We’re officially well into the month of December. Have you been watching the clock count down and staring at your email stats with anxiety? We all have numbers to meet by the end of the year, but don’t let these pre-determined goals hold the reigns this holiday season.
Take a step back and be flexible with your definition of success. Here are some things to keep in mind as you evaluate your email performance going into the New Year.
Put on your consumer hat and look through the holiday campaigns your competitors have sent through so far. Which customer demographic is underserved? Which words are overused? When are competitors less likely to message? Make a list of trends to take note of and identify areas of opportunity.
Just from doing a quick search of retail emails in my own inbox, I saw that “Today Only”, “Final Hours” and “Surprise” have been commonly used in subject lines over the past few weeks.
This exercise will help you look at your goals from a bigger picture perspective and redefine your strategy. Rather than just focusing on using email marketing to drive ROI, leverage your email strategy as a way to differentiate your product and stand out in a highly saturated market.
Engagement Across Channels
Email marketing is a bit like science. We often start off with hypotheses that are partially based off of past data or previously proven, if we’re lucky. While you might start off with the hunch Facebook is the most optimal channel for your business, let your data tell the story. It could be that your customers are spending more time on Linkedin. Track which touchpoints your customers are visiting after exiting your emails. If you’re using Google Analytics, you can set up goals and funnels to define specific pages, downloads or actions you want to track.
Don’t be afraid to let your customers drive the marketing. Work smarter, not harder by focusing resources during the remaining few weeks the holiday season to optimize social media channels or devices that have seen most traction.
Don’t Jump To Conclusions
Last but not least, don’t be discouraged by low open or click-through rates. There could be other underlying successes that you’re overlooking. For example, click-to-open rates are a better indicator of performance, since it tracks of the number of subscribers that opened the email, how many ultimately went on to click through a link and engage with your product. An open-rate for an email can seem low, but if the click-to-open percentage is high, that means your customers are engaged, you may just need to rework your benchmark for your subject lines.
What are some goals you have set this holiday season? How are you looking to re-evaluate them before the New Year? We’d love to hear more about them in the comments below!