The holiday season and New Year are approaching … are you ready for it? Did you define your email marketing strategy for the holidays so that you can get the highest benefits, sales and conversions?
In this article, you will learn the 10 most useful tips and ideas to help increase your email’s inbox delivery and conversion rates.
First of all, this holiday season presents great opportunities for you. Your customers are ready to spend money to shop online for gifts and their companies.
That’s why this holiday season is one of the best times of the year to send emails. Unfortunately, not enough time or attention is spent on holiday season emails.
So, to end this misfortune, here are 10 sure fire “Happy New Year” email marketing tips for higher conversions:
1. Every email you send must have one primary objective
Keep your emails targeted
This is a common mistake. While writing the new year email, we often forget the primary objective of it. You might have different topics in a single email, but it has only one objective.
You should emphasize this objective and keep the other topics secondary. Having email copy with multiple primary objectives is similar to having multiple call-to-actions on a website’s landing page, which will result in less customer conversions.
Great copy is the key to higher conversions
The content of your New Year or Christmas email is the key to its success. It should be well-written. It should be short and to the point.
Never write a story within an email. However, if your content is long, simply add a “read more” link that will direct readers to the original copy on your website.
Prior to writing the email copy, work on the headline. It should be attractive, well-written, and short.
Once you’ve written a great headline, writing great email copy will be much easier.
If you need help writing headlines, Copyblogger.com has a great eBook on writing called Magnetic Headlines.
Simplicity is your best friend
A great email copy without a killer design is meaningless. By “killer email design”, I don’t mean an email with lots of images, round corners, heavy sized images, etc.
I mean a simple and attractive design that’s appropriate for your email content. It should be noted that email design requirements will vary based on the type of email you’re sending.
For example, if you are sending a new software release email, you will need to send an HTML email with some small screen shots, animated GIF, call to action button, etc.
But if you are sending a software update email, it’s probably better to send an HTML email with no images, a well formatted copy and a single call-to-action button.
On the other side, if you are sending an email to announce an important update about your company, sending a plain text email might the right choice for your email marketing strategy.
These days we check our emails frequently on our mobile devices. Therefore never underestimate the power of mobile devices!
The share of mobile devices is rising like a rocket. Almost everyone has at least one smart mobile device that connects them to the internet and their emails.
So, is it okay to ignore mobile devices and create emails that can only be read on computers?
Of course not!
Your emails should be mobile device friendly. This strategy is called “responsive email”.
When you send a responsive email, it can easily be read on both computers and mobile devices with small screens, such as an iPhone. Furthermore, making your emails “mobile device friendly” will gain you more customers.
Always use the same sender name and email address
Choose the right sender name and email address for your emails. Also always use the same sender name/email address in your emails.
You can select a different sender name and email address for different types of emails, such as product release notification emails, company news emails, communication emails, etc. Be sure, however, to keep the name and email consistent for each email type. This is advised because the sender name and email address are two of the most important factors on your delivery reputation. They both decide whether your emails go into the inbox or spam folder.
The sender name should always be relevant to your business identity. This is because the recipient always notices the sender’s name first upon receiving it.
If they don’t recognize the sender, they will delete your email or even worse, mark your email as spam. Don’t forget that email services (Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) score your reputation based on their users’ behaviors. So, if the majority of your emails are being deleted, archived without opening, or marked as spam, then you have little chance of going into your other recipients’ inboxes.
The sender email address is another important matter. We still see that many companies prefer to use a sender email address such as “noreply@…..”.
We don’t understand why they do this. You’re trying to communicate with your customers; after all, that’s why you’re sending them an email in the first place!
So, since you’re trying to communicate with them, you should expect them to reply. And an email is the easiest way for them to do so.
As a side note, email services monitor sender email addresses. As a result, their spam filters behave more aggressively to unmonitored sender email addresses.
Solve this aggressiveness by setting a working, monitored sender email address in your emails. Allow your recipients to be able to get in touch with you effortlessly.
