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Email best practices

Hacking your contact list for the holiday season

Here are a few tips to help you increase the value of your contact list and get it ready for the holidays.

Two gods decorate a Christmas tree in front of some more decorations



Hopefully our last post has gotten you into the holiday mood and you’re looking for ways to get ahead of the competition this season. But before we talk strategy and target KPIs, we need to go back to the basics: the contact list. Being a month out from prime-time, now is a good opportunity to clean your contact lists and organize for your holiday campaigns.

Here are a few tips to help you increase the value of your contact list and get it ready for the holidays:

Clean your contact list

Slot a re-engagement campaign into your content calendar, if you don’t have one already. Filter out customers that have not opened or clicked your emails in the past 4-6 months and send them a “We Missed You” email with a special promotion. The purpose of this is two fold: this will keep you top of mind for re-engaged customers and help you identify which inactive customers to remove from your list. Remember, it’s quality over quantity here. It can hurt your ISP reputation if you are messaging too many customers that aren’t engaging with your emails.

In this case, it’s good to label your customers

Are you already collecting data about your customers? The way your customer shops or interacts with your products can speak volumes. Labeling your customers by their behavior is called Segmentation. Marketers often collect or have access to this data about their customers, but don’t find time to thoroughly organize this information. But leveraging this can increase your ROI - especially during the holidays!

The first touch point your customer has with your email marketing program is the opt-in form. You may already be asking your customer for demographic information such as age, gender, or city of residence, be sure this is properly integrated into your contact list. Clearly label each column next to the email addresses and ensure the formatting is consistent. There are also other touchpoints - customer purchase history or frequency of interaction with your product, that your IT team might be collecting on the backend. Take time to sit down with your IT team to understand what data you already have to work from. It might surprise you that your IT team is collecting more data than you know!

And don’t fret if you aren’t already collecting this data, start building this out now! Since customers are more active during the holiday season, this is a good opportunity to start collecting so you can continue  and what data you might want to start collecting. Below is a great example of how Nordstrom leveraged their segmented lists. They emailed male customers or men’s clothing shoppers a message on latest fall products.

Here, Tumblr follows customer interaction with their product. They congratulate a user after  they’ve completed 10 posts. This reward system makes the customer feel special and encourages them to continue blogging.

Test it out

Last but not least, give yourself some time to get familiarized with the segmentation tools in the campaign building process. Start off with one or two simple segments - try sending to male and female users before sending to smaller groups like females over 50 living in Upstate NY.

If you’ve already been sending segmented emails and are a segmentation pro - dive into your past campaign performance to analyze which customer groups responded best to certain types of messaging and continue to refine from there. Perhaps female customers were more likely to open an email with longer subject lines and male customers were more likely to click through GIF images. Keep an eye out for these patterns and happy testing.

Stay tuned for more ecommerce holiday tips! We’ll be posting every Wednesday through the holiday season. If you have any questions or would like to discuss more in the meantime, hop on to our Email Marketing Hangar group!

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet's Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing.


The ultimate guide to holiday email marketing

Check out our ultimate guide to holiday email marketing and win the battle of the inbox this holiday season.

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