4 Ways to Make Your Holiday Content Stand Out
As the winter holidays approach, subscribers’ inboxes will start to overflow with marketing email. With all that noise, how can you get your content to stand out? To make the most of this holiday season, think beyond discounts and deadlines and engage subscribers with smart, relevant messages that add value to your program in a different way. Consider the following four tactics:
1. Use data to make connections. Don't ignore the preferences your customers have already expressed. Looking at previous engagement data from holidays past will give you a better understanding of what your customers will enjoy this season. What kinds of messages produced the best read rates? Did customers respond better to a funny or more serious tone? What balance between text and images generated more clicks? Looking back to your previous content will give you a good starting point for new ideas, and continuing to test and collect data to improve your messages will help you better connect with your subscribers throughout the holidays.
2. Try series and countdowns. Entertain and help your customers complete their Christmas shopping by sending a series of gift ideas, ideally tailored to your customers using information about what they've ordered before, browsed on your site, or engaged with in email messages. This is a great way to provide additional value. Alternatively, try sending lists like "10 presents your mom will love" or "great kids’ gifts under $50." Countdown series can generate engagement and boost response for specific events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, too.
3. Want to know what they're looking for? Just ask. Santa gets help with gift ideas, so why shouldn't you? If you're not sure what content to send, ask your customers. Send surveys to find out what items they're looking to buy right now. Do they need ski clothes? Are they thinking about new appliances? Wondering what the hot new toys or games are going to be? Dreading it all? By communicating with your subscribers to identify what they want, you can craft truly personalized content and stand out from your competitors.
4. Whatever you do, look good. While creating the most compelling content ever, don't neglect its visual presentation. Awkward, ugly or poorly rendered messages can turn customers away before they start reading. Ensure that your creative is responsive and renders properly across all devices your customers use. You should also check your past data to see what templates got them to read and respond, and which were more often ignored. Also, pay attention to what email length generated the most engagement. Test the winners now to get to the optimal balance of text and images.
Tom Sather is the senior director of research at Return Path, an email marketing solution that helps to improve deliverability and ROI.