While Halloween is by tradition the scariest day on the calendar, it’s also the official transition into the holiday season. For many businesses, keeping in close touch with customers and leads during the holidays is crucial, and sending frequent email campaigns is often the best way to communicate.
Prepare yourself for a great holiday season by pulling off these 5 tricks for a seamless email marketing campaign. Because even on a day like this, planning your campaign strategy doesn’t have to be scary!
Trick 1: Maintaining a clean mailing list
Keeping all of your mailing lists up-to-date and supplied with only the most relevant subscribers can be a daunting task. Here’s how to control your subscribers and ultimately increase your campaign success rates:
Treat: Segment your lists
You may have hundreds, even thousands of subscribers in your Zoho Campaigns account, and you send emails on a regular basis. But how well are you targeting your content? Segmenting each mailing list could be the most efficient way to ensure your campaigns are going to just the people who need – and want – to receive them.
If you plan to send out holiday offers and promotions, customize each offer and send to only those people in a specific city or demographic to ensure you’re targeting the audience that will actually benefit from them. If you’re an e-retailer, think about sending holiday product promotions to very select groups of people based on their buying behavior or interests and create segmented mailing lists for each campaign.
You can also set up automated workflows to define rules for your email marketing process based on various subscriber criteria. Automatically move subscribers between mailing lists so that they receive the most relevant content.
Treat: Add sign-up forms to your website or blog
A sign-up form is the most organic way for your website visitors and blog readers to add themselves to your mailing lists. By using a customized sign-up form for each mailing list, you can generate the right audience for your holiday offers.
Set up a Sign-up based Autoresponder to automatically send a welcome email to each new subscriber. After you’ve made that initial outreach (and the recipient responds well), you then have the freedom to contact them with special offers and announcements throughout the holiday season.
Trick 2: Connecting with your subscribers
Beneath all of the holiday glitz and glamour is the ultimate desire to connect with people – your coworkers, family and friends. Here are a few tips for establishing a more personal professional connection via your inbox:
Treat: Humanize your content
- Personalize the subject line and greeting with merge tags. Your leads and customers will appreciate this personal touch.
- Use a holiday or customized template – we have several available in Zoho Campaigns!
- Include a lighthearted video or animated GIF
- Link your content back to your website and blog (make sure you write up several holiday blogs!)
- Include special offers and promotions designed specifically for that recipient
Treat: Get your company into the holiday spirit
As you send out your series of email campaigns this year, your website will get more hits. Now is a great time to review your site and see how you can revamp it to attract new customers. Look at your “About Us” section – is it relatable or could you rewrite it to reflect a fun, holiday spirit? Or what about your company logo – how can you temporarily modify the design to add some holiday flair?
However you want to connect with your subscribers this season, make sure it permeates through all of your marketing efforts.
Trick 3: Planning your content
Create a calendar, complete with all the major holidays and mark the days when each of your email campaigns will be sent. This will give you a nice overview of when you should have content and templates ready.
Treat: Schedule campaigns in advance
Set up autoresponders now or schedule an already completed campaign to be sent at a future time. If you’re an e-retailer, you will want to capitalize on the major shopping rush around Thanksgiving and Black Friday, so send out your promotional offers at least one week in advance, followed by a reminder email a day or two before the offer date.
Trick 4: Automating
The holidays are busy enough. As you plan your campaigns ahead of time, you can automate the process, saving time and energy that can be spent on organizing your holiday parties.
Treat: Save time with autoresponders and workflows
We’ve recently introduced new types of autoresponders and workflows inside Zoho Campaigns. With the Email-Action based Autoresponder, you can send a series of automated emails based on a subscriber’s behavior. For example, this is a great automation tool to use during the holidays for following up on limited time offers. If a recipient clicks on your email link to receive a discount for “20% off your next purchase”, you can set up an automatic reply to thank them for accessing the coupon and provide them with more information.
Trick 5: Improving your campaigns
Knowing what content works for your audience is important. Learning from past campaigns can help you better engage your subscribers and improve future campaigns.
Treat: Study the reports
Zoho Campaigns provides several in-depth reports for you to review your campaign results. Find out what content your subscribers respond to and which recipients in particular open and click on your campaigns. Also keep in mind that during the hustle of the holidays, several recipients may miss your email. So by setting up a chain campaign, you can follow up with those subscribers to increase your open rates and improve engagement.
Always remember that unless you test your campaigns, you will never know what works with your specific audience. Take advantage of A/B Campaigns and try different subject lines and content to get the best response from your subscribers – especially important when sending special offers and promotions!
These are just a few ideas to get your holidays started on the right foot. Stay tuned for more timely tips to help you stay on track with all of your campaigns throughout the season.
3 Replies to Tricks & Treats: 5 ways to sweeten your email marketing
Hey Sarah, Nice article. I have a question. My open rate is decreased considerably recently. What things should I check to know the cause of this decrease. TIA Best Prince
Great article and advice. Is there any standart for open rate in % for the email campaigns?
Hi Bobby, Good question. The average open rate depends on the type of campaign you send and of course your industry and audience. For most industries, a 20% open rate is average and we would consider that % very good. In addition to your open rates, do keep an eye on the engagement numbers - like how many recipients clicked on your links or shared your campaign with others. Thanks, Sarah