Best Practices to Drive Engagement This Holiday Season

Making seasonal topics and traditions part of your email marketing is a great way to connect with your subscribers in a timely and relevant way.

However, there is also a higher volume of email being sent during the holidays. This can make it more difficult to get good engagement rates from your subscribers. It’s easy for messages to be overlooked in a crowded inbox.

To help you leverage the cheerful sentiment of the season, here are some tips to help you improve your sender reputation and increase subscriber engagement.

Target Engaged Subscribers

It’s best practice to target your most active, engaged subscribers. This group of subscribers includes those who commonly open or click your email sends. Not only will this help improve your sender reputation, but it will also help your engagement rates and inbox placement.

Here are a couple of tips on how to target your most engaged subscribers.

1) Create a List of Engaged Subscribers

Use Critical Impact’s dynamic lists tool to find subscribers who have recently opened a message from you, or who signed up within the past 30 days as a new subscriber. By sending the majority of your messages to this focused list, your sender reputation will improve. For example, domains will see that the majority of recipients at their domain commonly open/click messages sent from you. This means that they will be more likely to place future messages from you in the inbox.

2) Create Targeted Segments and Personalized Message Content

Target your subscribers with personalized messages to their location, interest, past purchases, etc. Use this information to create personalized subject lines, send from assigned sales representatives, or include articles of interest.

Critical Impact’s dynamic content tool helps you send one message to your list with tailored content to the individual subscriber’s interests. By sending messages with personalized content, you greatly increase the likelihood of someone opening and clicking your message.

Re-Engage Inactive Subscribers

When you have a group of subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked a message from you in awhile, it’s probably time to remind them of your value through a re-engagement strategy.

Here are some tips to re-engage your existing subscribers.

1) Find the Inactive Subscribers

For your first step, identify the inactive subscribers on your lists. Use Critical Impact’s dynamic list tool to find the subscribers who haven’t opened a message from you in the past year, or who haven’t clicked on a specific category of link.

2) Create a Re-Engagement Strategy

Depending on your industry, you’ll need to determine the best way to re-engage these inactive subscribers. The best practice is to try to understand and mitigate the reasons they have stopped reading your emails.

  • Change the Sending Frequency
    Take a moment to review how often you’ve been sending messages to these subscribers. They may be feeling burnt out from hearing from you too often. If so, you may want to suppress inactive subscribers from your main mailing list for some of your sends to decrease how many emails they’re receiving from you.
  • Offer Helpful Content
    It may be obvious, but subscribers are more likely to engage with content they find interesting. If you saw subscribers sign up to receive access to articles, but they never clicked the link to view the resource, then send them a quick informational message or video explaining how to access and use the resources. Help make it easier for them to access the information they want to see.
  • Make it Clear How to Unsubscribe
    While it’s sad to see them go, it’s sometimes best to let subscribers opt-out. By adding a clear unsubscribe link in your messages, it makes it easy for subscribers to stop receiving messages. This helps prevent people from clicking “junk” when they don’t want to see your messages anymore.

3) Test and Review the Results

After testing out these helpful tips, take some time to review the statistics from the re-engagement sends. If subscribers are still uninterested in your messages, it may be time to start suppressing them from your sends.

It’s also important to review which type of message and targeting gave you the best results, and where you can improve.

We hope these techniques will help energize your subscriber engagement for the holidays!

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