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Email Deliverability Tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

JAMES SMART - NOV 18, 2016

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge revenue days for retailers and 2015 was one of the biggest yet. Black Friday 2015 e-commerce saw 16.1% growth over 2014, with more and more customers using mobile  devices to make their purchases. More impressive is the fact that email marketing drove over 25% of all orders on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As a marketer, you know that orchestrating a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday demands a finely tuned marketing strategy and that email will be one of the chief tools in delivering strong sales performance. But how do you outperform an increasingly crowded marketplace and cut through the noise of the busiest online shopping days of the year? It may be in a place you never thought to consider… your email deliverability.

Build and protect your sending reputation

The quality of your content, subject line and offers are all huge factors when it comes to a subscriber choosing to open and engage with your email when it lands in their inbox. But how do you help guarantee that your emails will be delivered successfully? You can’t count on Santa and his reindeer for that.

Ensure that you maintain your sending reputation over the holiday season by continuing to follow email permission policies and by ensuring you send to legitimate, engaged, and active subscribers.

Don’t take chances with your sending reputation and your holiday success by bending or breaking the rules on permission.

Be sure to authenticate your email sends to improve your delivery and help ensure that your emails don’t land in the junk folder.

Remember: Every email you send informs how ISPs and receiving inboxes handle your campaigns. Healthy results will mean greater success and bad results can put you on a downward spiral that can be difficult to correct. Don’t risk the success of your email marketing this Black Friday or Cyber Monday by taking a chance with your sending reputation.

Stand out

You are not the only marketer using email marketing to drive sales so standing out in the inbox is more important than ever when you are competing with a dizzying number of brands all vying for consumers attention.

In a critical sales period where subscribers will be expecting discounts and offers, attention-grabbing subject lines with a clear offer often work best. Limited time discounts instill a sense of urgency that sells but remember that these are not the only emotions that can drive opens, clicks, and sales.

Econsultancy analyzed almost 4,000 holiday subject lines and found that curiosity-inducing and friendly subject lines were often even more effective than direct and urgent subject lines.

The key here is that while the subject lines clearly were about Black Friday, they targeted consumers with a less salesy approach and focused on a benefit to the consumer.

Use personalization in your subject lines, be creative and helpful and convert customers by sending the right message to the right person at the right time using data you have about your subscribers.

Consider the possibility of sending campaigns that aren’t just about sales. Now is a great time to highlight some of the great work your company does and reiterate that the holidays are also a time for giving something back.

Build anticipation and keep your subscribers engaged

Emailing your subscribers consistently and regularly with relevant, engaging content should be the bread and butter of your email marketing strategy. Take this a step further and ramp into your Black Friday emails by building anticipation. Tease your subscribers with sneak peeks and countdowns and have them eagerly awaiting the arrival of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails in their inbox.

Ramping up your sends steadily, rather than dropping an email to a million subscribers is good news for your email deliverability too. ISPs are on high alert during the holiday period and shocking them with a huge increase in sending size and frequency can hurt your inbox placement.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the climax to a year of engaging with your subscribers and maintaining your brand’s presence in the inbox. The holiday season is not the time to send to your dormant list that has not been used in the last 12 months and you can damage your sending reputation enormously by doing so.

Avoid these pitfalls by having an email marketing strategy that is built on consistent and regular sends and that ramps up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, rather than nose-diving into it.

Be relevant

Email personalization gets results. A 26% increase in open rates for personalized subject lines and a potential 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns are the kinds of figures that speak for themselves.

Help provide the kind of ROI you need from your email campaigns with ease when using personalization and dynamic content tools.

In the new age of email marketing, relevancy is key – sending the right email to the right person at the right time, with content tailored to them individually is an approach that will see success.

The golden rules for email marketing throughout the year do not change during the holidays – take the time to collect this data throughout the year and leverage it during the holiday season by sending segmented, targeted emails with relevant deals and offers to your subscribers.

Acquire new subscribers and send them welcome emails

Your loyal customers may be the foundation of a successful email marketing campaign, but new customers are the key to growth and continued success for your organization. Don’t stop by simply getting a new customer – you also have the opportunity to create a new brand advocate. You have won the sale, now win the subscriber.

Use welcome emails and our journey builder to engage with your new customers from the start and keep them engaged. By automating the process, you can ensure you reach all of your subscribers in a timely manner and take the hard work out of your email marketing.

Use the increased traffic to your website and social media pages over the holiday season to drive opt-ins to your mailing list. Ensure your subscribe forms are prevalent and don’t neglect them in your festive redesigns.

Highlight the benefits of signing up to your list on your site and social media and ensure that everywhere people are talking about your brand is an opportunity to build your subscriber base.

Converting a visitor into an engaged subscriber is a massive win and will mean that you can funnel prospects into the channel where they are most likely to place orders – email.

Sent cart abandonment emails

During this hectic time of year, it’s easy for a customer to get all the way to checkout only to become distracted and not complete the sale.

Send cart abandonment emails to close the sale and entice potential customers with further discounts. By automating the process with our smart transactional email tools, you can maximize conversion of those potential customers with minimal effort. Check out Campaign Monitor for Retail for more features.

Be wary of email fatigue

Email fatigue is at its most prevalent during the holiday season. Mo’ email, sometimes means mo problems. You can help avoid fatigue for your email campaigns by being sensitive to this and angling your marketing to best suit your audience.

Leverage what you know about your subscribers – send dynamic, relevant content to segments so that people are more likely to engage with the emails that are sent to them. Email fatigue is more likely to set in if your client receives a slew of emails that are not tailored to their preferences.

Send at the right time and send at the right frequency. Dozens of emails in a 48 hour time period is too many.  A single email the weekend before Black Friday might not be enough. You know your subscribers best so use the data you have to tailor an approach and strategy to suit them. If you plan to make any changes to your email sending frequency, give subscribers a heads up in advance and let them know the benefit of receiving more email messages from your company.

Use a permission reminder and make sure your unsubscribe link is clear and available so that people can unsubscribe if they need to. Be sure to have a preference center in place and make sure that people can use it if necessary.

When email marketing is done right, it is about choice. A subscriber should be able to easily choose what emails they receive in their inbox, and at what kind of frequency. They should also have the choice to easily unsubscribe or change their preferences without jumping through hoops.By giving people an easy way to make that choice, you can be sure to avoid spam complaints and help keep your lists healthy and engaged. Denying people an easy way to amend the kinds of emails they are receiving can lead to frustration or disengagement that will damage your sending reputation and affect the success of your future campaigns.

By giving people an easy way to make that choice, you can be sure to avoid spam complaints and help keep your lists healthy and engaged. Denying people an easy way to amend the kinds of emails they are receiving can lead to frustration or disengagement that will damage your sending reputation and affect the success of your future campaigns.

Wrap up

In the email marketing world, the question is not, “Will Black Friday and Cyber Monday be big?” but instead, “Exactly how big? How can we make it bigger?”

By being smart, relevant and creative, you can supersize your email marketing strategy and stand out in the inbox. By utilizing the right tools and tips like the ones above, you can deliver a bumper holiday season and win brand advocates that will generate growth in the new year and beyond.

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