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5 Ways to Improve Email Marketing for the Holidays

TEGNA Marketing | October 09, 2018

The holiday season is an opportune time to grow your email list and find new leads.

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. The holiday season is here and soon, you’ll be competing to capture the attention of consumers swimming in a pool of promotions as businesses battle for holiday dollars. 

How will your business reach holiday shoppers this year? Time and time again, email marketing has proven to be an effective and critical low-cost sales driver, especially during the holiday season.

That means that now is the best time to grow your email list and find new leads. But how? We’ve come up with five things you can do now to improve your email marketing, just in time for the holidays.

1. Prune your opt-in list

Every individual email sent through a vendor like MailChimp or ConstantContact costs money, so it doesn’t make sense to keep sending emails to people who never open or engage with your email. Going through your list and removing these recipients will reduce your cost per send and make room for new customers who engage with your promotions. Before you start sending out your holiday marketing emails, scrub that list!

2. Prioritize the mobile experience

Every year more people rely primarily on smart devices to read emails, in addition to shopping and researching potential purchases. In fact, in 2017, 79 percent of consumers use their phones for email – which is actually a higher percentage than those who use it to make calls.

With this in mind, it’s critical for your emails to look and behave in a user-friendly way on mobile. As a rule, buttons should be at least 44px wide and 44px tall to be easily clickable.

Additionally, your email links should take users to a mobile-optimized website. Eliminate the number of clicks a user will have to make to get from the product that piqued their interest in the email to the checkout on your website.

3. Think about your incentives ahead of time

You can take several approaches to develop special offers and incentives for the holiday season. Taking lessons from the previous year can help ensure your emails get attention this year. Think back to last year and ask yourself:

  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • Did any of your competitors outmaneuver you with better incentives that ate into your bottom line?

Consider small but compelling incentives that will appeal to holiday shoppers, such as gift wrapping options, free-shipping or guaranteed delivery dates. You may even include these incentives in your preview text – it just might be what inspires someone to open your email.

Also, keep in mind what’s popular with your customers right now. You’re the expert when it comes to your business and customers, use that knowledge to best predict what the most sought-after items will be and which items may need a little extra incentivizing.

4. Send progressive profiling emails

Progressive profiling emails gather data directly from your subscribers, which you can later use to send targeted emails and can prove absolutely invaluable when targeting holiday shoppers.

For example, you may send an email to your current subscribers and ask them what they’ll be shopping for this holiday season with clickable choices of products you offer.

Then, when Black Friday and other busy holiday shopping times are near, send narrowly focused promotional emails featuring specific items to the users who expressed interest in those products. Because they already demonstrated an interest in the product, they are more likely to engage with the email and convert to a sale.

However, keep in mind, holiday shoppers perform differently than year-round consumers, because holiday shoppers are most often shopping for other people rather than themselves.

5. Use emojis in subject lines

A 2017 study found that the use of certain emojis in subject lines can increase email open rates.

For example, the study found a particular Valentine’s Day promotional email subject line with a lips emoji had a 4% higher open rate (24%) and 6% better inbox placement rate (89%) than it’s text-only counterpart. Similar results were found for Father’s Day campaigns using the wrench emoji.

Marketers have been wary of using emojis in subject lines because they aren’t sure how it will be perceived, however, it’s a clever way to stand out once you reach the inbox.

About TEGNA Marketing Solutions

The holiday season is an opportune time to grow your email list and find new leads. TEGNA Marketing uses historical performance data and industry best practices to write compelling subject lines, CTAs and design conversion-focused layouts to develop high-impact emails with a professional look. To learn our best practices, contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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