It may seem as if summer just started, but before you know it, vacations will be over, school will be starting again, and the fall and winter holidays will be here. Don’t want to rush into things like you have in the past? Use the lazy days of summer (hint: now) to strategize, plan content, and sync your marketing channels with your email campaigns.
Start by looking at last year’s numbers. Figure out what email campaigns did the best last year. Compare opens, clicks and click-to-open metrics. Ponder what made the most successful email campaigns popular with subscribers. Contests, colors, calls-to-action – whatever floated the boat for your readers last year may be a great idea to pursue this year.
Take the ideas you’ve gathered from the numbers and translate it to your editorial calendar. Yes, click all the way down to the last months of Q4 and punch in what email campaigns you’re going to send, what content those emails will contain, and what segments of your list are going to receive each one.
And while you’re poking around in there, add the frequency of when you’ll send each campaign. If there are campaigns you want to A/B test (do it!), make sure you schedule enough time for those tests to run. Mapping out the date and times of when each email needs to send will keep your team on the same page and help you stay in control during the busy holiday season.
The slow summer months are a perfect time to optimize your email templates for mobile. With mobile email opens surpassing desktop, it’s essential email marketers use responsive design in order to see the most ROI on their campaigns. If people can’t view your offer on their mobile devices, they’re most likely going to abandon your message. Stop waving good-bye to more money, and re-design your templates for mobile. Make your messages even smarter by using time-based, location-based, and device-based personalization. Our partner Movable Ink rocks this stuff.
Since you’re in the optimizing mode, make your preference center shine. Are you gathering all the information from subscribers you need for holiday-season segmentations? Collecting date of birth and gender information helps you pool people into categories of young, old, male and female. Even these basic groups can boost your holiday email targeting.
Most importantly, ensure your email deliverability is up to snuff. There’s no use sending a message if it’s not going to be delivered. If you’re not already, make sure your emails are CAN-SPAM compliant, with a physical address and obvious opt-out link. Only send to people who signed up to receive your emails, as this will give you the highest engagement numbers and build your credibility with ISPs. Hard work on the deliverability front now will pay off when you send those ROI-producing holiday campaigns later.
Final tip: Don’t procrastinate. It’s easy to let the slow days of summer roll by, but don’t jeopardize the impact of your holiday campaigns by waiting to think about them.
Happy Christmas in July!