Holiday Email Marketing: 6 Tips to Getting It Right

As email continues to be one of the leading methods of reaching out to a wide majority of consumers, most consumers have even adapted themselves to look out for offers and promotions while checking their email. A recent Consumer Views of Email Marketing study by Bluehornet from Digital River has released the 2015 edition of its survey, which includes almost 2000 consumer insights into how they perceive and engage or ignore marketing emails.

The survey also reveals that over 71% of email users don’t have any junk account that is dedicated for filtering out marketing emails, and nearly 40% of users routinely check an email account that receive moderate to high marketing email traffic, ideally 5 a day. The study also suggests that almost 35% of email users are actively checking their mail.

Email Campaigns for the Holiday Season

Anyone involved in the email marketing industry will know that the holiday season is a time that almost guarantees enormous revenue payoffs for most e-Commerce traders.

And instead of going about sending mailers like every other digital marketer, even the slightest added features or improvement will translate into a drastic improvement in the overall effect of your email marketing program. This ensures online success and higher revenues.

Another recent study by global data solutions provider, Return Path, has hinted that the frequency which stimulates the most responses without much complaint is unique among brands and account categories.

Another great way you can increase the efficiency of your email programs is by creating responsive emails that certainly help to improve your ROI. Email marketing software, GetResponse suggests that companies lose 42% of their audiences if the email isn’t responsive.

Horses for Courses – Adjusting Campaigns In Sync With Business Practices

If you think that your business doesn’t depend on the holiday season but some other, then you can do it in accordance with the season that your industry has the potential to drive up sales, for example, when the telecom sector launches a new model in the first quarter of a year, and then another in the final. Those who offer financial services are usually at their peak during the first quarter of the year, up until the end of March.

The big question, then, is – how does one prepare to create some magic with holiday season marketing email campaigns? We have the answers.

1. Extend Your Marketing Email Content

With the introduction of the smartphone, receiving, checking, and even sending emails has grown exponentially and remained strong on mobile. Conversely, data also suggests that clicks from mobile devices are significantly lower than those made via a desktop or laptop computer.

If your business is app friendly, you can use it to your advantage, especially if you can predict subscriber behavior and find out why they don’t click on links on their smartphones or tablets.

The most successful tactic has always been to expand your marketing email’s content, enabling it to function almost as an entire site or even as a landing page. The biggest advantage if doing this is that shoppers can browse your entire collection of offerings without having to click a single button.

2. Implement Vendor Changes ASAP

You might have already dealt with a number of new email partners over time, and it’s common knowledge of how changing a vendor usually ends up in a long and tiring process. Yet changing partners or vendors might improve the quality of your overall marketing program in the long run.

While most companies change vendors for improved features or better functionality that their current partner, others might shift because of changing environments or to meet certain budget restrictions. The availability of sophisticated software systems with better integrations might also prompt a change in vendors.

3. Adding Triggered Emails

Triggered emails that allow marketers to send personalized and timely automated messages are a great way of picking up easy-to-reach and highly-motivated customers who will increase engagement rates from recipients and lead to higher conversions from shoppers.

By adding a new email to your existing program before the season peaks, you can let your customers be privy to some pre-season discounts or other offers. Triggered emails are also a good way of filling out multiple gaps in an email marketing program and will also diversify the overall email strategy.

4. Arrange Your Data

Any seasoned email marketer knows that an email program is only as effective as the data with which it is backed up. And today’s programs have to have much more detailed information than just email addresses and can include all types of transactional and online customer behavior.

The new KYC norms also enable access to the physical mailing addresses of your customers.

5. Emergency Templates

Having a last minute insertion or request for change in template is a common problem faced by the email marketers. This not only leads to the entire strategy getting messed up but can also end up being a colossal waste of time.

The best way to prevent such a situation from ever occurring is to develop a versatile template that adheres to very specific restrictions, yet allows for maximum design and content flexibility.

The whole point is to have a backup template that can be sophisticated and personalized by just adding a couple of images and changing a bit of the design assets.

6. Set Personal Time Buffers

Another common mistake that many email marketers do is not set buffers in their time, causing them to have to deal with impossible deadlines and crazy requests. The worst part is that the number of last-minute requests often seems to double as the festive or peak season approaches, and they all have to be done, or it will really be bad for business.

IMAGE: Cui Lin Systems

Creating a bandwidth of time buffers will help you stay on track as well as give you a realistic idea of the amount of time it will take to deliver your services. Creating a time buffer for your schedule will also help you better manage all those ad hoc requests.

7. Gantt Chart

The holiday season is a time when random people who you might have never met before come up to you and tell you that you need to make a last-minute change because of some random life-altering rationale.

A scientific and highly effective method of preventing your entire campaign from ending in a disaster is to build a personalized Gantt chart, which would typically list all the emails or bundles that have been drafted for customers to read, its core features, audience segmentation, and even the size of the campaign.

IMAGE: rfflow

When it comes to holiday season email marketing, timing is critical, and preparing yourself and your site well in advance will go a long way in streamlining the process of incorporating last-minute email campaign changes.

Other Data Improvements

Email Verification – Routinely verifying your email database will help your business Identify spammers or any email leeches that could bog down your campaign.

Change of Address – Data mining reports have indicated that email addresses can have a churn rate of nearly 20 percent annually, which means that routinely executing an email change of address will help you pick out addresses of all the new subscribers on your marketing list.

Data Enhancement – You can effectively enhance your program by adding new data to fill in any gaps that might exist in your current database. Alternatively, you could enable customer segmentation that is based on fresh subscriber data, including personalized birthday and anniversary notification emails.

I am sure this article did provide some ideas to get started. We are not that far away from the holidays, so the preparations need to be started soon. Do you have any other ideas for holiday marketing? Please share in your comments below.