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Getting your email marketing fine-tuned for the holidays

Yes, it’s that time again. The holiday season is right around the corner, and before your attention turns to family and festivities, you’d be well advised to look at your current email campaign. (That is, if you have an email campaign. If you don’t, now is a perfect time to kick it off!)

 
Email continues to be one of the most important communication channels for small businesses, but competition for your readers’ attention gets tighter every year. That’s particularly true during the holiday season. Studies indicate that email volume was 13 percent higher during the 2013 holiday season than it was during the same period in 2012.

 
Don’t let your competitors take advantage of this prime buying time and get left in the dust. We have some tips to get you started:

 
Personalize your messaging

 
Your customers aren’t all the same, so why treat them like some universal being? Try segmenting emails by user engagement or behavior to create a truly customized experience.

 
Not only will this make your customers feel like you understand their likes and preferences, but it will also improve their brand affinity, making it more likely that they become loyal repeat customers.

 
Pair coupons with welcome emails

 
Anytime you add new names to your customer database, give those new customers a little gift with your welcome email. Studies show that welcome email campaigns with coupons have a 2.5x higher transaction rate than those without.

 
Send coupons to current customers

 
A 2013 survey by Wanderful Media showed more than 80 percent of Black Friday shoppers wanted to receive email updates about Black Friday sales.

 
Send your email subscribers coupons and deals, even if they’re small ones. Coupons offering just $10 off or 20 percent off have been shown to cause a higher clickthrough rate than that of other promotional mailings. Before cutting into your product margins or service costs, consider smaller coupons and discounts.

 
Improve the ROI of your email campaigns

 
Your email campaign is only effective if your messages reach inboxes instead of being sent off to spam purgatory.

 
Even if they’re not marked as spam, some emails will have far less likelihood of being read if they don’t land in the recipient’s primary folder. (Consider Gmail’s Social and Promotions folders, which aren’t reviewed by recipients nearly as often as its Primary folder.) Ensure your emails are going to interested leads by following these tactics:

 
Don’t buy lists: Purchasing a list might seem like a good way to increase your base of potential leads, but these lists are typically of poor quality. Stick with email addresses you collect through permission-based, opt-in methods for your holiday campaigns.

 
Protect your reputation: The increased volume of emails sent out around the holidays can hurt your reputation with your Internet service Confirmed the validity of addresses in your list before starting up a large holiday campaign.

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