Winter is coming. The days are drawing in, the temperature is dropping and a horde of undead White Walkers are preparing to march south from the frozen north…
Ok, one of the above statements is definitely not true, but winter most definitely is coming and the next three months are always some of the busiest of the year. It’s something we’ve seen, without fail, in our 16 years of working in the email marketing industry and the businesses who capitalise on it are the ones who are the best prepared.
Love it or loathe it, we’ve got Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner at the end of November, the Christmas season will soon be upon us and preparing to hit the New Year hard is something else you should consider before the holiday season madness begins.
It’s here a strong email marketing program and strategy will be one of your best friends. You can prepare the campaigns you want to send in advance, you can use automated emails, you can use advanced personalisation, and you can measure the results. In short, a good email marketing strategy can ensure you capitalise on the busiest time of year.
To help you get ready, here’s some questions to consider:
What campaigns are you going to send?
Start with the basics and nail down what you want to send. This is going to change depending on the nature of your business and your industry but think about what types of email marketing campaigns you’ll be sending. Are they going to be sales-led emails full of offers and discounts? Are you going to build nurture track emails? Are you going to use video or animated GIFs in your campaigns? Will they be postcard emails are feature multiple-stories? Are you using automated emails and have you checked they are working correctly?
The chances are you’ll be using a selection of different types of email and this is a good thing. However, if you haven’t yet taken the time to plan what you’re going to be sending in the coming months then now is the time to do it.
Who are you going to send them to?
Just as important as what you’re sending, is who you are sending to. One of the things that makes email marketing so successful is the ability to send highly personalised and relevant content to your subscribers and customers. Amazon pioneered this approach with their ‘Customers also bought’ emails and it works. Even so, only 39% of online retailers send personalised email campaigns despite the fact 67% of customers expect brands to provide a personalised experience online and nearly half get frustrated when brands only offer generic promotions that don’t relate to them personally (Source: Adobe).
Sending the right messages to the right people is crucial for any successful email marketing strategy.
When are you going to send them?
Like many things in life, timing is crucial. Plan when you’re going to send your emails and make sure you give yourself enough time to give them the best chance of being successful. If you have special offers or events happening then ‘tease’ them to help generate buzz around them and excite your subscribers. Also look at data from your previous email campaigns and identify the best days and times to send your emails.
What do you want to achieve?
Too often we see businesses who want to send out an email campaign but haven’t fully thought through what results they want it to generate. Whether its sales, website traffic or anything else in between – have an understanding of what you want the recipients of your email to do when they get it – and make sure you’re measuring this so you can learn from it.
Is everything else in place?
A great email campaign can sometimes look like it hasn’t been successful if other factors have let it down. This means making sure your landing pages are doing their jobs properly and you have systems in place to cope with extra demand your email campaigns will send your way. If you’re selling products, can you fulfill extra orders? If you’re trying to increase bookings for a hotel, then are the reception team briefed about the offer that’s been sent out in your email? The extra care and attention you spend here will pay you back ten-fold in the long run.
We want to help you create a robust, comprehensive and successful email marketing strategy and ensure you can execute. Let us know how we can help you and one of our team will be in touch.