The holidays are here! It’s time to dust off your email marketing list and bring in customers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you want true impact from your email campaigns, it’s important to stick to best practices for holiday email marketing. With the power behind best practices in mind, here are three list management rules everyone should follow:
Best practices for email marketing No 1: Be clear and direct
Keep the opt in obvious! Wherever you collect your contacts, make sure you mention how you’ll use the email address. If you’re adding customers to your newsletter list, for example, a separate unchecked box asking permission at the point of purchase is the way to go.
Best practices for email marketing No 2: Stay recent and engaged.
Quality lists take time to build. It’s tempting to hang on to older subscribers even when it’s clear they’re no longer reading promotions, but older unresponsive contacts only hurt your email marketing impact. So it’s better to remove the older unresponsive contacts entirely.
When you clear out the old, you make room for the new. New sign-ups are often the most engaged portion of your list. A list should never be older than 18 months. It’s even better to stick to active and engaged contacts from the past six months. Pruning your list regularly leads to increased view rates and greater list growth in the long term.
Best practices for email marketing No. 3: Exert no pressure!
Pressuring potential signups into opting in only hurts your list quality. Yes, your list grows rapidly, but not with valuable contacts. Pressured signups will typically immediately unsubscribe, complain, or possibly don’t exist in the first place. Opt in incentive is great, but make that incentive your lovely content.
Best practices for email marketing No. 4: Make Sure Your Lists are Up to Date
Email lists, stats history, company databases, and/or ask us to create a Views list for you (a list of everyone who’s viewed your GoDaddy emails since you began sending with us.) The ideal is for no valid address to be left out, but also to make sure you’re emailing your most engaged, up-to-date audience. Sending to healthy lists (quality over quantity) results in higher engagement rates and a greater ROI.
Best practices for email marketing No. 5: Test Your Emails
Testing your holiday emails is good common sense. You might catch typos, broken links, or a better way to lay out a module. If you don’t have a marketing team to test your emails with, send a test to yourself or a trusted friend. It really does help to see your newsletter as it appears in your readers’ inboxes. If you’re starting a drip campaign, or continuing one, make sure your list and campaign is functioning and that all your content is up to date.
Best practices for email marketing No. 6: Care for your Customers
Be generous to yourself and assume you’ll be converting some readers into customers this holiday season. Make sure you have a plan to keep track of first time buyers and follow up with them. A drip campaign is a great way to do this!
This is also a fantastic time to reward repeat buyers. Segment your list based on repeat buyers and send them a special offer or notice about a sale to say, “Thank you! We appreciate you.”
Best practices for email marketing No. 7: Check Your Calendar
Starting now has only benefits. Use a calendar to plan your newsletters, leaving yourself plenty of time for composing, taking photos, editing, and original marketing ideas.
Check out our free checklist, “How to sell more this holiday season” for more tips
Also published on Medium.