We are quickly approaching the holiday season, traditionally the time of year with the highest volume of emails sent. Therefore, if you want your customers to remember you and your email to be read, you must ensure that you follow the best practices while managing your email marketing strategies.
In this guide, we have compiled our best suggestions for improving deliverability over the holiday season.
1. Warm up your audience before your main Holiday sale
It's a common mistake to start sending your emails right before the Holidays without warming up your audience. This will lead to low engagement rates and may even cause a further block of your emails.
With a proper warm-up period, your sender IP and domain will build trust with mailbox providers, increasing the chances of your emails being delivered.
The warm-up process may seem slow and tiresome, but it is essential and cannot be skipped if you want to avoid the dreaded spam folder. If you don't go through a warm-up process before emailing your customers, you may start having problems like messages being blocked completely.
Here at Omnisend, we have created an automated warm-up procedure for you. For this, you need to have more than 5k contacts in your audience.
To start the warm-up process, you need to select a custom domain for sending your campaigns. You can do this by going to Store settings → Sender domain → Domain setup → Pick the custom domain for your campaigns.
You should still go through a manual warm-up plan if you have less than 5 contacts in your Omnisend audience. You should segment your contacts and start sending to the most engaged ones. Based on your engagement metrics, build a few segments similar to the one below.
Grow your audience by 1.5-2 times for each next campaign. During your warm-up, send not more than one campaign per day, three times a week.
💡Tip! Start by getting people interested.
During the warm-up, you should send your emails to people who are most likely to open and click on them. When you send a message to someone interested in what you have to say, they are more likely to engage immediately. It's vital for some email providers, like Gmail, in particular. One of the main things Gmail uses to decide where to put your email in the inbox is how much you interact with specific senders.
That's why you should send "pre-sale" or "early access" campaigns and automations to your most engaged customers at least a few days before your significant holiday emails. Target, for example, repeat customers who have ordered from you and stayed in your Audience for more than six months, people who have been subscribed for the last three to six months, or anyone who has opened an email from you in the last year. This strategy will help your main sale emails reach more people because providers like Gmail will see that your pre-sale got a lot of attention and will let more emails into the main inbox instead of the spam folder.
This idea of segmenting your customers also applies to personalizing your emails and making relevant content based on your contact data. Customizing your sending based on what your customers share about themselves and the products they purchase helps you target your messages.
2. Maintain a genuinely interested and clean subscribers list
Frequently, an Email Marketing strategy fails due to the misconception that more contacts in your Audience equals more conversions. To convert your customers, you must first proactively establish a database based on the quality of your contacts.
List cleaning is one of the best practices in email marketing that allows you to keep your subscribers' database up to date. It is the practice of removing faulty and outdated emails from your contact audience. Developing and adhering to proper email hygiene is critical to your marketing strategy's long-term effectiveness and overall deliverability.
In Omnisend, we offer automated list cleaning for you. In a few clicks, you can enhance your deliverability, improve open rates and click rates, get fewer bounces, keep a good reputation with ISPs, get better reporting, increase ROI, and reduce costs. There are many more benefits to list cleaning. Most importantly, it will yield instant results and increase the return on your time, energy, creativity, and money spent on your marketing strategy. Invalid data has a cumulative effect, so don't wait until the damage is visible.
3. Drive conversions with better subject lines
Your email subject line is the second thing your customers will see in their inboxes after the sender's name, and it's one of the factors which makes them decide whether to open your email. Email marketers sometimes get a little aggressive with the ALL CAPS, emojis, and exclamation marks in their subject lines to stand out during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Clear subject lines mentioning specific deals, such as "Black Friday sale 30-35% off" are more likely to be opened than something similar to "BLACK FRIDAY SALE NOW!!!!"
Include how long the discount will be available (typical Black Friday sales run one week or from Friday through Cyber Monday). It's a great marketing strategy since it creates a sense of urgency among your mailing list subscribers, leading to more sales.
Instead of using a single subject line, we suggest that you A/B test at least three different versions.
4. Send the right message at the right time
Holiday sales are about ensuring you don't get lost in your inbox. You can do this by avoiding obvious peak times like midnight or early morning during the BFCM period. Instead, think about sending it at other times, like 11 am or 1 p. Look at your database or store admin when most sales are made to figure out when the best time to send is for your customers, as no one answer fits all.
Get people excited about your Black Friday deals. Tease your customers by giving them sneak peeks of what they'll find in a Black Friday email, and use a countdown to keep their attention. With these strategies, users will stay interested until the all-important week of discounts.
Don't overwhelm them. Don't change the way you send your emails usually. Everyone gets that you want to send your customers all of your best deals, but you could hurt your sender's reputation if you send dozens of promotional emails in just a few days.
If your emails bother people too much, they may no longer want to open them. This also alerts ISPs. This could hurt your brand's reputation in the long run. Even worse, some users could report it as spam, hurting your deliverability even more. So be careful not to send too many emails and keep a regular schedule with a slight increase before Black Friday.
Sample Holiday Campaign Calendar. Write everything down and plan ahead. Sample a campaign calendar for yourself to maximize the results of your Black Friday campaigns.
Following these best practices and planning a holiday campaign beyond just Black Friday and Cyber Monday will set your store up for success this holiday season.