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Creating Festive Email Campaigns with Inbound Practices

Monday 8 December 2014

8 minute read

By Sarah Burns

Christmas can only mean one thing in the marketing world - automation. Whether it's email campaigns, blog posts or social media updates, you need to keep your online presence felt, even if the office is empty.

Email Marketing is a big part of this process and focuses on you actually landing in their inbox - but how can you create emails that are more likely to be read and clicked through? 

Thrive's Email Marketing Advice for Christmas

There are lot of elements to a strong, well-received email marketing campaign, so it's best to start off with ensuring that you've got the beginning points in place.

Lists and sender reputation

The most vital part of any email marketing campaign is to CHECK YOUR LISTS. If the contacts have marked you as spam or the emails are bouncing, it will affect your reputation and increase your spam score - a BIG no, no! The ISP that you use can also have a negative effect on your reputation. Confirm that email addresses in your lists are vaild and stick to those who have given you their details - don't buy lists!!



A/B split test your campaigns to discover what works and doesn't with design, call to actions and subject lines. You should A/B test and implement a testing process throughout the year, but Christmas is vital. Segment emails for a personalised experience for a user, making them more inclined to click through!


"Time of day" concepts

There are a lot of theories and studies that have attempted to highlight the best times for sending emails, as in the prime time for them being opened. The majority of studies suggest early on weekday mornings as people check inboxes more often at this time. Now, there is an interesting other option to experiment with:

"During Q4 of 2013, emails sent on Saturdays and Sundays boasted some of the highest open and click through rates. Similarly, emails sent later at night tended to be most engaging." [Source]


Track and assess

With ANY email campaign it's important to check open and click through rates. A lot of email campaigns will reveal in depth information, such as where on your email is having the most engagement and which links aren't. Other email marketing platforms reveal more in depth attributes, such as, how they were viewed (browser and device), how long for etc. Important metrics:

    • Unique open rates
    • Unique click through rates
    • Transaction rates
    • Revenue per email
    • Average order values

Top Tips from the Experts

As with everything, it's reassuring that the people in the industry agree with your plans, so here are some top tips [source]:

Philip Storey, Global Head of Strategic Services, Lyris on Email Frequency: 

"It is, but only if it must go beyond simply supporting the brand needs to amplify the marketing and advertising efforts around Christmas trading. It must be a relevant ramp-up for individual prospects and customers.

"What I mean by that, is instead of increasing frequency for all, be smart with targeting and segmentation. In terms of engagement-based segmentation, look for those prospects that are opening and clicking more often but not converting."

Parry Malm, Account Director at Adestra on Email Design:

"Focusing on email design is fun, but if only 15% of your list is opening your emails, shouldn’t you spend your effort and budget on the disengaged 85%, who clearly don’t give a toss about your pretty design?"

Philip Storey on Mobile Optimisation:

"Some of our clients see upwards of 60% of their emails opened on mobile devices. That is a staggering number, and therefore mobile optimised emails are absolutely critical for retailers at this time of year."

Matthew Kelleher, Chief Commercial Officer at RedEye has the final say: 

"Customers don’t browse stuff they are not interested in… use this behavioural information and the products that your customers browse in your email campaign.

"It will improve performance and make your mailings mega-relevant!"

If you have more specific queries about seasonal email campaigns or Email Marketing as a whole, please get in touch via hello@thriveability.co.uk.

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