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Formulating Your Holiday Email Marketing Strategy? Steer Clear of These Don’ts!

4 Mins read

As you find yourself in a frenetic rush trying to put together your holiday email marketing campaigns, making sure to tick off every single item on your list, maybe it’s not a very bad idea to take a step back and look at your preparations through an objective lens; evaluate if you are doing things the RIGHT way. After all, you wouldn’t want all that midnight fuel being burnt for naught, would you? 

The holiday season is arguably one of the most important times of the year for email marketers. It gives them an opportunity to really put their brands on the map and get their coffers chiming merrily. All of that, of course, if they have a compelling holiday email marketing campaign, to begin with. With so many tips being flung around regarding the curation of the ideal holiday campaign, one can easily lose sight of what’s essential and what not. So, to give you some clarity, in today’s blog, we are going to discuss a bunch of practices you must look to avoid at all costs while crafting your campaigns. Read on to find out more!

Don’t Unnecessarily Complicate Your Segmentation Framework

Personalized messaging becomes downright imperative during the holiday season; it is your only shot at rising above the clutter that comes to characterize most email inboxes during this time. To deliver targeted messages, you need to segment your email list- divide them into different sections based on different parameters like location, preferences, past purchases, and the like. 

But, keep in mind that holiday season shopping trends and behaviors are significantly different compared to the rest of the year; people shop for their friends, family, and colleagues, not for themselves. This must be taken into account while formulating your segmentation framework. Certain parameters, such as past purchases, demographics, and purchasing power, need to be looked at more closely than others. 

If you already have a reliable segmentation strategy in place that has been fetching you steady results throughout the year, it is best not to tamper much with it. Of course, tweak it a little in accordance with the holiday season impulse, but try not to go overboard. With segmentation, keeping things simple goes a long way. 

Don’t Reach Out to All Your Dormant Subscribers at Once

In the buildup to the holiday season, it is common for brands to attempt to revive their dormant contacts in a bid to maximize their revenue generation opportunities. However, what’s key is how you go about it. Should you try to reach out to all of them at once, your send volume will end up registering a sudden spike, which is something that is extremely unwelcome to ESPs and ISPs. Consequently, this will deal a significant blow to your deliverability. 

So, it is vital to be strategic with this exercise. Divide your list of dormant subscribers into small cohorts (you can do this on the basis of specific parameters such as demographics, date of last engagement, interests, etc.) and phase your re-engagement emails over multiple days. Besides keeping the ire of ESPs and ISPs at bay, such an approach will allow you to engage better with your dormant subscribers and give you a better chance of introducing them back into the fold.

Don’t Make Your Email Templates Non-responsive

As many as 1.7 billion people use mobile phones as emailing devices. Hence, ensuring that your holiday email campaigns are responsive is an absolute must. 

Here are a few tips you can keep in mind to make your emails mobile-friendly:

  • Design your templates with a single-column layout. This serves two purposes- firstly, it makes the email content more readable and easily scrollable on mobile devices. Secondly, it keeps a host of rendering issues, such as overlapping columns, shifting images, and overflowing text, commonly associated with multi-column layouts, at bay. 
  • Pay attention to the font size; you wouldn’t want to make your subscribers squint in order to read your emails. The common consensus is that 16px should be the bare minimum. In a similar vein, your CTAs should be indisputably noticeable as well. After all, that’s where the magic takes place. A range of 44-48px is considered ideal. 
  • Given your holiday emails are probably going to contain a higher number of product links than your usual ones, consider converting these links to clickable buttons. This way, a mobile user will be able to interact with them easily. 

Don’t Use a Generic Color Palette

The color palette of your email template is a great tool for subliminal communication. For the holiday season, utilizing colors that are synonymous with the holiday season, such as red, orange, black, and white, can prove to be a pretty smart call. However, it’s perfectly alright if you don’t want to take this route, too. But, in that case, stick to your brand colors rather than opting for another palette that bears no connection to either the holiday season or your brand. 

Don’t Skip A/B Testing

A lot of work goes into designing and developing a holiday email marketing campaign. And so, to make sure that this hard work and creativity reflects aptly in your subscriber’s inboxes, you must subject your campaigns to thorough A/B testing. Be it content, design, or code- leave no aspect of your email template to chance. Given the high send volume this season demands, A/B testing becomes all the more important to obtain a clear idea of what is working best for your audience. Optimizing your campaigns with the help of data-oriented insights mined from A/B testing is sure to give you a competitive edge. 

Wrapping It Up

While the asks of a holiday campaign can appear overwhelming, if you are clear about your objectives and get the fundamentals right, you don’t have anything to worry about. Looking for some insights to streamline your holiday email marketing preparations? Check out our latest infographic, in which we talk with a host of luminous email experts about various aspects of holiday email marketing. 

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

Email marketing stock image by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

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