Winter is Coming

It’s been waaay too long since I’ve posted on my blog or sent out a newsletter. But with winter quickly approaching, I thought this would be a good time to post some reminders so your email marketing program is ready for the holiday season.

Since it’s already late in the game at this point – Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away – this is being written for the marketers who rely heavily on email but aren’t making it their primary focus, such as e-commerce sites or B-C retailers.

Have contingency emails in place: Even the best laid plans go awry sometimes. Take the time now to put together emails to follow-up to some basic emergency situations (such as site crashes, inventory depletions, office closings) so you can quickly make the best of a bad situation. Don’t wait until the problem has happened, prepare in advance. Think of these as umbrella emails – it’s best to have them and not need them than the other way around. (It never seems to rain when I take an umbrella with me, only when I don’t!)

Implement abandoned cart messages: These will pay for themselves. Sending a follow-up email to consumers to remind them of the item(s) they’ve left behind is a proven method to recouping a lost sale. They’re a warm lead that just needs a gentle nudge (or two) to come back and finish the sale they’ve started! If you don’t have emails activated to send to someone who’s left your site without purchasing the item(s) they’ve added to their shopping cart, take the time ASAP to add such a message to your marketing mix.

Test segmentation: Spraying and praying? (That’s a short way of describing mass blasting the same email to your entire list and hoping it gets results.) Try sending tailored messages to smaller subsets of your list. Segments can be based upon information the subscribed has shared (their zip code or industry) or their behavior on your site or with a past email. Vary subject lines and/or content to fit these segments. Monitor results and make note of what did and did not work. With the increased sending volume that usually happens at the end of the year, winter is a good time to learn which segments perform best to begin the new year.

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