Harrowing Holidays: 4 Preparations Email Marketers Should Make Before Halloween
The fall can be a frightful time for retail marketers, as they're hounded by demands of campaign planning and preparation to ensure that the holiday season boosts the bottom lines for their brands. Particularly, email marketers are tasked with a unique set of challenges — attempting to keep up with fast-changing trends while maintaining high-quality content and contacts.
Here are some of the best email marketing tactics to implement this season so that executing your holiday campaigns won’t be such a frightening feat.
1. Rid subscriber lists of ghosts and ghouls. Your email database is the foundation of your email marketing strategy, so it's crucial that you have a clean list of contacts that are likely to interact with your email campaigns.
A bounce rate of greater than 5 percent is a sign that you need to clean up your list. Start by removing duplicate and invalid email addresses, alias addresses and contacts who didn't originally opt in. Send reactivation campaigns to inactive contacts to try to regain their interest in your brand, and if you get no response after a well-executed campaign, remove them from your list as well.
2. Bring dead emails to life with emojis. Not only will using images in campaigns add character to your content and further connect recipients to your message, it will also boost engagement rates by making your emails stand out in a crowded inbox. In fact, the use of emojis in marketing is up 557 percent year-over-year, and 56 percent of brands see increased open rates when using emojis in subject lines.
Stick to a maximum of one emoji per subject line, and never replace words with these images; this will keep you from overwhelming your audience and help to get your message delivered intact.
3. Experiment like a mad scientist. There's no formula for the perfect email campaign. Getting it right takes time, patience and a lot of A/B split testing. Use data from the split tests to mold your campaigns until you find the right variation for producing the highest engagement rate.
Ensure that you have the right content, subject lines and cadence in place well ahead of the holidays so that when you hit send on upcoming campaigns, you’ll have confidence in what you’re delivering to your contacts.
4. Immortalize your campaigns with social media. Email and social media can work together to drive revenue when approached correctly. Social pages can help drive email subscriptions, while email can lead more potential followers to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Try to include links to your social pages at the bottom of every email, while directing social posts back to squeeze pages so that social followers can sign up for emails.
By implementing the above practices, you’ll be sure to thwart any danger that lies in the holiday season and bewitch your email contacts into extreme engagement.
E.J. McGowan is senior director, general manager, Campaigner at j2 Global, a cloud services, unified communications, and digital media company.