Holiday Email Best Practices

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Holiday Email

As promised, this week we will be covering the ins and outs of holiday email for those of you planning your upcoming campaigns. Through a rather in-depth collection of data, analytics, and good old-fashioned advice, our goal is to have you ready to hit the ground running in the right direction with your email marketing program.

Today’s post will cover a few of our recommended best practices for holiday email campaigns. As we mentioned on Friday, many people saw a strong decline in open-rates for their marketing emails in the fourth quarter of last year. Why would  that be? Our guess is because a number of email marketers did not follow these cardinal rules when sending to their lists:

1. Segment Your Emails Accordingly
Using your customers purchase history, send emails that are more likely to engage readers and motivate them to buy again. Instead of generalizing your email blast to one demographically-vague audience and seeing what sticks, know what the recipient might be in the market for. You more than likely wouldn’t recommend checking out baby toys for a person that bought a significant amount of clothing and merchandise for a preteen the year before. Why? Because odds are their children are a bit too old for baby toys these days and they won’t be looking to buy those products for quite some time. Know what your subscribers will be looking for and hand it to them on a silver platter email, making both your job and theirs much easier.

2. Plan Follow Up Emails 
Did a customer just purchase products from you? Did a subscriber login to your site to search for specific items? Send a follow up email to thank the customer for their time or purchase. This is a more personal touch that speaks to your customer service capabilities, as well as reinforces your brand with your subscriber. Some shoppers are reluctant to shop online because they like the interaction and service they can receive by shopping in stores. By playing up not only how easy it was to shop with you, but also that you care that they made the decision to purchase with you, the customer will feel more comfortable making future purchases online through you. This also provides an excellent outlet for customers to send feedback, questions, or concerns as long as you make that an option through your autoresponder.

3. Increase Frequency, But Not Too Much

Holiday Email Open Rates
Like we alluded to in our post on Friday and in this graph, there was a significant drop-off in open rates after a large amount of email was sent. As the data shows, the more email that was sent, the less subscribers were inclined to open or clock-through the message. We believe this to be that at a certain point, subscribers get inundated with so many messages, it eventually becomes white noise and easily ignored. Also, subscriber rates were negatively affected by sending email too much and flooding inboxes.

Obviously during the holiday season, you want to increase the frequency of how often you send messages. However, make sure that your messages vary in content and form. Don’t continue to send the exact same message repeatedly or a promotion that looks similar to the last message you sent. The more variety you have in terms of subject lines, graphics, content, and format, the more likely subscribers will be to open and interact with your email. Send a newsletter, single-page promotion, or even just a quick graphic, but don’t bombard your list with the same type of email constantly. You’ll lose subscribers and won’t get the results you intended.

Throughout the rest of this week, we will continue to help you find ways to improve your holiday email marketing campaign and ultimately grow your ROI. By covering the economic outlook of holiday campaigns, advanced analysis, methods to engage retail subscribers, we will cover every base possible when it comes to making your holiday sends a success.

Sarah Zibanejadrad
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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One Response to "Holiday Email Best Practices"
  1. Nick Stamoulis says:

    The holidays tend to sneak up on us, so it’s never too early to start planning. People are bombarded with ads and promotions during that time of year so the key is to offer something that sticks out. Segmenting the list is critical so that the message is relevant to the recipient’s needs.

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