Preparing Your Email Marketing Strategy for the Holidays, Part 1
The holidays are a "make it or break it" time for marketers. During this peak season, consumer buying behavior changes and shoppers are much more willing to buy gifts in a variety of categories. They're looking for the best deals, gift ideas and the hottest items.
Now is the time to begin planning your email marketing strategy for the holidays. Anything you do now to improve your email performance will pay benefits for the rest of the year and position you for success during the holidays. Consider the following tips to help you get started:
1. Do your homework. One of the first things you should do is revisit your email campaigns from the 2011 holiday season. Take a hard look at the results to figure out what worked and what didn't. What subject lines drove the highest open rates? What promotions gave you the highest conversion rates and revenue per email? Did gift ideas, gift guides and themed promotions work? There's no reason to reinvent the wheel. You're sure to have some surefire winners from 2011; plan to run updated versions of these campaigns.
2. Look at your inactives and come up with a reactivation strategy. Now isn't the time to prune dormant subscribers from your list, since many may only purchase during the gift-giving season. If you can re-engage them, you'll have more subscribers interacting with your emails. One good way to start is to have them update their preferences, including their interests. Or offer a welcome-back incentive, one that doesn't go out in your regular emails. Test subject lines that address their inactivity such as "We miss you! Shop with us again and save 50-75% + Free Shipping."
3. Take a look at your email templates and make sure they're mobile friendly. Close to 30 percent of emails today are read on mobile devices, yet reports show that open and clickthrough rates aren't as strong on mobile as they are on desktops. Do everything you can to improve the mobile experience for your subscribers. Keep your width as close to 500 pixels as possible; left-justify your emails and put important headlines to the left to ensure they're noticed; and boost your font sizes (many designers recommend a minimum of a 14-pixel font for body text and 22-pixel font for headlines).