As Christmas draws closer, many online marketers will be looking to ramp up their marketing activity in a bid to entice the hoards of shoppers. There are several things you can do that will ensure your Christmas email marketing hits the right note:
Ensure your email campaigns are set up in good time so that you can test subject lines and send ‘follow up’ campaigns to the unopened population. Subject lines are used to trigger greater response amongst recipients which in turn, maximises open rates and conversions. You might consider stopping sending lifecycle campaigns at this time of year so that focus remains on the festive offers.
It might also be useful to be aware of the differences between email service providers (ESPs) when setting up your email marketing campaign. You want a provider who will be available to you as and when you need them, as otherwise they could potentially slow you down instead of speeding you up. Do they provide real-time reporting to evaluate messages and optimise them to suit your needs? You need to place top priority on deliverability to ensure that you are able to send your email marketing messages to the consumer at the time you want.
Consider whether the benefits will outweigh the negatives if you intend to increase the frequency of your mailings during the festive season. If you intend to send considerably more email marketing material, you might consider letting your customers know that they will be receiving a higher volume of relevant offers and provide them with the option to opt out of this, or just reduce the amount that they will receive.
Recognise that although driving revenue needs to remain core to your email marketing strategy, this should never come at the expense of sustaining customer relationships. Particularly during the Christmas season, don’t get carried away by carpet bombing your consumer list as your list will die before the next festive season comes around, i.e. will become non-respondent because you haven’t maintained your standards of sending targeted, relevant email marketing content.
The most important thing you can do in the run up to a busy season is to plan. Investing time and money prior to the busy times of year is essential if you want to send personalised email marketing that will give you results with strong open rates. Did you learn from what you used as subject lines during the planning of the project? Did you make a note of what worked well, and what didn’t in the run up to Christmas last year? Make sure it’s something you pay attention to next year.