Email Marketing

4 Ways to Prepare for Holiday Email Marketing Now

The upcoming holiday season offers tremendous revenue potential for many ecommerce merchants. Instead of procrastinating through the back-to-school rush, make preparations now to improve your email marketing program so that it is well positioned to earn record revenue this year.

Here are four tips to help you prepare for email success this holiday season.

1. Test Extending Your Email Content

Mobile device email opens remain strong. However, clicks from those opens tend to be significantly lower than those on a desktop computer. Understanding the behavior of your subscribers while they are on their mobile devices can be of considerable help in taking advantage of all the mobile opens you will garner during the season.

One tactic is to extend the content of each email so that it functions almost as a full site or landing page. This allows you to present a complete selection of products and different offers, which let shoppers “browse” a bit without ever having to click.

This email from The Real Real showcases a full-site experience in the body of one email.

This email from The Real Real showcases a full site experience in the body of one message.

Testing this strategy has two benefits. Including an item that the reader would find personally appealing permits you to see whether or not clicks increase. Also, letting the recipient “shop” before committing to a click from her mobile device enables you to detect if it increases conversions that result from those clicks.

2. Implement Major Vendor Changes Now

Taking on a new email partner or vendor can be a lengthy and involved process. However, changing partners can help improve your overall program. Some companies switch vendors to take advantage of enhanced features or functionality not available with their current partner. Others change to get better pricing or to move to a more sophisticated software system containing improved integrations.

Whatever the reason, you should switch with plenty of lead time before the holiday season rush sets in. At times, switching integrations can be done quickly and painlessly while others can drag on for weeks. Either way, if the goal is to optimize your program before increasing volume for the holidays, change now to avoid system downtime during a period when email traffic and revenue is crucial.

3. Add a New Triggered Email

Triggered emails are an excellent way to pick some low hanging fruit resulting in high engagement rates from recipients and high conversion rates from shoppers.

Try adding a new email to your program prior to the season rush. You may find that inserting a triggered email where a gap exists is a good way of helping diversify your overall email strategy.

Below is an email I received from Walmart following a recent purchase, which serves as a helpful example. It arrived after the order confirmation and shipment notification emails and contained this eye-catching subject line: “Thanks for your recent order… We think you’ll love these items, too!”

An example of a triggered email from Walmart.

An example of a triggered email from Walmart.

Read “6 After-order Emails to Boost Ecommerce Sales” for more ideas on implementing new triggered emails.

4. Get Your Data in Order

Your email program is only as effective as the data you have backing it up. The information involves much more than a simple email address but includes all of the transactional and online behavior you know about your customers, as well as any “off-line” data, such as a physical mailing address.

Other data improvements may include:

  • Email Verification. Identify spam traps or invalid email addresses that could bog down your file;
  • Email Change of Address. Email addresses can churn at a rate of up to 20 percent a year. Running an email change of address can help identify new addresses of subscribers on your list;
  • Data Enhancement. Add data to fill in gaps in your current database or to allow segmentation based on new data about your subscribers, such as a birthday notification email.
Carolyn Nye
Carolyn Nye
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