With Thanksgiving and it’s odious amounts of Turkey behind us, it’s time to focus on Holiday Email Marketing. Perhaps your team has already started designing your message – it’s a great way to touch base with your database, and possibly reconnect with folks that you haven’t interacted with in some time. There are a few blunders to avoid – below are some tips and tricks to get your email message on the right track and ensure it’s a success – not something that’s joked about later.  

Do: Personalize to speak to your various audiences. It’s best to make sure your message – whatever it may be – is not just a blanket generic statement, but has elements that speak to these leads. Start with a basic template for your message and consider doing the following customization:

  • If you have a set of very different products, segment your list that way, and include a personal thank you message
    • i.e. Thank you for being a/an [x product] customer
  • Segment on New and Repeat Customers and send a message to reflect that
  • Segment on Region so send times reflect highest open rates

Don’t: Neglect Your Data. A major pitfall is using first name, or their lead owner and coming up with a blank value, or worse yet junk data, like ‘admin@yourcompany.com’ or ‘test’. Make sure to check your sender lists for data accuracy and population. If you’re sending from their account manager, make sure that it’s accurate as well – don’t create confusion by sending a message from someone who is no longer with your organization. If you’re sending to a list in another locale that uses special characters, such as Germany, Poland, France, or any area using a non-Latin alphabet, be careful to ensure that the characters in any personalization are populated. In some machines these characters can drop off, causing errors.  

Do: Get Creative. You’re competing with last-chance holiday sales, promotions for Holiday Parties, and Aunt Tina’s yearly Christmas letter. This is a time to play with fonts, create witty subject lines, and leverage your underutilized Photoshop skills. Work with your team to create a message that marries the merriment of the season with a concise message to your customers. Make sure to link back to your website or blog as well.  

Don’t: Forget about Mobile. According to a report about consumer device preferences from Movable Ink, 65 percent of email is now being accessed via mobile device in the United States. While the animation or large font your team created, it may not look the best on an iPhone or Tablet. Make sure to test across all browsers and devices to make sure everything displays correctly, and there’s no errors from slapdash coding. Mashable put together a detailed list of these that include pricing – and many offer a free trial for a week or longer. Sending out the holiday message to your current and potential customers can sometimes seem like an chore. Often it’s the last campaign to go out before everyone breaks for the holidays, while you’re wrapping up all the rest of the loose ends for the calendar year.  It’s also one of the last messages your leads will receive before the New Year – and possibly new budgets. With a creative approach and an eye for the details, you can create a small message that can have a substantial positive impact on your current and potential customers.