Have a Super-Merry Christmas With These 6 Holiday Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing is an old yet effective digital marketing strategy for every business. Improve the ROI by efficiently using it.

Have a Super-Merry Christmas With These 6 Holiday Email Marketing Tips

Most companies want to sample the “next big thing” in digital marketing. However, while there may be more tools and strategies available today, one old-fashioned tactic still stands out:

Email marketing.

Yes, even though emails are almost as old as the internet itself, they can still be utilized for various marketing purposes. In fact, when compared to newer digital marketing options, email often has a better ROI. On average, companies can expect to receive up to $36 for every $1 spent on this strategy.

Unfortunately, a big reason why email marketing is not seen as fresh and exciting is that too many companies don’t use it effectively. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of the six best ways to make email marketing work for your business. Here’s what you need to know.

Segment Your Subscribers

One of the most prevalent issues that companies face with email marketing is trying to reach too many people at once. As your subscriber list grows, it becomes too hard to manage everyone efficiently, so most of your messages fall through the cracks. Instead, it’s much better to segment your list so that you’re targeting the right person at the right time.

But, what does segmentation mean? Basically, you’re organizing your email contacts based on specific characteristics, such as:

  • Engagement – You want to focus your attention on the users who open the most messages and click on the most links.
  • Interests – Some subscribers may only want discounts and deals, while others are more interested in exclusive content and updates.
  • Customer Type – You should have a list for potential leads and another one for existing customers. Then, once a lead converts to a client, you move them to the second list.

You can further refine your email contacts based on unique keywords related to your business. For example, maybe you can segment subscribers based on their shopping history or whether they’ve abandoned a cart recently. Perhaps you can send a coupon to customers who have purchased a specific item in the past.

Overall, segmenting your lists ensures that you get the best ROI on each email. Because you’re curating content based on a user’s interests and habits, they’re more likely to engage with it. Otherwise, your emails will get thrown in the proverbial trash.

Pro Tips

  • Use Automation – Fortunately, many email marketing programs come with automation tools. You can segment your subscribers based on their actions, such as clicking a link or opening a specific message.
  • Audit Your Lists Regularly – Customers can change their minds and habits all the time. Be sure to run through your lists and reorganize them as necessary.
  • Trim Any Inactive Users – Don’t waste time on subscribers that never open an email. It’s often better (and more cost-effective) to remove them from your lists entirely. Also, take out any bounced back or undeliverable emails so that they don’t clog your system.

Provide Value, Not Just Promotions

Basically, you need to ask yourself, “why would someone open this email?” If you’re only promoting your business, chances are that your engagement rate will be pretty low. However, if you can add value to each message, you’re more likely to connect with your subscribers. But, how can you add value to your email marketing? Here are some suggestions:

  • Newsletters and Exclusive Content – One way to put yourself ahead of the competition is to become an authority within your industry. The best way to do that is with high-value content like blog posts and video clips. You can send these pieces to email subscribers so that they can get more from your messaging.
  • Rewards Program – If someone buys from you regularly, you can reward that behavior with freebies, upgrades, or unique discounts. Email marketing ensures that you can customize those rewards based on user activity.

Over time, by providing value in your messages, you’ll cultivate a loyal subscriber base. From there, it’s much easier to promote your products and generate web traffic for your site. Below you can see an example of this from A2 hosting the webhosting company, where they share a free ebook with their audience. However, you don’t have to create an ebook to create value you can also do a monthly newsletter where you share content that will help you audience achieve their goals.

Pro Tips

  • Focus on Content First – As a rule, high-quality content will generate interest no matter how you promote it. So, don’t worry about developing material for a specific list. Instead, focus on creating the best message or newsletter possible and then figure out who to send it to afterward.
  • Make Your Emails Exclusive – If you’re just sending posts or videos that users can find elsewhere, they’re less likely to be engaged with your emails. Instead, you have to create content exclusive to your email marketing and won’t go anywhere else.
  • Provide Freebies and Add-Ons – Everyone loves free stuff, so sending links or discounts to subscribers can compel them to stay engaged.

Personalize Your Emails

These days, consumers are much savvier than in years past. While people might have been okay with generic ads and messages before, modern customers want curated and customized content. Here is where segmentation can be a valuable asset. By organizing your lists by interests and keywords, you can create unique messages that speak to a specific demographic. Overall, you need to go beyond just a personalized subject line or opening statement (e.g., hello John Smith).

Personalization can also be adaptive. Fortunately, new email programs are using artificial intelligence to help you maximize your email marketing strategy. This way, you can customize your content based on a subscriber’s actions. As they click more links or open more messages, you can tailor the experience to fit their persona. From there, it’s much easier to keep that person engaged and loyal to your brand.