The most important factor to higher email open rates
The shorter the email subject, the better. Thus, keep your email subject short and relevant to its content.
Stay away from generic words such as:
Be creative about your email subjects. Try different alternatives.
Before writing your email content, focus on the email subject. Contemplate what the best subject for your email is. Once you make this discovery, you will be able to write the email content much easier.
It’s important to keep email subjects short. This is crucial because of mobile devices, which have small screens. You want your email subject displayed on them without getting trimmed.
Also, email services and their spam filters check the relevancy between the email subject and content; just like Google crawl bots check website page titles and content.
So, make sure your email subject is relevant to its content, and written without any grammatical mistakes.
A useful tip: Your email subject should guide readers to the sentence that follows it.
Send the right message, to the right person, at the right time
If you send emails to recipients during the busiest time of the day, you’ll get the lowest open rates. While we all get tons of emails daily, each one is a distraction.
That’s why we mostly skim them, look at the sender’s name and email subject to decide if it’s important. If not, we delete it. If it is, we open it, scan the headline, and decide whether the email from the “trusted” sender is relevant to our situation.
As you can clearly see, you only have a few seconds to grab your recipients’ attention and keep them reading your email. However, if the recipients receive your email during a busy time interval, you’ll probably lose a chance to interest them.
So, do some comparison tests: send your emails on different days and times. Afterwards compare the results and discover the best day and time to send your email for higher email open rates achievements.
The best day and time differs for each industry. However, according to our analysis, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays get highest open rates. So, start trying Wednesday mornings, noon and afternoons.
Once you find the right time, try different days too.
Never send too many, never send very few
How many emails do you send to your recipients every month? The right delivery frequency varies; it’s based on the industry you are involved in.
Regardless of your industry, what if you are sending too many or very few emails than expected?
If you send too many emails, you will get more unsubscribes and spam complaints. There’s no need to fill up your recipients’ inboxes with your emails. It will not work; thus, causing a negative effect.
If you send very few emails, you will probably convert fewer recipients. As an additional side effect, you risk them forgetting your brand/identity. As a result, they’re likely to unsubscribe or file a spam complaint on your next email delivery.
You must find the right balance for your email delivery frequency. Again, this depends on the industry you’re involved in. For example, if you are a daily deal website owner, it’s meaningless to send an email once a month. You should send emails that inform your customers about fresh deals every day.
On the other hand, if you are a software company owner, sending a daily email will cause your recipients to get mad at you and unsubscribe from your emails. Bi-weekly or monthly emails will work better in this industry.
If you haven’t sent any emails so far, you should decide an email delivery frequency. Consider starting a bi-weekly delivery; then try increasing this frequency. If your unsubscribes and complaints show this doesn’t work, try monthly.
Make a test, measure results, make another test, repeat…
There’s always a better way to convert more recipients. To find the best way, you must be in “always testing mode”.
You should use the following different structures:
Compare all of these results with previously sent emails. If it’s higher, you should run a new test that compares with the winner.
This step enables you to learn what’s working and what’s not working for your business. Every business has its own dynamics. Given this, generic rules and suggestions that work well for other businesses might not work well for yours. Therefore, always run tests with your emails to discover how your recipients convert better.
Help your recipients be in touch with you
You should let your recipients be capable of replying back to you by simply clicking a “reply” button; thus, sending an email back to you. For this to be possible, you must set a sender email address, which is being monitored by you.
This has two important advantages:
1) You will start communicating with your customers, which is amazing
2) When they reply back to you, your delivery score will increase and you will have a higher chance to send more emails to inboxes.
So, let them communicate with you.
These are the top 10 tricks that will help you achieve higher conversion rates during your holiday season email campaigns. Never underestimate what you can do with your New Year emails and the opportunities that exist to increase your conversion rates.
Always try new things, compare results with previously sent emails, and improve your emails. In a very short period of time, you will notice that your emails are converting more.
To help you get started faster, we have published free “Happy New Year” email templates on our blog.
This post was written by Cem Hurturk at December 5, 2013