With the holiday season fully upon us many businesses are seeking ways to stretch their marketing dollars to the absolute limit and maximize their return. While many choose to use direct mail campaigns, one of the most cost effective ways to promote your goods or services is through email marketing campaigns. Here are a few tips to help you get those email marketing campaigns fired up for the holiday season.
Pick an email vendor to send the campaigns.
One of the worst ways try to send mass emails is through your desktop email client. Many businesses simply copy and paste contacts from their address book into a BCC email and send it out. With this method you run the risk of many people marking the email as spam. This reflects badly on your domain with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and they could blacklist your domain for these practices.
Use a reputable email vendor such as Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact or Newsberry to handle ISP relations and help ensure delivery. These companies also offer very good reporting after your campaign has been sent to let you know how many people opened your offer or clicked on a link inside the email – something you can not do with a BCC email.
Choose your content and subject line carefully.
Even if you use an email vendor your message could still be flagged as spam by the ISP or recipient, so you want to choose your content wisely and write a compelling subject line that will clear spam filters and get recipients to open your message. It is not a bad idea to work with a copywriter that has experience in this area. Be sure to avoid the top 100 words you shouldn’t use in email subject lines if you plan to do this yourself. Couple specials or promotions with messaging on your website or in your store. Get creative with your messaging and use this special time of the year to push more sales (people love sales!) for things like After Christmas Specials and New Year Blowouts.
Choose a compelling design.
While all of the email vendors listed above have pre-built templates you can use, they remain pretty generic. Just slapping your logo into one of them can reflect badly on your brand identity. If possible work with someone who has experience with email marketing design and building templates that will work in all email desktop clients.
Choose your delivery time and day.
Different industries have different best practices for delivery times and days of the week. Many retailers have their best success by delivering in the afternoon and some do very well with Friday or weekend email blasts. Corporations with a b2b focus usually fare better with a morning delivery Tuesday through Thursday.
Scrub, rinse and repeat.
After your email campaign goes out you can review the report you get from the email vendor to see your open rate, bounce rate, and click through rate. Remove the bounced email addresses from your list, review your content and subject line, make needed adjustments to the message and prepare a new campaign.
Send out email marketing campaigns on a schedule that makes sense for your business. If you are just sending an email newsletter, once a month is probably good. If your store offers weekly specials then send once a week. Any more than once a week you run a serious risk of turning customers off to your message and business. This also increases the risk that you will get marked as spam or have people unsubscribe from your offerings.
By following these few simple guidelines you can maximize your return on investment with cost effective email marketing campaigns and have a stellar holiday season!