Tactics for improving your holiday e-mail strategy and increasing your mailing frequency -- without losing subscribers.
Have you started planning your holiday-themed e-mail campaigns yet? Now is a good time to develop strategies that deal with perennial issues that crop up during this busy quarter, especially the age-old frequency question.
You've probably heard the usual advice against increasing e-mail frequency for fear of irritating your subscribers so much that they unsubscribe, click the "report spam" button, or start ignoring your mailings. It's good advice, because these actions can hurt your list metrics and deliverability and reduce your return.
Still, it probably won't stop your sales manager from insisting that you squeeze out more mailings to make as much money as possible. Nor does it always serve either your e-mail program needs or the interests of highly engaged segments of your mailing list. If you start planning now and proceed strategically, you can find effective ways to increase frequency that should satisfy both your boss and your subscribers.
Beware! This isn't a license to pound your list into oblivion. You need to follow these two tactics to help you increase frequency without burning out your subscribers or crippling your e-mail performance.
Segment Active Promoters
First, segment your list to find subscribers who would respond to higher frequency. You should be able to divide your subscribers into three segments according to their activity on your list:
Develop Frequency Strategies
Next, develop frequency strategies that reflect activity level:
Your success with these tactics rests on your subscription process and the expectations you set at sign-up. Giving subscribers more choices about message content and frequency will help you create better segments and, thus, more targeted messaging.
More Holiday Planning Advice
Along with frequency planning, a good holiday e-mail strategy also includes these steps:
Until next time, keep on deliverin'!
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Stefan Pollard, who started his career in online marketing in 1999, was considered a selfless mentor and champion of best practices in e-mail marketing. He held the position of senior strategic consultant at Responsys where he was responsible for developing e-mail marketing and lifecycle messaging strategies to increase clients' ROI. Before that, Stefan led the e-mail consulting program for Lyris clients, frequently speaking at industry events on best practices. Prior to that, he managed the audit process and consulted with clients to improve their e-mail delivery challenges for Habeas. As an e-mail marketer, he spent several years building and executing acquisition and retention campaigns at E-Loan and Cybergold.com. He died May 14, 2010.
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