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11 Tips and Tools for Christmas Email Marketing

By Wei Tan

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

(Image via GIPHY)

The holiday season has snuck up on us once again and thus begins the annual Christmas email marketing challenge. It takes every trick in the email marketing playbook to maintain decent open and click-through rates and it’s no small wonder. The sheer volume of email marketing messages being sent around Australia spikes somewhere between 30-50% in the four weeks from late November.  

Email plays a significant role in most retailers marketing mix, especially at this time of year. Therefore, the compound effect for every other industry-segment is much-increased competition for your email to cut through and grab the attention of the recipient.

So, we have put together some key tips to implement for getting the most out of every email and to sleigh the competition this Christmas season.

5 Christmas Email Marketing Tips

1. Segment your audience:

Segmented emails perform much better than non-segmented emails as the content is targeted and relevant to subscribers. You can choose to segment based on gender, interests, purchase history or website actions.

Our tip for the holidays is to resend your campaigns to subscribers who have not opened your first email. If your open rate is sitting at 20% and it’s clear that 80% of your audience have missed out on your campaign, resend it as your email has most likely gotten lost amongst their inbox.

99% of opens occur within the first 3 days of an email being sent, so wait until the opportunity to open has passed, and then resend to those who have missed your first message.

Your open rates will not be as high as your first campaign, but you will definitely catch a sizeable amount of opens to warrant a resend.

2. Write engaging email copy

This should go without saying, however, keep in mind that consumers are bombarded with marketing material during the holidays so the usual newsletter copy just won’t cut it. You will need to take your Christmas marketing message to the next level and ensure that the value you are providing can be picked up by the subscriber immediately.
 
3.  Create a sense of urgency

By creating a sense of urgency, you can boost sales on your Christmas email marketing campaign. A time-limited holiday offer prompts and incentivizes subscribers to take action quickly.

You can create a sense of urgency by:

  • Implementing a countdown timer to when your offer ends.
  • Including the last shipping dates in all of your emails, so subscribers are aware when the cut off for ordering is.
  • Promoting early bird pricing for some of your services or products.

(Image via GIPHY)

In the Christmas email marketing campaign below, Harry’s creates a sense of urgency by including a timer that counts down to when their free holiday shipping ends.

Countdown timer for email marketers

4. Split test your campaign

One of the fastest ways to improve, maximize and grow the success of your campaign is through continuous experimentation. Testing your holiday emails will allow you to understand and discover what works best and what doesn’t so that you can improve.

You can A/B split test everything from your subject line, preheader text, call-to-action, length of copy, imagery and more to see which variation performs better.

We recommend at least split testing your subject lines and call-to-actions within the message.

5. Write a compelling subject line

This is an incredibly important component of your campaign that you should focus on. Subject lines are the first step to enticing subscribers to open your email in the first place, and if you fail here, then all the work you put into the rest of your email will be disregarded.

Christmas is a competitive time to grab your consumers attention. The fate of your email is mostly determined on the quality of your subject line. You need to ensure that you’re intriguing your customers by either invoking curiosity, providing real value and benefits or taking a step outside the box.

In the spirit of giving, we have put together six free tools that will assist in improving your emails, especially during this festive season. They range from improving your email copy and subject lines to checking for spam triggers and getting a rating on how clickable your emails are.

(Image via GIPHY)

6 Free Tools to Improve your Emails

1.  Subject Line Tester

Where: SubjectLine
Price: Free

This free subject line rating tool gives you an overall score for your subject line with advice on how to make it better . You can even see why you lost points (i.e., “No capitalization detected”, “Does not contain sense or urgency”, “Contains multiple special symbols or punctuation”).

Subject line testing tool for email marketers
 

2.  Mobile Device Subject Line Preview

Where: Zurb
Price: Free

A simple tool to test how your subject line, sender name and pre-header text look on mobile devices and email clients. Just copy and paste your text and you’ll get instant previews to give you peace of mind.

Subject line and preheader text preview on a iphone 6 mobile phone

3.  Headline Analyzer

Where: Coschedule
Price: Free

What it does: A free tool that helps you create scannable, easy to digest headlines. It gives you advice on the right amount of words and characters that will make all the difference in how your audience reads your headlines.
A headline analyser that gives a score on the overall structure, grammar and readability of your headline.

4.  Analyses Copy Readability

Where: Hemingwayapp
Price: Free

This app is helpful in analysing the body of your copy assisting to make your writing bold and clear. The editor will highlight where your writing is too dense, any incorrect spelling, where you’ve used passive voice and which sentences are hard to read. All you have to do is copy and paste and this app will do the work for you.

Hemingway App example

5. Writing Assistant

Where: Grammarly
Price: Free and Premium versions

Grammarly will make sure your messages, documents, and social media posts are clear, mistake-free, and impactful. Adding Grammarly to Chrome means that your spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web. Grammarly detects correctly spelled words used in the wrong context, fixes complex grammatical errors, modifier placements, and spelling, to name a few.
Grammarly app example

6. Spam Score Checker

Where: Postmark
Price: Free

Why bother spending time and effort on crafting the perfect email for it to just end up in someone’s spam folder. Simply copy and paste your entire email and the tool will process the spam score of incoming or outgoing email messages.

Spam score schecker for email marketers on the app postmark

Happy Christmas email marketing!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wei Tan

CO-FOUNDER - THE ORCHARD AGENCY