Rachel Rewerts, Author at Delivra
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Holiday Emails 2012 Schedule

Need a head start to your Holiday email campaign? Here is a rough outline tailored slightly for online retail, but easily adjusted to any business:

Week of October 8th: Holiday Sneak Peek– Highlight your new Holiday arrivals.
Week of October 22nd: Send follow up email–Segment by openers, non-openers trying different subject lines.

Week of November 5th: Focus on Fall again–Chance to clear out remaining Fall related inventory. Send this only to your most engaged members or members that have a history of purchasing from clearance related emails.

November 20th: Sneek Peak- Cyber Monday deals and one early offer
November 26th- Cyber Monday—Send out email at 5:00am with deals and then a reminder at 12:00 to those that didn’t open.

December 5th: Holiday Offer and reminding subscribers of shipping dates.
December 18th: Last Chance for shipping including competitive offer only good for 24 hours. Send this one to anyone that didn't purchase from your previous email.

Taking some time to set up a quick schedule and goals for your Holiday campaigns can make a big difference this Holiday season.

What's your sending schedule? Need some help figuring our your schedule? We can help with that.

3 Updates to Your Email Marketing Program

3 Updates to Your Email Marketing ProgramFeel like your email marketing program needs an overhaul? It's easy to find the low hanging fruit that could have a big impact. Check out these ideas:

  • Identify all sources of possible subscribers- Identifying the sources will help you decide the best way to welcome them to your list. Remember, email marketing is all about relevant content and starts with the welcome email.
     
  • Identify where your subscribers are in the engagement funnel- Sending a "buy now" message to someone who just bought that item is a waste of your resources. Check out this blog post about segmenting your audience on varying levels of engagement.
     
  • Plan out the next few months worth of emails-Instead of only focusing on the next email you're sending out, focus on your short or long term email strategy so you can be more nimble if the opprtunity arises. Setting a schedule for your next few months of emails gives you the extra time to focus on those highly engaged members, moving them from simply subscribers to customers.

Top 3 things to consider when transitioning to a new provider

You have reached that point of moving to a more robust email platform. What's next? Switching over data from one provider to another can be a challenge. Here are three things to keep in mind when doing all that importing and exporting.

1. Recipients- While it's important to keep your original files of demographic info, it may not be the best idea to import all of that into your new database. Really consider the information you are going to use to target your email campaigns and import that information. The most important piece to keep in mind is subscriber type. Make sure to honor preferences of those that have unsubscribed by importing them as unsubscribed so you don't send to them again.

2. Content- Moving over content is very difficult, if not impossible. Primarily because images and links are probably being hosted by your old provider. The key here is to make sure you have samples to look back if necessary in your inbox, but copying over the HTML to your new provider is not a good idea.

3. Data- This is the part where you can really get bogged down in details and feel overwhelmed. It may be impossible to export all data for each member with your current provider. Instead focus on your overall trends. Export and save statistics for your mailings over the past 12 months (depending on your frequency) and also consider exporting your trends as well for a baseline.

 

4 segments to create when you don’t have purchase data

Four PuzzlesCreating segments can be tricky when you aren't directly selling online or don't have specific preferences for clients to choose from. If you have been using an email marketing agency like Delivra, then you already have exactly what you need to get started. Create activity based segments. Start out by splitting up your audience based on the following criteria:

No activity (No Engagement)- Never opened, never clicked a link to learn more, or never forwarded or shared with any friends. These people have done nothing with your emails, ever.

No recent activity (Past Engagement)- These members were interested at one time. The time frame you use is up to you, but my recommendation is to keep it under 90 days or three emails. If there has been no action in 90 days or three emails, your members should be in this segment.

Members who have opened an email (Moderate Engagement)- These members have opened an email in the same time frame you set above.

Members who have clicked through (High Engagement)- These members are your most engaged audience. They appreciate and somehow use the content you are sending them.

Start out by sending the same content to each segment. After you establish your baseline then start targeting these groups in unique ways. What ways do you segment your audience?

Still need help identifying your audience for more targeted email campaigns? Check out 3 Segmentation tips for B2B Email Marketers and 5 Segmentation Ideas for 2012. Need one-on-one help? Schedule a consultation with Delivra.

Top 5 Ways to Incorporate Text-to-Subscribe

Text to SubscribeWeb forms and filling out cards in order to obtain subscribers are effective methods under certain circumstances; however, text-to-subscribe allows clients to reach your audience more efficiently and have them respond quickly.

