We can expect British retailers to be sending more email than ever during the upcoming holiday period, especially with sales predicted to increase by 2% on last year to £88.4bn, making it the best Christmas for retailers since the financial crisis. 

This increase in volume won’t come without a cost though. Sudden increases in your volume can make you look like a spammer to some ISPs, plus your unsubscribe rates and spam complaints will undoubtedly skyrocket.

Luckily there are several tactics which you can implement to ensure you don’t ruin your sending reputation or annoy your loyal subscribers. 

Target your active subscribers

Many retailers and industry experts seem to think that it’s OK to dramatically increase their email frequency to everyone on their list during Christmas. I wouldn’t advise doing this, especially if you have a large number of subscribers who have not engaged with you in a long time.

I’m not saying that you should stop emailing these people completely but you should definitely consider reducing your frequency to them. If I haven’t opened in two years, do I really need to receive an email from you every day in December?

I suggest that you create a mailing schedule based on the engagement levels of your subscribers. 

  • Highly Engaged: receive everything.
  • Engaged between 3 and 6 months: Receive ¾ of all mailings.
  • Engaged between 6 and 12 months: Receive ½ of all mailings.
  • Engaged between 12 and 36 months: Receive ¼ of all mailings.

You should also make sure you identify seasonal buyers and include them within your highly engaged segment. 

Ask your subscribers if they want to opt-in to your Christmas campaigns

Planning on dramatically increasing your email frequency this December with a 12 days of Christmas campaign? Why not ask your subscribers if they would like to receive these emails rather than blasting your entire database?

This helps set your subscribers expectations and will greatly decrease any potential deliverability issues. Plus you could create an opt-out link for this particular campaign, ensuring that you keep these subscribers on your main list. 


Give them the option to snooze your emails

Are your unsubscribe rates dramatically increasing during the holiday season? Why not give your subscribers who’ve finished their Christmas shopping the ability to snooze your emails for a certain period of time.

This should help you retain a large number of subscribers who you would have otherwise lost. Ensure that you ask them for their frequency preferences after the snooze period. 

Whatever you do this Christmas, ensure that you delight your email subscribers with relevant offers and content that they actually want to receive. Follow that rule and you won’t go too wrong.