We all know that capitalizing on the upcoming holiday rush in the inbox is vital for any business that’s serious about its online operations. However, finding the time to enact a sound strategy and following through with these plans isn’t always the easiest thing to pull off. With this in mind, here’s a few quick tips and tricks that are sure to both save you time and help boost conversions as you navigate your way through the impending holiday shopping season.
Build (and Stick to) a Calendar
To start off the discussion, Practical Ecommerce’s Carolyn Nye points out that a detailed calendar is the best way to get off on the right foot and cut down on wasted time with your email marketing operations. Generally, you’ll want to have a plan that covers a month or two in advance to avoid any unexpected hiccups or delays.
So what should a strong content calendar cover? Nye points to these four details as vital inclusions:
- Email theme and description
- Promotion or offer, and expiration
- Deployment size
Adding in any relevant information on segmentation and campaign specifics should help you extract the maximum amount of value from this calendar and ensure that you’re never bogged down by questions or concerns once emails start heading out to the inboxes of your target audience.
Don’t Be Afraid of Brevity
As you start crafting your inbox content, it’s also important to understand that brevity is one of your closest email marketing allies. Yes, it might seem like getting straight to the point can make a message feel hollow or basic. However, the truth of the matter is that customers love a brand that doesn’t beat around the bush.
By skipping the fluff and keeping your calls-to-action (CTAs) front and center, you not only reduce the amount of time you spend creating content, you also give your viewers more of what they want. It’s hard not to call this scenario a “win-win” for everyone involved.
Focus on Reusable Templates
Nye goes on to point out that drawing on any reusable templates you have in your store of email marketing assets can likewise help trim down your time expenditure this holiday marketing season. Even if you have to make a few minor alterations here and there, you’ll still come out ahead when compared to starting from scratch.
If you don’t have any templates designed with this process in mind, then it’s time to start thinking ahead for next season. Building these tools with the goal to reuse them down the road ensures that each holiday rush that follows this year’s events will be more manageable in terms of your time spent prepping and creating inbox offerings.
Give Your List a Cleaning
During the lead up to the big holiday push, John W. Hayes of Business 2 Community notes that one of the biggest hindrances to an efficient and effective email campaign comes in the form of a bloated or dated contact list. Avoiding the pitfalls of bounced messages and wasted potential starts with getting this asset in order.
Instead of simply assuming that your list is updated and current, spend some time going through these entries and segmenting members based on activity, responsiveness, and any relevant prior sales data or information. This way, you can burn less time tweaking your content based on faulty or inaccurate information, as well as miss out on dealing with unnecessary spam complaints and other issues that arise from the dregs of your contact list.
Salvage Old Content
Finally, it’s important that you realize that there is nothing wrong with salvaging old content. For many brands, going down this path can cut down on the holiday campaign workload significantly and free up time to handle other pressing matters.
Original and unique content definitely holds a lot of appeal – there’s no denying this fact. However, if you’re crunched for time, rewording an old message or simply updating an offer and expiration dates on similar deals or promotions is good enough. As long as you’re maintaining the key ideals of email marketing – to impart value and engage your audience – then chances are you’ll still do fine when it comes time to move these audience members to your virtual checkout.
At the end of the day, there’s no two ways around the fact that getting the most out of your marketing messages during the holiday season requires a significant amount of work on your end. Thankfully, with these tips and tricks in hand, you should be able to reduce this burden a bit, all while ensuring that your audience remains happy and engaged during this festive time of the year.