new one-day record in the 6 o’clock hour and ended the day having processed 1.3 billion unique, inbound marketing-related events.

It all went more smoothly than we could have even hoped. The tremendous group effort over the past 12 months really paid off for our customers.

We’ve already started analyzing our performance and making short- and long-term plans for next year. What an exciting weekend for everyone involved! Now, on to 2016!