As we round the corner and head towards the end of 2018, it’s time to get serious about your end of the year, holiday email marketing strategy.  Considering that, for many businesses, the holiday season spanning from early November to early January can be hugely profitable, you want to make sure your business has a solid plan in place.

Here are our tips on how to prepare your email marketing campaigns for success this holiday season.

Devise Your Plan Now

First things first — establish what your best selling items have been for the year and then figure out what’s on your customer’s wish list for the season. Check out your marketing campaigns and sales from last year to get a baseline of what worked and what didn’t.  Create your sales and promotional strategy around the results you glean from this research.

Make your holiday offer as exciting as possible.  Think about your holiday shoppers and what would appeal to them.  Consider offering a “buy one, get one” or “buy one, get one 50%” deal.  Something that sounds exciting and lets your customers stock up for the holiday season.  You might also want to create various flash sales that you can promote throughout the season — these quick hits can often provide great spikes in sales.

Create emails with personal, less “salesy” subject lines to grab your customer’s attention.  Focus on what’s in it for them and make it entertaining — this will help your emails stand out in the sea of holiday emails waiting in their inboxes.  Fun graphics and gifs are also a great way to catch their attention.

And while we are all about emails at MailMonitor, don’t forget to incorporate social media into your holiday plan of attack.  Pinterest and Instagram are huge playgrounds for holiday shoppers, so cross-promote your email offers on both.

Email Lists and Authentication

Did you know that half of the top 100 US retailers and a third of the top 500 lack proper email authentication, according to the Online Trust Alliance?  It’s true!  You don’t want to fall into this trap — doing so means your emails won’t reach your target audience.

An authentication gap could come from an issue with your sender policy framework (SPF), your DMARC policy, or your DomainKey Identified (DKIM).  Test your emails and ensure they have been authenticated before sending.

Our next tip is around email lists — we’re talking about both your seed lists and your customer lists.  Ensure your seed lists are functioning and ready for an active season of testing.  Do a thorough cleaning of your customer list as well and remove any customers with excessive bounces or unsubscribes.  Keeping your email lists clean and up-to-date is our number one email deliverability best practice tip and is something you should manage throughout the year if you want to stay off email blacklists.

Discover more tips for email success in our free download Guide to Email Deliverability: Land in the Inbox Every Time.

Want to see how the MailMonitor suite of tools can help your business master inbox deliverability?  Contact us and request a demo!

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