It’s no surprise that retail sales soar during the holiday season, and they just keep getting bigger. A recent forecast from National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that 2016 holiday sales will go up 3.6% from 2015 holiday sales. With expected sales of $655.8 billion, busy business owners and marketers like you are strategizing to reach more people and make the most of the season’s sales.
In 2015, email was the leading marketing channel, and drove an impressive 20% of online sales. 70% of customers learned about holiday deals through emails. Aware of the effectiveness of email marketing, marketers spends months in creating strategies, analyzing results, to improve the campaign engagement. Here are 3 tips that you can use to improve engagement rate and win at email marketing this holiday season:
1. Plan your calendar:
Create a calendar organize holiday email campaigns. Since Holiday shopping starts in November, you have to be prepared with emails, all tested and ready to go, by the end of October. If you are planning to run a promotional email campaign for Christmas, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until 25th of December to hit send. Schedule the marketing emails to go out at specific intervals to ensure that your customers remember you when they want to make a purchase. Look into your past email campaigns to see on which days your email campaigns did best and worst. For instance, not many people open emails while on holiday. Go Daddy notes that of all emails sent in November the ones sent on Thanksgiving Day see the lowest open rates. So, to avoid the dip you should completely avoid sending emails on Thanksgiving day.
The holidays provide a cheerful opportunity to connect with your customers. But as the world (and likely your customer base) increasingly becomes a melting pot of all ethnicities and ways of life, knowing what holidays to help make special for them can become a challenge. The best way forward is to get to know them, to identify the holidays they celebrate and plan campaigns for them in your calendar. To help you do just that, here’s a calendar of holidays celebrated around the world: Holidays and Observances around the World
2. Segment your list and watch the email frequency:
Sending all emails to every customer results in email fatigue. The #1 reason why people unsubscribe or spam an email is because they receive too many emails from a business and most those emails are irrelevant to them.
Vtiger lets you create intelligently segmented email list based on geography, previous purchases, date of signing up for a service, subscriber’s behavior, and any other information you store about your customers. Using these segmented lists send personalized and highly targeted emails. When your customers receive only those emails that they value the engagement rate also increases.
Email frequency is another factor that impacts email engagement rate. Email engagement rate decreases with increase in frequency. During holiday season customers see a huge rush of offers and wishes emails. Don’t annoy your customers with too many emails. SendGrid notes that businesses which sent 100 Black Friday emails to customers at different times in a day saw an average 11% engagement rate. But, the businesses that sent as few as 10 Black Friday emails saw 16.5% engagement rate.
Vtiger’s autoresponder’s enable you to be hyper relevant and perfectly timed – it triggers follow-up emails as a perfect response to an action a customer took with a previous email you sent. So, when they open the email, clicks on a link or downloads an attachment, the next email can contain more information on the exact subject of their previous engagement, creating even more interest and engagement.
3. Optimize emails for non-openers:
Despite carefully segmenting email list and crafting an engaging email, there is always a set of subscribers who don’t open your emails any more. In such cases, optimising email subject line, the short summary text that follows the subject line known as preheader, and sender name, will have an impact on non-openers. Firstly, when the customers sift through four to five dozen of emails when they open their inbox everyday, the 3 elements – subject line, preheader content and sender name – are the criteria to screen the emails that are going to be opened. Secondly, even if the email doesn’t get opened immediately seeing those three elements is as good as watching a mini ad in their inbox. And later at some point in time this content might prompt the customer to take some action.
Pick subject lines like “Only 5 hours left” or “Discount ends tonight” to create urgency, or use personalisation like “Special delivery for Tanya Hansen” to attract your customers. Boost your email open rates with these 3 subject line hack.
The preheader text should complement the subject line. Since the preheader text is automatically picked from the first part of your email, succinctly summarize what the email is all about to provide clarity. Have a coupon code inside the email? Display a part of the code in the preheader. Featuring a call to action is another way to prompt your customers to open the email. For instance, if the Subject line is “Free shipping for Christmas”, then the Preheader could be “Shop early and avail free shipping on our handmade gifts.”
Sender’s name is another element that will influence your customers to open your email. Use the combination of a personal name along with the company name to see more open rates. Avoid sending emails from no-reply address as customers may feel that you don’t care for them. When you mail from a no-reply email address, your customers who want to reach you for some clarifications are left wondering how to reply. When you have a person’s name in “From” your customers know that there is someone to help them. Also, when customers reply to your emails, for some email providers, it’s as good as adding your address to safe sender’s list.
These are just a few tips you can use to boost holiday email open rates and engagement rate. Vtiger lets you design, build, target, and send engaging email campaigns free with many editions of Vtiger. Once sent, you can track every email open and click, and generate reports to review results and optimize future messaging strategies. Have any questions? Leave us a comment below, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org