For email marketers, the holidays are a time of considerable pressure. Cluttered inboxes mean stiff competition for customers' attention, and in such an environment, it can be easy for marketers who've developed sophisticated campaigns in the past to forget those best practices and bombard their email marketing lists with batch-and-blast style messages that lack subtlety and effective targeting. Rather than letting the holiday shopping season throw you off your game, consider employing a few straightforward techniques that can help your customers differentiate the signal from the noise.
The principle that not all customers on your email contact list are interested in the same promotions holds just as true in December as it does year-round. In a post for Marketing Land, Adobe's Director of Deliverability Alyssa Nahatis pointed out the effectiveness of real-time marketing, which tailors messages based on customer location and other factors, in the competitive holiday season.
"By sharing meaningful content, consumers are more likely to be engaged and open the email," Nahatis wrote.
Adopt an informative tone
Your marketing emails attempt to persuade customers to buy a product, of course, but that doesn't mean they have to be transparent in their methods. Drew Berard, senior director of brand management for Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, revealed in a column for EContent that one of his recent email campaigns enjoyed a 126 percent open rate when a message sent to 11,000 contacts was opened 13,000 times.
In Berard's opinion, one of the keys to the email's success was the authoritative, information-based tone it took.
"It did not hard sell. It simply informed," Berard noted. "It goes back to the age old principle of adding value to your audience's life and that will come back to you tenfold in loyalty and purchases."
Optimize for mobile
Marketers are well-aware by now that they can't ignore the mobile shopper, but new research suggests that customers who make purchases on smartphones and tablets may be even more valuable than previously believed. A recent study by GE Capital retail bank revealed that 40 percent of consumers are more likely to increase the purchases they make with a given retailer if that company offers them promotions they can take advantage of on their mobile devices.
As such, marketers who fail to design emails that look good on smartphone and tablet screens risk losing the business of this considerable customer segment to the competition. Consider how you might tweak your email campaigns with the goal of increasing mobile sales in mind.