Tips for optimizing holiday email marketing campaigns

Email Marketing

With the first-ever at-home holiday season upon us, email marketing campaigns will be an even more important tool for marketers. But how to cut through the noise of what might be record-setting volumes of emails?

First, marketers need to understand that campaigns ideally need to have already started; or at least have a launch date of sooner than later. 

“A lot of marketers are actually predicting that instead of having a Black Friday or Cyber Monday in November, that the entire month of November is going to be [a] holiday season,” said Validity email Strategist Tori Garcia. “This is so consumers can buy their gifts early enough in time to have them shipped and ready for Christmas.” 

Watch Garcia’s entire presentation here. 

Making a list

Before you can hit send, marketers have to make sure their email list and content are both optimized. “Remove unknown users,” said Garcia. “This is a great way to proactively preserve your sender reputation, because you can, with the help of a list validation service, pinpoint unknown user email addresses and remove them from your list. It is painful to remove email addresses from your list, but if they are not good email addresses, there is no point in having them.” 

Mistyped domains should be removed too, and the cleaned-up list that remains should be targeted with gradual distribution and slow increase of volume of emails over time, and not all at once. 

“Avoid scheduling any type of full blown ESP migration or a warm up of a brand new IP,” said Garcia. “During the holidays the volume is already really high because of the number of emails that retailers and brands are sending. Mailbox providers are already having a hard time handling the influx of emails.” 

Keep a close eye on content

Subject lines need to be optimize by emphasizing action verbs to get consumers to open email and pre-header text also needs to be optimized. 

No matter the season, personalization is still the key to increasing email conversions. Personalization means more than just customizing email content with the receiver’s first name, it means triggering messages based on consumers’ multichannel behavior. 

Triggered messages can substantially increase conversions. Triggered messages can be prompted by consumer actions, like abandoning a shopping carts, or from shipping and payment confirmations, or announcements like flash sales or a high-demand product being back in stock. 

With an extended holiday season that will be more competitive than ever, making sure the foundation of your email marketing campaign is solid with efficient lists and creative content comes before building elaborate product promotions. 

“Make sure that you are having a really solid and healthy holiday email marketing campaign this year,” said Garcia. “To be able to recoup some of that ROI that you might have lost at the beginning of the year during COVID.” 

About The Author

Rodric J. Bradford is the Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager.

Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris.

Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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