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Are your holiday emails packaged for shopping trends?

holiday email campaigns

The holidays appear at the same time every year. Yet, once again I’m ill-prepared. No doubt you’re a better gift-prepper than me but your holiday email campaigns still need a lift.

So I did prepare a list of shopping trends and sales predictions. Combined with email tips to help get your holiday emails inboxed, opened, and generate the conversions you want. 

We will look at:

  • Festive and proven Thanksgiving / Christmas emojis that affect open rates
  • Shopping predictions from finance gurus (real ones)
  • Ways to get your holiday emails safely delivered

Stuffing Turkeys and Holiday Emails

Two tips. Don’t buy boxed stuffing. And please don’t stuff inboxes by sending your subscribers 22 emails on Black Friday. Or Cyber Monday. 

Try to ramp up slowly before the biggest shopping days. Why? Because a sudden (ridiculous) spike in sends can hurt your sender reputation. If that happens, more of your emails could get filtered into the promotions or spam tab.

That defeats the purpose of a special holiday email campaign. Take these steps instead:

  • Use a calendar to plot your emails (start today)
  • Build anticipation toward a special offer 
  • Pay closer attention to your email metrics then pivot holiday campaigns if need be

*Black Friday is 11 days away BTW

Check Your Score

Not your credit score. Unless Black Friday and your shopping addiction terrify you. Otherwise, check your email sender score. Two site suggestions: 

  1. Barracuda Central
  2. Sender Score

Keep in mind that a high score doesn’t mean your holiday emails will not be diverted into a promotions or spam box. Just like a high credit score doesn’t mean you should test its durability with an Amazon binge. 

Holiday promotions are piling into inboxes during November and December, so even a high score won’t inbox all your emails. 

It takes effort on several fronts, like…

Segmenting Serious Shoppers

If your sender score sucks, you may improve it by sending out emails to your most engaged subscribers. A campaign just for them. An easy layup that will give you a boost in opens and clicks. 

This same tactic also helps keep a good score healthy. And this next tip may sound crazy. But so is inviting 17 family members to eat a giant bird. 

Don’t try to sell to everyone on your list during the busy shopping season. If Joe No-Open hasn’t read an email of yours since 2018, is he gonna buy your 10-week course or a consulting session?

No. So please remove unengaged folks like Joe from your holiday sends. Scrubbing them from your list altogether is also smart. Fewer sends are fine. A ton of unopened holiday emails are not.

Send less, get more opens, and enjoy a higher sender score.

*The surest way to increase holiday opens is Inbox Mailers. Schedule a demo if 50 – 70% open rates sound helpful to your Thanksgiving campaigns.

Will Your Offers Match Shopping Trends

Before we look at more ways to get your holiday email offers opened and clicked, check out these JP Morgan insights:

  • Fairly robust holiday sales expected
  • Chase card spending grew 8% in the third quarter of 2022
  • $40K-and-under household income customers are holding up better than in prior economic downturns
  • Many U.S. shoppers have yet to tighten purse strings
  • Americans spend too much money (200-year trend🙂)

Ok, we didn’t need JP for that last one.

Point is this. Your offers can have a 35% open rate and flop if you don’t know where your customers stand. Will they respond to:

  • A giant discount?
  • Or a valuable package deal?
  • A November offer that sets up a December deal?

The JP Morgan report shows Americans are ready to shop til they drop. But don’t forget, your customer data tells a fuller story. Understanding where they are on the customer journey is crucial even with great holiday deals.

Timely Holiday Email Emojis

Once you’ve spent time crafting offers that fit your subscribers, you need their eyeballs to pop.🚑 No, I mean pop onto the offer. 👀

Your subject line can’t read: “Open so I can fund my shopping addiction.”

99% certain that’ll flop. A relevant compelling subject line is a must and get this → various emojis will affect your open rates. Many email marketers just stick the first emoji they think of into the subject line. 🛑

Check this list of tested subject line emojis listed by month and season. My quick tips from that data:

  • Test emojis before your big offer (small segment)
  • Don’t use leaves in fall offers 
  • Do use turkey emojis 
  • 🌽 = higher inboxing but lower read rates

The above list is a little dated but covers all 12 months. OmniSend’s list only covers holiday email emojis but is more up-to-date. 

Holiday Email Testing

Testing for yourself on your unique subscribers lets you know for sure what will work on your holiday campaigns. Not just open rates. But you want to see what emojis look like on multiple devices. In subject lines and in the email body.

Stick-figures could be the end result on certain devices and mailboxes. Check before sending to your list. And I’m not anti stick-figure, despite ugly rumors. A stick-figure Santa may test better than a full-figured Santa. Test and see.

Wrap Up

Now for a quick recap and three more resources you can use to make your holiday emails go boom, not bust. 

#1 Don’t hurt your inboxing with too many emails in one day

#2 Check your sender score now and consistently from now on

#3 Segment your subscribers

#4 Have a special offer for your VIP segment

#5 Shopping forecasts are positive but your offers must match customer interest

#6 All emoji-powered subject lines are not created equal

Now for those bonus resources. 

holiday emails

The Knowledge Base 

Knowledge without motivation lacks power so… here you go.

Is your revenue leaking due to above-the-fold email issues?

5 Black Friday email campaigns if you need inspiration (or want a Hulu deal).

Hailstorm Spam? Zombie Computers? Open up this helpful spam glossary.

Self  Help 

“Giving back” is a funny term.

Actually, it’s a dumb one. 

Humans don’t respond well to guilt. 

And “giving back” implies they should give because they’ve taken.

Most folks are just trying to manage their day, not plotting to rip off society.

Giving Tuesday is the day after Cyber Monday. A good day to give. Period.

Facts & Stats  

Using appropriate emojis in holiday campaigns can reduce the complaint rate to 0%.

The worst open and click-through rates are on weekends. 

Triggered emails result in 8 times more opens and greater earnings than typical bulk emails

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 1958… “Looking back, we should have sent the canary into the coal mine before the crew. We’ve got the timing right now.” ~ Roger ‘Hindsight‘ Winfree

Marketing Musings

Close your eyes and picture the top real estate agent in the U.S.

Now take a look. Ben Caballero could be a Walmart greeter.

But he sold 6,400 homes in 2020 – outpacing his nearest competition by 4,600 homes.

“Competition” 🤣.

This 83-year-old guy didn’t reinvent the wheel. He grinded his butt off while his competition sat on theirs. He moved faster and assisted homebuilders as opposed to typical adversarial agent / builder relationships. 

Partnerships + doing what you say you will. Genius.

Today’s Hack

Two things that will take no time. But have the potential to boost open rates and conversions.

#1 Review your last three marketing emails. Did emojis, graphics, spacing, and text show up properly? On desktop and mobile? Tweak before your next send.

#2 Reach out to three potential partners to discuss a holiday cross-promotion for a portion of your and their most engaged audience segment.
Or utilize Inbox Mailers and let our support team set things up for you ( we’re in a giving mood).