Events or Trade Shows: Last February we covered trade show rules of engagement, if you missed that post you may want to check that out. Trade shows are a great opportunity to grow your email subscriber list and we now have a couple of new tools to enhance your trade show email plan. Bonus: Set up a welcome message so as soon as they sign up via text they receive their first email explaining who you are and what information they have signed up for.

Retail Store: Having a sign up for text-to-subscribe gives your shoppers an opportunity to sign up for your special offers and at the same time can offer them a discount on their in-store purchase. It's a win-win for you and your shopper.

Print Ad, Direct Mail Piece, Banner: Adding sign up info to your print ad or direct mail piece using text to subscribe gives your new subscriber an opportunity to sign up right now rather than waiting until they get online later.

Announcements: Do you purchase advertising from your local sports team? Next time you change that copy include a brief snippet on how to sign up to receive information from you too.

Speaking Engagements: Do you give a lot of presentations? Including text to subscribe information at the end of your presentation will give your audience members an easy way to sign up for future newsletters.

Text-to-subscribe offers you and your future subscribers an easy, accurate and immediate way to sign up for your next email.

Interested in learning more about adding text-to-subscribe to your marketing strategy? Download the whitepaper or contact us today to learn more.

12 Days of Holiday Campaign Prep (Part 3 of 3)

Holiday EmailsThe last entry for prepping your Holiday email campaign focuses on content and evaluating results. Choosing your content focus should be easy if you completed the tasks from week one and week two.

Test your subject lines and content. Can't decide on a subject line or where to place that "Buy Now" button? Email AB split testing takes the guess work out of it and shows you the results instead. Do not lean on just open or clickthrough numbers, instead keep the focus on conversion.

Keep your content simple. Just because you have lots of widgets does not mean they all need to be in the email. If you need to, refer back to your goals and ask yourself, does this addition to the content help meet our goals? If not, then take it out. Lastly, don't forget to add your social media share buttons. Your members are friend with other peope like them give them an easy way to share the info.

Use your results to make changes to the next mailing. Email is dynamic. Not happy with your results from your last mailing? Change something. Test. Repeat. While your goals should be pretty set by now, your roadmap should be etched in pencil and fine tumed throughout your campaign.

Benchmark and document for next year. Get a head start by writing out clear and detailed notes for next year. Document what worked, what didn't and ideas for trying next year. The longer you wait the more you will probably forget.

Best of luck on your holiday campaigns. Need some ideas for you campaign? Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling.

Holiday Email Campaign Ideas

  • Dynamic Sequence- Create a drip campaign for certain interests. Maybe your recipients just want to see gift ideas for mom or a certain interest like running or reading or travel. Use dynamic content to send them one email with all of their choices rather than multiple emails.
  • Themed Emails- 12 days of savings (make sure your members optin for this daily email). Need a special opt in? We can help. Contact us to learn more about profile and subscribe forms.
  • Come back- Don't forget to set up shopping cart abandonment emails with an incentive to come back to complete the shopping process.
  • Early Bird Campaign- Early shopping deals for "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" can stand out in the inbox if done well. Email graphic design has different rules than Web graphic design. Need some help figuring that out? Check out our design gallery for some ideas, then contact us to learn more.
  • Smart Phone Focus- Creating a special campaign for your smart phone users can increase sales and provide valuable information about where your members are reading your emails. Do some testing to make sure your in store check out process can scan the barcode from a smartphone. Need to know where to start? Check out our mobile design whitepaper.

 

12 Days of Holiday Campaign Prep (Part 2 of 3)

Holiday EmailsJust in case you missed the previous post, click here to read part one about preparing the plan. Part two focuses on prepping and segmenting your audience.

Get the audience opt in. Create a special category just for your Holiday campaign and start promoting it now on the website, social media and email. You could also use text to subscribe in-store to gain new subscribers. Having some of your larger audience opt in to special Holiday savings will show you how much interest there is and will make your campaign much more targeted.

Give the audience a way to opt out. Make sure your members know they can opt out of the Holiday mailings with out opting out of your future mailings.

Create segments based on past history. If you are struggling with how to segment your audience, consider using past history. Segment based on time since last purchase or last interation with your emails. 

Use this as an opportunity to grow your reach. Make sure your deals can be easily shared with all of your subscribers friends and family. Including a link in the body of your emails will make it easy for your subscribers' friends and family to sign up.

Next week we will focus on content and evaluating results.
 

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