Photo by Christian Velitchkov on Unsplash
Companies around the world strengthen their email marketing during the holidays. Not only is there amplified potential but also, it’s the most competitive season. According to data published by the NFIB, one-third of small businesses report that the fourth quarter is their most profitable.
Some approaches are obvious, like putting more thought into planning and paying greater attention to detail. However, there are some potential email missteps during the holiday season. Could you be making one of them?
Here are the top ways you can have a successful holiday season along with some possible mistakes to avoid.
Successful email marketers provide variety
You have to inform and remind your prospects of what you have. However, being a broken record is not the path to take. Some companies push what they offer by way of constant repetition. Some even send an identical email a couple of times in a row.
Of course, reworking past emails is a great way to save time. Resending emails to people who haven’t opened is also a good strategy. However, if you’re just sending the same thing over and over hoping to make sales, you’ll inspire some readers to hit the unsubscribe button or worse, report you as spam.
So, what do you do? Mix things up. Keep it interesting. Let’s say you have a health spa and you offer three unique packages. Perhaps you highlight each one in a separate email. When you do this, it keeps things interesting. One email can even tease the next one.
You offer different products because they appeal to different audiences. You can change what your emails show to reach those various audiences and also, not bore them. Always be thinking about how to freshen things up.
A productive email list is a validated list
You need to get rid of the bad data, pure and simple. Some email marketers have amassed a sizable subscriber base and don’t like the thought of removing a substantial number of email addresses from their lists.
It’s easy to see why people get this idea. Isn’t having more subscribers better? Not necessarily. Having more subscribers is great as long as they are engaged. What happens if someone signs up to get your emails, but doesn’t open them? Your sender reputation will take a hit.
When your sender reputation declines, even those who want to see your emails will be prevented from seeing them. Internet service providers will begin funneling them over to the spam folder because your behavior mimics that of spammers.
Don’t gloss over this. Remove inactive or invalid email addresses. It’s not if harmful data will show up on your list, it’s when. Don’t start the holiday season without a good email list scrub.
For a successful holiday season, use list segmentation
When you keep in mind that it’s a person on the other end of your emails, you’ll be way ahead of the pack during this most wonderful time of the year. So many emails, yet so few apply to the recipient.
It usually means that the email marketers in charge are cutting corners or don’t have a lot of information about their subscribers. It’s never too late to start gathering data about them and their preferences.
The most glaring disconnect is this: not everyone even wants to get a ton of holiday-themed emails. Many marketers don’t think about this or simply don’t care that someone just doesn’t want to get a ton of emails about Christmas gift ideas. The reasons are multiple: they may celebrate Hanukkah. They may just be fatigued. Some people have already bought all of the presents well in advance.
What some companies may miss is that instead of losing a reader completely, you may be able to give them the chance to opt out of receiving any seasonal emails.
A one-size-all approach doesn’t work anymore. You shouldn’t be doing that and your better competitors already know this. You have to step up your list segmentation game.
The best emails are conversational, not one-sided
It seems many marketing emails are only interested in talking to the subscribers and don’t have much interest in hearing back. Some even perceive the idea of people replying as an annoyance.
Since when are your customers interacting with you a bad thing? When you send emails from a do-not reply address, you are subtly insulting them. It may have been okay 20 years ago, but the brands that people respect want to hear from their customers. The holiday season is about connection, so why not invite friendly communication?
Not only should you allow replies, but you should encourage them. You could even take it a step further: what if you featured your customers in your newsletter? Not only does it feel good to be acknowledged, but your subscribers can do an excellent job of providing testimonials.
Throughout the holidays and beyond, always be thinking of the other side. Who are the people on your list? How can you serve them better? What do they want?
All too often the emails a company sends out are focused inward. That’s a big misstep. After all, the emails are intended for the recipient, not the sender.
Biggest holiday email marketing misstep? Following everyone else
It’s a bit surprising, but not uncommon to see how many people feel that the only way to succeed is to copy exactly what the competitors do. If all you are going to do is follow the crowd, why should anyone choose you?
The best tactic is to learn from the best but find your unique offerings and voice. People can smell authenticity from a mile away. The distinct companies tend to strike a chord with people. This holiday season, challenge yourself to be distinct. What will set your emails apart and make a lasting impression?