7 Holiday Email Marketing Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Next week kicks off the holiday email-sending bonanza and the one item on every email marketer’s wish list is a holly, jolly response rate to his or her campaigns. Battling the competition will be more difficult as everyone sends more and more messages. What’s the secret to rising above the noise of the inbox over the next month?

These seven holiday email marketing tips will help you avoid an avalanche of holiday woes and ensure your marketing is merry and bright.

1. Ditch reporting? You’re getting coal.

It’s a busy time for all of us. But this is no time to ignore your metrics. If your subscribers aren’t reacting well to your holiday emails, you may have to do a switcheroo. You should be tracking your metrics like NORAD tracks Santa in December.

2. Stay off the naughty list by using responsive design.

A hefty chunk of mobile commerce sales comes during the holidays. According to Adobe’s Digital Index report, 26.2 percent of 2013’s holiday season mobile commerce sales came on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday contributed 18.3 percent. Not only must you use responsive design to make sure your emails render across all screen sizes, it’s important your load time is short and sweet so potential customers don’t get fed up and leave.

3. Don’t be a Grinch: Remember your loyal customers

Make it a point to make your loyal customers feel special during the holidays. Start with an email that expresses your thanks for their business. Include a reminder about their point balance, a VIP-only sale or discount, an exclusive gift-with-purchase, or special holiday products or services only available to loyalty program members.

Here’s a customer-only exclusive email from Petco sent with the subject line “Extended one day! Reveal your exclusive savings!”

A special holiday campaign for loyal Petco customers.

4. Keep testing, ya filthy animal

What, no testing? You can’t beat the clutter of the holiday inbox with boring and undescriptive subject lines or hastily put together content. Stand out from the onslaught of competing emails by testing your messages for the best engagement.

5. Wise men use word-of-mouth

Encourage subscribers to buy even when they don’t know what they’re looking for. Clueless customers will turn word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews into prompt buying decisions. Consider working these into your holiday emails for more conversions.

6. Make spirits bright with lots of suggestions

Give the gift of a good suggestion via upselling, cross-selling, and sending automated abandoned shopping cart emails. Wish lists are also a great way to keep subscribers’ gift ideas at the top of their minds. Tory Burch offers a gift guide for its customers:

Tory Burch provides gift-purchasing ideas for subscribers.

7. The weather outside is frightful, but your emails shouldn’t be

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so make sure you’re not sending error-riddled messages that could put a gloom on your good time. Double check every email that goes out for grammar and spelling, and make sure all links work as intended. Also, don’t forget to manage unsubscribes, bounces and abuse complaints so your inboxing report brings you good tidings.

All is calm, all is bright

By following these holiday email marketing tips, you’ll fend off common blunders commonly committed at this time of year. Don’t let the rush of the season get to you. Instead, keep your campaign’s priorities front and center and check the important items off your list. Lacking ideas or manpower for your holiday campaigns? Our Agents of Email can help with that light bulb moment.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl
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