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Capitol Communicator has a Response Labs post on how to maintain high email open rates during the holiday season.

How to maintain high email open rates during the holiday season

by | Dec 9, 2023

By Juliana Spadaro, Response Labs

The holiday season is a time when many brands compete for consumers’ attention, making it difficult for marketers to make sure their emails are opened. There is a significant amount of noise and clutter in everyone’s inboxes, and consumers can often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of outreach they receive. However, there are plenty of best practices and tactics marketers can use to rise to the top and increase email open rates.

Use a Compelling Subject Line

This advice is as old as email marketing itself, but it bears repeating because it’s obviously very important. We recommend keeping subject lines short and sweet at 50 characters or less. Emphasize urgency, especially when a promotion or product offering is exclusive or limited in any way. And if your email does include an offer or discount, we recommend spelling out that offer in the subject line (something we’ve seen in A/B testing improves open rates).

Employ Customer Segmentation

Consumers want to receive timely and relevant messaging from brands. The best way to get the right message to someone at the right time is by deeply understanding who your audience is and how they want to engage with your brand. So if you have multiple promotions or products to share with consumers during the holidays, think about which customers are going to be interested in which of the many offerings you have.

For example, you might segment consumers by their item purchase history, like sending Breakfast dining offers via early morning emails to guests who’ve purchased your breakfast items before, as opposed to sending that offer to everyone in your CRM. You can also consider using RFM strategies to segment your customers, like identifying your guests who have the highest frequency and offering them a bounceback offer to ensure they visit you one extra time during the holidays.

Stick to One, Clear CTA

We’re all guilty of throwing so many blocks into an email (to avoid sending so many emails) that the email ends up being an endless scroll for the consumer, and no one reaches the content at the bottom. It’s important to focus your content on your core CTA, especially given the amount of marketing and advertising consumers will see during the holidays.

For example: are you trying to encourage guests to explore your limited-edition products or services, or are you trying to get them to make a repeat purchase or visit during a specific time period? Those are very different asks and they require different strategies. For exploration and learning, consider showing a few of the limited-edition items as images in the email and encouraging the reader to click on your website. For a repeat purchase, get right to the point and show guests what they purchased last time with a clear CTA to purchase.

What This Means For You

By following these strategies, digital marketers can increase the likelihood of their emails being opened during the holiday season. And of course, if you’re already following these and other best practices, like A/B testing subject lines or send times, you’re well-prepared to navigate this busy season. If you wish you had the time/expertise to run best-in-class email marketing campaigns and controlled experiments, Response Labs can help.

Response Labs is a Capitol Communicator sponsor.

About the Author

Capitol Communicator and sponsors host various guest postings on relevant topics of interest to the advertising, marketing, public relations and media professional community that Capitol Communicator serves.

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