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BizReport : Email Marketing : November 03, 2017

Top 4 tips to increase holiday campaign engagement

Email marketing cannot be a one size fits all approach or solution. Many companies throw ideas at a wall (or at customers in this case) to see what sticks, instead of testing them to ensure they work. Especially if hitting your revenue numbers is contingent on holiday sales, testing is essential. SendGrid is looking into the 2016 holiday season to give marketers insight into better open, engagement, and conversion rates for this holiday season.

by Kristina Knight

Use emoticons with caution

"Emoticons are a hot new trend in the email marketing space but using emoticons in the subject line during holiday sending are correlated with lower engagement (12% on average, compared to 17% for subject lines without emoticons). It's also important to note that %s, #s and !s generally increase your chances of being sent to the spam folder," said Scott Heimes, CMO, SendGrid.

Keep subject lines short and use discounts

"In 2016, the most popular holiday email subject line length was 7 words, although shorter subject lines saw higher engagement, with 2 word subjects being correlated with the highest engagement," said Heimes. "[Also] In 2016, 7% of marketing emails included a discount in the subject line (20% and 50% being the most popular) but SendGrid data found that emails that did not have a discount in the subject line had higher engagement rates. This year, try providing offers like free shipping and buy one, get one this holiday season to stand out from the pack."

Relax those sending times, but don't send too often

"Marketers tend to send their newsletters during business hours, although sending timing matters very little around the holidays. What's most important is to be a wanted sender. And, of course, make sure you're ahead of the holiday rush, not right smack in the middle of it," said Heimes. "Be aware of volume/frequency. When you double the number of emails to a recipient, you don't double their engagement but you more than double their likelihood of an unsubscribe or spam-report. Take note of what you're sending now... will you change it/increase it? Your recipients will be getting a LOT of mail during the holidays. We suggest sending preliminary emails to recipients asking them if they want to opt into more emails around the holidays then pay attention to engagement trends."

Cliched phrases may cause subscribers to ignore

"Don't always include cliché phrases or names like "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday". Recipients get overloaded from these phrases around the holidays, especially as the holiday marketing cycle creeps past Halloween. During the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 11% of subject lines mentioned one or the other and subject lines mentioning a shopping holiday tended to perform slightly worse," said Heimes.

Tags: 2017 holiday email tips, email content, email marketing, email marketing tips, SendGrid

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