If your company is running email campaigns for Christmas, your brand’s impact will face fierce competition among the masses. However, with a predicted 11.8% increase in online spending from 2016 to 2017, the opportunity to engage your audience and signpost them directly to your website is one not to be missed. In order to stand out from the crowd, it is crucial to plan your email marketing with close attention.
Consider the following three tips when planning your campaign:
1. Make your subject line deliberate
Your subject line is the first point of contact your brand has with your audience so its composition shouldn’t be left as an after-thought. The subject should provide a suggestion of what is to come, without giving too much away; Return Path data suggests 65 characters is the ideal length to plan with.
It is important to keep in mind that the device and email client used affects how much of the subject line is available to view; structuring the line so that CTAs appear first ensures even narrower screen-users won’t miss the key message.
Consider grabbing more attention by personalising the subject line to the recipient. This can be as simple as pulling the individual’s name from the database, or segmenting mailing lists according to interest before tailoring subject lines unique to each send.
2. Ensure your content is loud and clear
So your subject line has cut through the noise enough for your email to be opened… now what? In today’s world, many people check their mail on mobile devices to occupy ‘in-between’ moments on the go, rather than within a dedicated allotment of time. This would explain why Litmus email analytics state that your message has just 2 seconds to make an impact!
When first impressions are make or break, your content needs to be well optimised within the dimensions of the email; if the reader is not able to state the email’s purpose when viewing the space ‘above the fold’, interest can quickly dwindle. With a finite amount of time to deliver the right message, your text should be concise and relevant, and call to actions clear.
Unsure how to say it? Consider letting the visuals do a share of the talking to gratify short attention spans. Do be careful not to build an email that is one whole image, however, as this will often see your email detected as spam.
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3. Timing is everything
It is often said that ‘timing is everything’, but when it comes to emails there is no ‘magic moment’ that outweighs any other send time: As stated by MailChimp, there is never a time of the week in which everyone drops what they are doing and decides to fully engage with their emails. Many studies have suggested that weekdays at 10/11am are a prime time to target, but if all companies are following the same trend then it will only see your campaign face more competition.
That being said, there are open rate trends that may prove useful to know when planning your email campaign. The general consensus is that Monday is the day to avoid launch: The start of the week sees people busy playing catch-up from the weekend and focused on a set to-do list. Conversely, the weekends can also see your message easily missed due to people being busy with social and leisure. Sending an email between Tuesday and Friday avoids these danger zones and could therefore increase the chance of your message being opened.
The best approach might be to test a variety of times when sending out other promotional emails, ahead of your Christmas campaign, and glean from those results. Don’t forget that if your database includes addresses that span many worldwide locations, it also makes sense to segment your entire mailing list and automate send for individual time zone categories.
- Don’t treat your subject line as an after-thought. Avoid clichéd phrases and structure your content so that the most essential information is not lost due to character restrictions with certain email clients/devices.
- Show your email design to a fresh pair of eyes, but limit this to a 2-second viewing. If the majority of the message has not been understood, strip the content to its essentials and emphasise the most important parts.
- Be experimental with your send times throughout the year to build your own understanding of your database’s email behaviour.