Krista Barrack
Krista Barrack 7 October 2016

Prepping Your Email Campaigns for the 2016 Holiday Season

We are already creeping up on Halloween and before you know it the store's shelves will be loaded up with Christmas decorations and the shopping season being amongst us. So if you have not yet started to think about your holiday season marketing plan, then you better start now.

So what’s the first thing that you should do? Work on Your Email List.

It’s time to get the cobwebs out of your email list. Dead email addresses can damage your inbox deliverability and no one wants to risk that right before the holidays. So, I would recommend you first look up a reputable email verification vendor such as XVerify and do an entire database clean up. Cleaning up your database will identify email addresses which have been abandoned or closed. It will also pinpoint risky email addresses which have been associated with online fraud, chargebacks, and spam complaints in one solution.

Then I would also suggest that you remove dis-engaged recipients from your list. Having a large subscriber list and low open/click rates is not doing you any good. If you want to strengthen your inbox delivery rates then you need to have better rates of engagement with your users. To get a quick boost in your numbers remove subscribers from your list who have not taken any action in the last 15 emails you have sent out.

Next Step is to start pre-building out your holiday content.

Work is always done sloppily when it is rushed and the customers have an eye for that. If your campaign is not delivering a lot of value or it looks like it was just slapped together, the customers are going to run away. So the time is now to start creatively crafting your holiday marketing content.

What holidays will you craft content around?

  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • New Year

One of email marketers biggest challenges during the holiday hustle is competition. Everyone’s inbox is getting 2-3 times the amount of mail. Think of a way to set yourself apart from the competition during the holidays, and this is going to take some creativity.

  • Use fun subject lines.
  • Split test email campaigns to identify which is working best this season
  • Tell your social media followers something special was sent to their inbox
  • Prompt users to ‘white-list’ you during the opt-in process

Time is of the essence, start putting together your campaigns now, and make an effort to immediately follow up with users who do engage. Consider adding some email automation to make things a little more automated.

 This way if a user opens an email about a specific topic send them another email around that same topic a few days later if they have not yet made a purchase. Keep in mind that your subscribers are getting a lot of emails during the holiday season that could be distracting them from completing a purchase with you. Having an automated but yet gentle nudge reminding them about what you offer can help close the deal.

Hitting the Sweet Spot

One very important thing to be cautious of when emailing this holiday season is to not go overboard. As tempting as it is to tell your customers about all your sales only email them about the ones which are most relevant or the ones which are most popular. Sending too many emails can land you in hot water.

If your volume of email sends suddenly triples that could be damaging your reputation and lower the number of inboxes that you get into. So plan your campaigns accordingly and send emails as needed. If customers are unhappy with getting too many emails they might start generating more spam complaints.

Don’t get discouraged when you start seeing higher rates of unsubscribes, they do happen more often during the holidays, but we have some tips on that as well. We would highly recommend that you have an unsubscribe link which allows your customers to configure email preferences. This way they can stay on your list and you only send to them for certain conditions.

Takeaways –

And finally, if you did not read the whole article and just skimmed through, here are a few takeaways for you. First, make sure you clean your email database and remove unengaged users. The time is now to start thinking about your holiday marketing campaigns and you want to get creative so that you stand out when compared to the competition. You should setup some email automation to help give subscribers a gentle nudge to buy, but not send out too many emails to where you are getting spam complaints and unsubscribes.

Best of luck with your marketing campaigns this holiday season!

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