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Nothing sneaks up on you quite like the holiday season! Well before the festive feelings hit and Jingle Bells starts playing on repeat, you need to have your email campaigns locked-in and ready to roll! Avoid the last-minute stress and get prepared for a season of sends and sales.

Prior to Santa’s arrival, you’ve got to plan for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Click Frenzy, Boxing Day and beyond… It’s one of the busiest times for email sends and a big moment for online shopping. Avoid missing the inbox boat and ensure you’re prepared for quality email sends that get your foot in the festive-door!

Make like a Christmas Elf and start getting ready!

Santa’s workshop is always in operation months before the big day, so now’s the time to make your list and check it twice:

Start with ticking all the boxes required to land in your subscriber’s inbox. Spam complaints, low open rates, high bounce rates and spam trap hits can leave a mark on your reputation according to mailbox providers. Your graded reputation follows you even if you switch addresses, so it’s worth cleaning up your existing domain before subscribers start thinking about turkey and all the trimmings.

It can take more than a month to improve your reputation and requires a bit of elbow grease, so here’s a couple of tips to get you started: keep your data clean using email verification tools and strong sign-in practices to prevent false data entering your lists. And don’t forget to keep an eye on how your users interact with your emails. If you’re receiving spam complaints, it may be worth aligning with email sending best practices such as expected message content and frequency.

Improving all areas of your deliverability in time for the festive period starts now. Make sure you’re starting off strong when your holiday email schedule begins. Start with steps including reviewing your subscriber list, sending re-engagement emails and removing inactive recipients. 

Review your sign up process to ensure you have all the right permissions for sending your subscribers relevant content. The festive season can often mean new subscribers signing up, so now is a great time to check your procedures and look at options like double opt-in, CAPTCHA and test questions to ensure authenticity.

Email authentication allows servers such as Gmail to verify your emails are being sent from users at your company. This means your emails are less likely to end up in the spam folder and more likely to be opened by sale-seekers! 

For maximum email delivery rates and better branding when sending via SMTP2GO, it is important to add any domain names (that you send emails from) to your account. Adding a sender domain means that SPF and DKIM are automatically handled by us. 

In the first quarter of 2020 in the US, more than 48% of web traffic originated from mobile devices. With such a large portion of the market browsing and buying from their smartphones, it pays to have your emails and website looking sharp leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

If an email has not been optimized for a mobile device, 71.2% of people will delete it immediately. Make optimizing for mobile part of your marketing strategy in time for the festive rush!

Getting your subscribers ready for all your end-of-year plans requires a lead-up. No one likes being unprepared, so now is the time to map your sending schedule.

Come Thanksgiving, having hundreds of thousands of subscribers won’t mean much if you haven’t spent the rest of the year forming a meaningful relationship with them. You shouldn’t wait until November to reach out to your customer base, offering sales and specials, because it’s then that you’ll be competing with several other brands for attention. 

Subscribers don’t often buy from the very first email sent, If they’re familiar with your brand, you could move to the top of their list when the giving season starts! 

Part of “warming-up” is developing your reputation as a sender and as a brand, and that can take months to achieve. Now is the time to be repairing anything that may be creating a bad sending reputation. Set a strict sending schedule and work towards a gradual increase as you approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This gradual increase will help to establish a good reputation with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as an authentic email sender. ISPs may detect a sudden increase in email sends from your IP address as spam, so start your warm-up early.

Lock in your sending schedule now so you don’t have last-minute campaigns getting lost in an over-filled inbox.

As soon as Halloween passes, utilize early November to begin your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. Keep your brand and products on the top of subscriber’s minds so you’re their go-to for Christmas shopping and sales. Pre-Christmas email sends are a great place to add wish lists and peeks at your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and you’ve nurtured your subscribers with pre-Christmas campaigns, you may have more insight into the products they’re interested in. Late November is the time to use personalized emails and targeted discounts.

Cap off your Christmas promotions with a list of Boxing Day bargains, or a look into what the new year will bring with your brand!

Pull out the pumpkin spice and prep your email campaigns for a cracking Christmas. Now’s the time to avoid the festive panic and get a jump on all things jolly!

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