With Christmas fast approaching, it’s important that brands are ready with a strategic email marketing campaign plan.

So following on from my previous Christmas email post, here are steps 6-10 towards festive email marketing success...

Step 6: re-engage ahead of the holidays

About two months prior to the Christmas holidays, it is worth cleaning up your contact list to make sure you are sending your messages to engaged customers.

Get in touch with subscribers who have not opened or clicked on messages for a while to see if they can be re-engaged by a small incentive or different messaging (testing, as usual, is key).

If subscribers are still not responding and have ignored messages telling them that they are missed, it is probably best to send them a note that they are about to be removed from future correspondence if they don’t take action.

Cutting lists will not only decrease your risk of being blocked by the major ISPs ahead of the important festive peak, but will also give you better insights into the engagement of active subscribers.

Step 7: evaluate the festive messages

Before hitting send on any Christmas email, there are a few points to look out for within the content:

If an email were to be opened and then closed straight away, what is memorable about it? Does it have a call to action and does it stand out?

It’s important to be objective about how readers will react to messages they receive from brands over the busy festive season.

  • Does the email render correctly on different types of devices?
  • If you’re including social icons, is the call to action clear? For the Facebook button, for example, is it clear whether a click results in liking the brand’s page, sharing the email or sharing specific content?
  • Is the pre-header area optimised to include great copy that can be viewed in the inbox before the email is opened? Is the email linking back to a browser-based version of the email?
  • Are all of the following completely up to date:
    • Legal info
    • Phone number
    • Privacy policy
    • Unsubscribe included in every email
    • Postal address
    • Customer Service links and contact information

Step 8: create a list of emergency contacts

To decrease panic in an emergency situation, a document should be created that includes the internal team as well as vendors that should be contacted in an emergency, their availability and in which cases they would need to be contacted.

This will be crucial in a crisis, especially given the number of people who are away on holiday over Christmas.

Step 9: plan the reporting

There will be added interest in the results of the email campaigns, so it is important to build daily, weekly and weekend report templates that can be used through the entire period.

Share these templates in advance with the team to identify any additional metrics that they want added.

Step 10: put the festive campaign to the test

Once the campaign is ready to go, email accounts should be created with major internet service providers to test the programme.

Having sent various messages to the different accounts, the messages should be checked to see if they render properly across different devices.

Review the planning must-haves for the months leading up to the rush now and don’t let the Christmas season sneak up on you.

Taking the steps above will help you drive more revenue with less stress and more joy.

Georges Berzgal

Published 27 August, 2015 by Georges Berzgal

Georges is Managing Director Europe at Bronto Software and contributor to Econsultancy. You can connect with him via LinkedIn, or follow Bronto on Twitter.

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Comments (1)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, Founder and Author at Fresh Relevance

Good article about traditional "campaign-based" emails.

Remember that the run-up through Black Friday and on to Christmas is also *the* time when you need your emails to be relevant in real-time.

Real-time content pays dividends, so prepare it now, using slot rules to make sure the right content is displayed at the right time as Christmas nears - starting with calm, long-ish marketing aimed at considered buyers and increasingly switching over to countdown timers, product recommendations and short high-impact messages to coincide with last-minute panic.

almost 3 years ago

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