May 6, 2015 Filament Content Specialist

What Not To Do With Your Next Seasonal Email Campaigns

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your next seasonal email campaigns, looking at what worked with past campaigns and what didn’t. To help you get in the mood, we’ve put together a list of ten no-nos that you’ll want to avoid.

1. Fail to plan.

Effective seasonal email campaigns start with strategy. Start early to create a solid plan for any email campaign, seasonal or not. Look at what you want your email campaigns to do for your business and your subscribers. What content do you need for audiences, and why? How are you going to create that content, organize it, and deliver it? Defining your content strategy from the get-go will increase your reach and your revenue.

2. Fail to target your messages.

Winter’s coming up, and you’ve got this really great sale on parkas that you want to let your subscribers know about. All of your subscribers? Really? Even the ones who live in, say, Florida? Yeah, no. This is a time for segmentation, my friend. There are lots of ways to segment your email list. Not all buyers are the same, and they’re not all at the same point in your sales cycle. Targeted messages and personalization will help you get the right content in front of the right eyes at the right time.

3. Fail to make your emails mobile-friendly.

Almost 30% of all 2014 Black Friday purchases were made on a mobile device. And, as of January 2015, 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. As a result, you need to make it as easy as possible for your users to get from your email to your website and all the way through the conversion process on any device.

4. Pay no attention to your subject lines.

Subject lines are the most important piece of text for any given email. This truism becomes even truer before a holiday since all marketers are ramping up and sending out more emails—more emails that will compete with yours for inbox attention. So don’t slack off with a generic subject line. Write subject lines that rock.

5. Overlook the preheader.

While it’s unbelievable to us that some marketers fail to make use of the preheader—that preview text that appears next to or near the subject line. This valuable email real estate can increase your open rates significantly if used well. You can use it to extend the message in your subject line, offering more details in a fun, clever way, as in this example from Express:

Subject line: Excuse me, which way to the beach? Preheader: The cutest suits in the brightest hues.

6. Not invest in great copy.

Since we’re talking about your email copy, let’s just include all of it, from the subject line all the way down to the fine print plus your CTAs. Content is a valuable opportunity to represent your brand, create a positive emotion in your subscribers, educate, inspire, solve problems. You want to create a connection with your subscribers, right? They’ll be turned off if your emails are hard to read, riddled with errors, or way too long.

7. Resort to clichés.

We know it’s tempting to use that seasonal or otherwise time-related pun in that headline. We get bowled over by our own cleverness at times, too. The problem is that no one thinks you’re as clever as you do (except maybe your mom). At best, your subscribers will read right past your email; at worst they’ll feel annoyed and unsubscribe immediately (and carry that feeling around toward your brand).

If you absolutely have to use a cliché, make it new in a surprising way:

  • Jingle deals, jingle deals. Savings all the way.
  • Up to 20% off patio? Get out.
  • Snug as a pug.

8. Not test.

How do you know how and where to improve your campaigns if you’re not measuring their success? Oh, that’s right. You don’t. Lucky for you, you can use A/B split testing to test everything from your design, colors, CTAs, timing, frequency, etc. Then, don’t forget to use the results of your testing to upgrade your strategies.

9. Forget about social.

Ah, social. How could one forget about social? It’s easy to forget other channels when you get so focused on something else, but you’ll be better off creating a strategy that integrates these channels. Coordinate your email marketing to go hand in hand with your social strategy. Folks who are getting your emails are, hopefully, also following you on social networks, and you don’t want to bludgeon them with the same information presented in the same way over and over again.

10. Forget to have fun.

Holidays are a time of excitement, togetherness, and laughter. Harness some of that energy and put it into your emails. Your subscribers will take notice. After all, they’ve subscribed to your emails in the first place because you offer something they want. You can continue to build that relationship with them by cultivating your own unique voice and telling interesting, relevant stories.

There you have it. Don’t do the above, and you’ll be on your way to a successful email marketing campaign for any season or holiday, from National Pancake Day to Fall Hat Month. Or contact Filament, and we’ll be more than happy to help your create strategies and content that make your subscribers smile.

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