Aim for a low unsubscribe rate in holiday email campaigns

Aim for a low unsubscribe rate in holiday email campaigns

Black Friday is now behind us – but the holiday shopping season has just begun. Important as the day after Thanksgiving is for retail sales, companies can't risk putting too much focus on that one 24-hour period and thereby downplaying the crucial weeks leading up to December 25. Email marketing plays a vital role in attracting the kind of customer attention that will result in conversions for your brand.

As such, it's key that marketers implement techniques that will help customers stay engaged with companies' content and promotions rather than unsubscribing from their email marketing lists. Consider these simple tactics as you bolster your efforts to keep unsubscribes low and conversion rates high this holiday season.

Understand why contacts unsubscribe
Although the need to discover the root cause behind customers' choice to opt out of your emails may seem obvious, it's an often-overlooked necessity. Alexis Anderson, director of marketing and partnerships at email marketing firm PureWow, recently told Mashable that she's seen a connection between high-volume email campaigns and increased unsubscribe rates.

"We can map spikes in unsubscribes back to large email campaigns – it's a natural transaction in email marketing, and we're able to easily and accurately plan for it," Anderson told the news source. She went on to point out, however, that this is a relatively common occurrence in email marketing, and the benefits of reaching a large base of customers often make up for the loss of contacts.

In order to get a clearer, more micro-level grasp of why people in your email database unsubscribe, it may be necessary to retrieve and analyze more personal information from them. Mashable noted that marketers can build a brief exit interview into the opt-out process. A simple, multiple-choice answer set can help you get a better understanding of whether customers are unsubscribing due to too-frequent emails, irrelevant content or other factors.

Engage as early as possible
It's likely that customers who unsubscribe from your email list during high-volume sends feel that the promotions and information being offered simply don't apply to them, so when it comes to making sure your newly acquired email contacts see your brand as a source of relevant, engaging content, there's simply no time to spare.

Cassie Lancellotti-Young, vice president of client optimization and analytics at email marketing solutions provider Sailthru, spoke with Mashable about the importance of sending engaging content to new email contacts from the moment they're acquired.

"Even the best marketing programs fall victim to this issue," Lancellotti-Young told the source, although she went on to note that it's "mission-critical for marketers to develop compelling onboarding series that go well beyond just the customer's first week."

Given how busy email marketers lives are during the holidays, it can be easy to forget to employ strategies that pay this kind of individual attention to new contacts. In an effort to fend off quantity-over-quality syndrome, marketers might consider developing holiday-themed email onboarding campaigns for customers who join their firms' email lists during the month of December.

Take time to reflect
Similarly, it's vital to apply the same levels of conscientiousness and targeting to your December emails as you employ throughout the rest of the year. In a column for Business2Community, Vocus Marketing Strategist John Hayes argued that marketers should reflect on the quality of their emails during the busy holidays.

"Ask yourself why you are sending your subscribers each email. If it's because you believe they will be engaged by your offer – hit the send button. If not, it's time to go back to the drawing board and plan something better," Hayes wrote.

If you implement strategies like this, you may find relevance comes more easily than you thought.

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