The holiday season is a wonderful time of year for most of us, but for Email Marketers, it is a time of increased email deliverability issues. The volume of email sent in the United States and globally increases significantly around the holidays, especially at Christmas time. Studies done by groups like CheetahMail who monitor email traffic report:
“With ecommerce off to a record start thus far in 2011, brands are expecting the holidays to be just as busy online. One area where brands may push more marketing dollars – email. A new report from Experian CheetahMail predicts email volume will increase about 20% over the upcoming holiday season.” (Source: http://www.bizreport.com/2011/10/cheetahmail-email-volume-to-increase-20-over-holidays.html).
To deal with these deliverability issues, one important tip is to plan ahead for the busiest days of the holiday season. Days like Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and the Saturday before Christmas is the peak of the email season. They represent the best opportunity for you to market yourself to shoppers who will be looking for the best deals available. Plan for these days and make sure you have any potential issues taken care of to maximize your ability to get past spam filers that will be working overtime.
Make sure your feedback loops are working properly. Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail and many other ISP’s offer feedback loops for free that allows you to maintain your email list best practices and a strong positive email reputation. At the holiday season, these feedback loops will be critical to keeping your lists clean.
Consider a redesign of your email creative and also what your email will offer the end user. Remember, the users in your email lists will receive increased amounts of email from many sources, so competition will be elevated as well. A redesign with a seasonal look and feel that is appealing to the end user will help entice them to view your email over the competition and will result in lower risk of spam complaints. Try out and test different creative to see which ones result in the best overall response. Offering seasonal deals will also entice the end user to engage with you and result in a higher holiday season ROI. Give them choice and a holiday deal they simply can’t refuse!
Above all, don’t get discouraged if an email campaign doesn’t go as well as you hoped! Make changes and keep trying. You aren’t the only one that will run into seasonal deliverability issues. The key is to remember that the holiday season is a time of opportunity for you and your brand, and following these simple tips can have a profound effect on your holiday marketing efforts.