5 Tips to Make Your Holiday Email Campaign a Success
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If you’re betting on emails to boost sales this holiday season, you’ve got the right mindset. Last year, online retail sales grew 11.3% from 2020 to more than $218 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Although the ease of pandemic restrictions will bring more people into stores, email is still an effective way to generate income online.
How will you use email to increase holiday sales for your business this year? With inflation hitting its highest rate in 41 years, you need to make sure your campaigns have the best chance of landing in the inbox and converting.
Here are five ways to prepare your email program for the busy shopping season ahead.
1. Increase your sending rate
Not all companies send emails all year round. Some only appear in their customers’ inboxes when they launch a promotional campaign. If this is your case, you want to consider increasing your mailing frequency before the holidays. The number of emails you send and how often you send them can influence your ability to reach the inbox.
Mailbox providers view sudden spikes in email traffic as suspicious because they may indicate spam. So before launching your holiday email campaigns, start growing your list with relevant educational content. Keep a steady pace, and step it up gradually before Black Friday to avoid falling into spam.
2. Check the validity of your contacts
The quality of your mailing list is critical to your email deliverability. Several studies show that email databases deteriorate by more than 22% each year. At ZeroBounce, we’ve found that due to the pandemic, 30% of our email data has gone bad in the past year.
Deleting outdated email addresses, especially before an important campaign, is a must if you want to get in the inbox. Ignoring it can cause significant damage, as bounces and spam complaints can send your emails to spam. One of our clients was even blocked by their email service provider due to a high bounce rate. It wasn’t until our client validated the company mailing list that the email provider agreed to reinstate the account.
You wouldn’t want to be blocked from sending emails during the holiday season, so make sure your list is up-to-date and valid. Your bounce rate should never exceed 2%.
Related: Email Validation: A Critical Success Factor in Email Marketing
3. Use data to decide the best times to send
A compelling offer sent to a healthy email list already puts you ahead of the pack. But to make your campaigns shine, keep past subscriber behavior in mind when planning your emails. That way, you’ll know when your audience is most likely to open your emails.
So what are the best days to email during the holidays? The best performers are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Sunday, and Thanksgiving, according to recent data from Oracle.
Oracle’s marketing research team also suggests sending campaigns on Thursdays to influence weekend spending. The study shows that click-to-open rates are 54% higher than on Fridays.
Related: The best days and times to send your email (infographic)
4. Test your emails on mobile
In 2021, more than 42% of Black Friday e-commerce revenue came from mobile, according to research from Adobe. It is always important to check how your email is displayed on smartphones. But during the holidays, it can make a huge difference in your income.
Email testing tools allow you to test various aspects of your campaign and identify potential errors. For example, an email may display correctly in Gmail but not in Outlook, so pay attention to how your campaigns display with different providers.
Also consider running all your emails through a spell checker and make sure all your links are functional and relevant to your audience.
5. Gather Valuable Social Proof
If you’re like most businesses, you’ll probably send a lot of emails in the last two months of the year. One way to avoid repeating your content is to use lots of customer testimonials.
Before your holiday email campaign, prepare by gathering social proof such as rave reviews, case studies, quotes, and mention-worthy awards. Third-party validation greatly contributes to how people perceive your product. Often this can seal the deal for an indecisive prospect.
Final tips for a successful holiday email campaign
Launching an email campaign during the holidays can be nerve-wracking. It’s not as simple as scheduling a few emails, so anxiety is high for many business owners and marketers.
To ease some of the tension, consider starting early. Have a clear plan and strategy in place weeks before you send your first email. Creating a checklist also helps. Include everything you and your team need to do, from defining your offerings to making sure you have all the right tools.
Proper planning will bring you calm and confidence so that this holiday season will be a successful one for your business.