Have You Forgotten These Marketing Best Practices?

With the holiday rush just around the bend, marketers across sectors are already knee-deep in a wide variety of campaigns aimed at targeting shoppers across the globe. Of course, email marketing remains one of the most reliable and effective methods to engage a large target audience, and is a top choice for businesses of all types this holiday season.

“The pressure is on to perform during the holidays.”

However, even the most successful marketing teams may be in need of a refresher when it comes to email best practices. Not only have email campaigns become more complex over time, but they are also interconnected with numerous other channels and methods that only add to the challenge. It’s important that brand leaders remind themselves of the core essentials for email success.

Simply put, the pressure is on to perform during the holidays. Since the basics of email marketing may not be clear to the new generation of campaign strategists, here are a handful of pointers that will serve to remind these marketers of the key fundamentals.

Schedule with precision
Great marketing campaigns stick to a tight schedule, especially those that succeed in the highly competitive holiday season. These schedules are by no means arbitrary, either. They are designed based on data that tells marketers the best times to send emails and the types of messages that work best at certain moments. In other words, there’s a science to email timing.

During the holidays, scheduling must also be mapped out on a month-to-month or even weekly basis, as shoppers’ priorities shift drastically as major gift-giving events draw closer. For example, marketers will want to schedule friendly reminders in November and more urgent messages for December. Late-stage campaigns should also include compelling incentives such as fast or free shipping that is guaranteed to arrive at a certain date.

Test campaigns consistently
When it comes to variables such as subject lines and email content, there’s no telling what this year’s holiday shoppers will respond to. That’s why testing all of these elements on a regular basis is vital to success in the holiday rush. There are a number of methods that marketers can use to test their campaigns, but generally speaking, the tried-and-true approaches are the ones that tend to yield the best and most consistent results.

“A/B tests are very manageable from a setup perspective and sometimes are the only available option, even with some major email service provider (ESP) platforms,” wrote Marketing Land contributor Jose Cebrian. “But to really get to the bottom of things and use the best creative combinations, you need to use a number of variations, not just a few.”

Since holiday campaigns are numerous and complex, it may be smart to accelerate testing processes with the help of a marketing automation system. These platforms are easy to use and can provide teams with a heap of useful information on their audiences and campaign performances. It may provide the edge necessary to win out against the competition.

Leverage data of all types
Speaking of useful insights, marketers must remember to relentlessly gather data at every turn – not just from email campaigns, but from other corners of the Web and multiple marketing channels. This includes shoppers’ browsing history, cart selections and even details from the social media domain.

A piece from iMedia Connection stated that this information is a valuable asset in personalizing messages through email, allowing for “dynamic content”. Brands that make the most of the information collected from the Web and other domains will be equipped for success this holiday season and beyond.