[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Christmas Email Marketing Explained

The holiday season is upon us once again, and so begins the annual Xmas email marketing challenge. It takes every trick in the email marketing book to try and maintain decent open and click-through rates at this time of the year and it’s no small wonder – the sheer volume of email marketing messages being sent around Australia spikes between 30-50 per cent in the four weeks from late November.

In fact year on year stats have shown that since 2011 – 2013, volumes have increased 40 per cent per year with current volumes sitting at 80 per cent that of 2011! One of the main culprits is of course the rise of online shopping.

If you are noticing decreased open and click through rates don’t despair – most of it is purely seasonal and come the New Year you should be back on par. In the meantime here’s a few timely reminders to help cut-through the clutter and maximise your inbox chances:

Subject line

It’s no surprise that we fall back to the subject line and the all-important role it plays in getting your email opened. It doesn’t hurt to try something new at this time of year – there are lots of opportunities to be playful with your subject lines and get into the spirit of the season.

In fact there’s probably never a better time to pimp your subject line with some symbols!

Keep it simple

We’re always advocates of keeping your email campaigns short and concise, and at this time of the year it’s critically important.

Your audience is time-poor and inboxs are under siege – so make your messages friendly and don’t expect them to have time to sit and read through too much copy – just give them the best bits and let them decide if they want to find out more with strong, clear call-to-action buttons.

A/B testing

Probably the best way to optimise your campaign success, but often an afterthought when you realise your campaign has tanked.

The two best measurements for split testing are subject lines and the call-to-action inside the message, so make the most of the tools available and you can rest assured that you gave it your best shot.

Smart segmentation

If your open rate is sitting at 20 per cent it’s clear that 80 per cent of your audience has missed out on hearing about your fantastic news. Don’t be afraid to resend them your campaign – at this time of year chances are it’s just been lost amongst the inbox.

Use your campaign software to determine who didn’t open the email and resend them your campaign. 99 per cent of opens occur within five days of an email send so wait until the opportunity to open has passed, and then resend just to all who have missed the first message. Your open rates will not be as high as the first campaign but you will definitely catch a sizeable amount of opens to warrant the resend.

John Scott has over 12 years digital marketing experience and is currently Co-founder of The Orchard, a Melbourne based email marketing agency. The Orchard work closely with some of Australia’s best known brands in developing tailored email marketing programs focused on delivering solutions based on three core principles: Growth, Conversion & Retention.

The Orchard provides email marketing services, including creative, strategic and campaign management.

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