How to Make Sure Your Emails Break Through the Clutter This Holiday Season

Alexa Engelhart
By Alexa Engelhart

Billions of emails are sent per day. Take a look at your inbox right now. How many emails do you have? 50? 100? 1,000? Email marketers work daily to create the best content to get their audiences to open every one of their emails.

Not only that, they are hoping people actually read their emails and deliver a high click-through-rate. With so many emails generated on any given day, especially during the height of holiday season, here are ways to ensure your emails are being opened, read, and acted upon instead of passed by, forgotten, or deleted.

Source The Problem

Sounds like an obvious solution but one that can be often overlooked. Common metrics to monitor are open rate, click-through-rate, and unsubscribe rates. If you have a low open rate but continue to send routine emails, you’re not paying attention to what your audience is telling you. Either they’re not interested in your content or you didn’t entice them enough to want to open your email.

Related: Why the One Key Email Metric You’re Ignoring is Derailing Your Campaigns

When a click-through-rate is low, it’s possible your call-to-action isn’t strong enough or your messaging in general wasn’t convincing enough for them to take further action. And if you have unsubscribe rates at an all-time high, you are missing the mark altogether.

Your audience base is either uninterested in your content or could be overwhelmed at the volume you are delivering it. Check these metrics often and make changes accordingly. Otherwise, this holiday season you’ll end up sending too many emails to too many people who aren’t reading or engaging with them.

Alter Your Subject Line

Like any one-liner, you need a backup in case the first one flops. Your email may have the greatest offer/value/message there is but if your subject line is a dud, then it will remain hidden from your audience.

When you review your open rate and find that it’s less than average (which hovers around 24% depending on the industry), it’s time to switch up the subject lines. Play up the winter theme. Highlight the holidays. Get clever and creative in order to make people click.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Email Subject Lines

The great thing about this is that it’s easy to A/B test subject lines. Have at least 2 or 3 options with slight variations and keep all the other parameters the same (same audience, same day of the week, etc.) and see if there is a change.

Most automated email management systems will allow you to easily see the comparison side-by-side. The more compelling your subject line and the more relevant it is to the season, the easier it will be for you make the user scrolling through stop at your email.

Segment Your Audience

There are general emails that can go to your entire subscriber list and then there are those that deserve to be segmented. For example, it’s not relevant to send an email to someone who is already a subscriber with prompted emails asking them to sign up. At the very least, your subscriber list should be divided into current customers/clients and prospect.

Then, think about further grouping email addresses together in categories that make sense for the content you will be delivering. According to Wordstream, click-throughs are 100.95% higher in email campaigns that are segmented versus non-segmented campaigns.

Strategize Your Timing

As the holidays approach, know that timing is everything. Your sales email for Cyber Monday isn’t likely going to be as effective the first of November as it is a few days leading up to the actual calendar date. Why? By sending it too early, the user will see it and forget it or see it and have time to find a better deal.

Email campaigns include a lot of strategic planning as it is; the holidays just add a whole other element to the mix. Send and test, send and test until you find the sweet spot of the perfect time and day your audience is most likely to read your emails.

Make It Count

For every email you send out, holiday season or not, make it count. Make every part of your email valuable to the person on the receiving end. And if it’s one of the many that end up in the trash before ever being read, find out why and fix it.

Related: 4 Key Email Sequences Your E-Commerce Company Needs

Start with these tactics and see if you audience shifts favorably in direction. By implementing a good (tested) user experience on a consistent basis, come holiday season, your audience will be waiting to read what your emails have to say.

 

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Alexa is a Content Marketing Strategist at Power Digital Marketing who works with a wide range of clients on web copy creation, landing page strategy, email marketing, and blogging efforts. She loves working hand-in-hand with other digital marketing channels and departments to get the best results for her clients!