Pro Tips

  • Create Buyer Personas – If you haven’t made buyer personas for your marketing materials yet, now is the time. You can connect with your readers more deeply by targeting a single person instead of a massive group.
  • Get Feedback – It’s easy to include a survey within an email. Although most users won’t respond, those that do can provide valuable insight. Use that data to help you curate content in the future.
  • Use More Keywords as Necessary – While having tons of lists can be time-consuming, the process allows you to be even more personal with your messaging. The easiest way to segment users is to add keywords to their accounts.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

These days, more people are browsing the web and checking emails on their phones than ever before. Currently, almost half (47 percent) of users prefer to check their messages on a mobile device. Compare that with the 26 percent who still like to do the same on a desktop computer.

So, you have to adapt to the times, meaning that your emails need to be mobile-friendly. But, what does that mean exactly? Let’s break this strategy down:

  • Scrollable Content – As a rule, mobile users are willing to scroll up endlessly, but not if they have to go side to side. So, make sure that your content stays vertical and that mobile users won’t miss anything on the edges.
  • Smaller File Sizes – While many consumers can connect to wifi on their smartphones, many of them will be checking email over cellular data. So, if you’re using large image files, your messages can take longer to load, making users less likely to read them.
  • Large Text – If users have to zoom in to read your email, they’re not likely to click a link or follow through on a CTA. Make your text simple and bold so that subscribers can skim through it if necessary.
  • Silent Videos – Video content is valuable, but most mobile users watch clips on silent. So, set your videos to autoplay without sound so that you don’t cause a distraction.
  • Email Templates – Use templates that can be customized easily so the campaign looks eye-catchy on mobile devices.

Since the mobile usage trend seems to be increasing, it’s often better to make all your email content mobile-friendly. Overall, it’s usually easier for desktop users to adapt to mobile-ready messages than vice versa.

Pro Tips

  • Use Email Data to Segment Your User Base – You should be able to see which users opened a message on mobile or desktop. Pay attention to that data so that you can segment your subscribers accordingly.
  • Create Scannable Emails – Break up long batches of text with headers, bullet points, and images. This strategy works well for all emails, but especially for mobile users.
  • Test Your Emails on Different Devices – Look at your email messages on smartphones and tablets and put yourself in a user’s mind. Is your content easily accessible? If not, revise it before sending it for real.

Make Your Design Pop

Not only do you need to make valuable content for your email subscribers, but you also have to make your messages as visually appealing as possible. If you’re only sending blocks of text, few people will read them. Instead, you need to incorporate various design elements, such as:

  • High-Quality Images – Don’t settle for generic stock photos. Utilize custom pictures that are related to the content.
  • Bold Fonts – Everyone is familiar with Arial, Times New Roman, and Helvetica. Make your content shine with newer, more exciting font styles and families.
  • Captivating Colors – If you’re not familiar with color theory, now is the time to learn. Utilize unique color schemes to make your emails stand out.

Overall, you should treat each message as a unique piece of marketing. If you don’t go the extra mile, why should your subscribers pay attention to what you have to say? Here is an example of how you can make your email design pop this is from Tailor Brands in a promotion for their logo maker. You can see that email instantly grabs your attention, and it’s also personalized using a logo that one their customers had already created but not yet paid for/

Pro Tips

  • Work With Professionals – Even if you’re graphically inclined, it’s better to work with a design firm than to try making everything yourself.
  • Incorporate Seasonal or Trendy Elements – Stay up-to-date with consumer behaviors and trends so that you don’t miss out on the “next big thing.”
  • Keep it Simple – While you want to use captivating images and fonts, don’t go overboard. As a rule, less is more.

A/B Test for Customization

Finally, if you want to maximize your email marketing potential, you have to refine your approach. Even if you’ve crafted the perfect email string, it will only work for a while before it becomes obsolete.

A/B testing is when you send variations of the same message to two different groups. From there, you can see the response and click-through rate and see which version gets the most engagement. Based on that information, you can continue to do A/B testing or roll with the version that got the best responses.

This type of data collection is valuable for all of your marketing needs, for everything from landing pages to your website design. Fortunately, most email marketing programs have this tool built-in for your convenience.

Pro Tips

  • Keep Track of Different A/B Tests – Looking at data from multiple testing rounds can tell you which elements users like the most. This way, you can maintain engagement without having to start from scratch every time.
  • Send Messages to Similar Groups – The best way to measure engagement is to look at how similar subscribers react. For example, sending a newsletter to a list that prefers coupons will skew the results.
  • Don’t Get Discouraged – A/B testing is more of an art than a science, as you can’t reasonably check every single element. Focus on the broad strokes and then refine your technique over the long term.

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