Monday, January 26, 2009

Holiday Tips

Holidays are the busiest time of the year for just about everybody, including ISPs. Over the holiday seasons the number of emails being sent out, across the board, increases. ISPs receive larger amounts of volume so they are forced to set their threshold lower. There are more SPAM complaints by users, so ISPs become more stringent and strict. More words are flagged as SPAM and overall deliverability becomes more challenging. This makes it even more difficult for email marketers to successfully send large quantities of emails. To help counteract this problem we at KobeMail suggest throttling your campaigns. This will allow us to regulate the flow of emails being sent out which will ensure better deliverability into user’s inboxes.

Along with throttling there are other issues you can concentrate on to help improve deliverability during the Holiday season. Past experience is a great teacher, so refer back to and review your past years performance. Identify the lists and creatives that did well and which products worked best for you in the previous years. Evaluate how users reacted last year to your company’s emails over the holiday months. From your assessments make decisions on how, when, where, and what kind of emails you will send.

Encouragingly, though users’ inboxes are overflowing, past survey reports have shown that emails do influence consumers’ purchase decisions. Those who benefited most from holiday emails were companies recognized and trusted by users and consumers. This proves that email reputation and relationships are important. However, we are not suggesting you send more emails over the holiday season. Just ensure the emails being sent are more targeted and relevant i.e. mail smart not hard. Increasing the frequency of emails without increasing the value to the subscriber is essentially useless and may actually hurt you.

So we know you are going to send out holiday emails, however are text or HTML emails more effective in such a short period of time? Our research has shown that a combination of text and HTML formats seems to work best in a short conversion cycle. Text emails are best used if you just want to notify your users. However, if your goal is to give in-depth information, involve people and/or drive traffic to the website HTML format is more effective.

It is crucial to develop a strategy now that will balance promotional and informational emails that maintain the interest of your users. The strategies you implement now will help to to give you a successful email program for the upcoming new year.