Monday, November 23, 2009

Are you prepared with your strategy for the Holiday season?

I’ve noticed a trend where creating an authentic, consistent personality in your campaigns, which speaks directly to your users, can have a positive effect on your ROI. Being relatable and personal in your communications and not just strictly business has resulted in higher opens and click thru rates.

Spark the reader’s curiosity by including a level of unpredictability and mystery in each of your campaigns. Add elements to the campaign which will make the user look forward to your next email. Include a compelling call to action, such as "look for a 10% coupon in our next email." This is an effective way to keep readers engaged from one campaign to the next. It also increases the probability of higher opens for your follow-up campaigns.

Say you went out to eat at your favorite restaurant and ordered the same entrée you always order. You will more than likely lose interest in that particular entrée fairly quickly and want some variety. Emails work in a similar fashion. Don’t recycle campaign content, as readers tend to get bored with reading the same information, resulting in drops in your open rates. When this happens, no matter how compelling the offer/information appears in your subject line, you have lost your audience and the campaign is doomed.

The fact of the matter is good content should get you the responses you want and help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your campaign. It is crucial to have a striking, informative subject line, as it is the first impression of your campaign readers will see. Sending new campaigns with the same old subject line will probably get your email deleted before it’s opened. Make your communications stand out – be unique and cater your information specifically to users on your opt-in lists. Basically, you should try to find a new way to convey your message, thus differentiating yourself from your competition.

Setting performance bars for your campaigns can also be a good way to improve performance. If an email’s performance rates drop below the criterion you’ve set or the norm from historical data, it’s time to revise the campaign, the content or the subject line. Doing this frequently will allow you to know your consumer base more intimately and send well-targeted and successful campaigns.

Although the level of spending may be lower than previous years due to the recession, the fourth quarter is always the highest spending quarter of any year. 2009 won’t prove to be any different. Testing is the key to capitalizing and monetizing on this increase in consumer spending. Try out new campaign or subject line styles prior to the start of the holiday season so you can really benefit from holiday spending.

The holidays are also a perfect time to send a sequel campaign. For example, send out a campaign with a 10% coupon, and then once they’ve redeemed that coupon, as an autoresponder/trigger-based event, send out a second campaign with a 25% coupon good for their next purchase over X amount of money. This will create anticipation, thus boosting opens and response rates.

Good luck monetizing your Holidays ;)

Co-Author: Courtney Dillsworth