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Email Marketing Automation Tips for This Holiday Season

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The days between Black Friday and Christmas pull in 50-100% more revenue than the rest of the year, making it an all-hands-on deck season for marketers. But what if you could make your marketing strategy more efficient and effective without a huge investment in time and resources?

That's the power of email marketing automation, which allows you to send highly customized, relevant messages to the right people in a timely manner and on a massive scale—a holiday marketer's dream.

Now is the perfect time to explore the full power of email marketing automation. In fact, nearly 49% of companies have already adopted it.

Here are a few tips to make sure your email marketing automation campaigns are as effective as possible.

Repeat your message


At this point in the holiday season, you should have an idea of which products sell best, or which ones you want people to buy. Creating a message, sticking to it, and staying in front of interested prospects is a great way to increase the likelihood of a purchase.

For example, run social media campaigns around a product you'd like to sell, with links leading to a landing page specific to that product. The landing page can be used to gather information (with gated content, for example), or for purchasing that item directly.

It's important that these landing pages be different from your website, with just one clear goal and call to action so prospects aren't distracted from converting. Using similar imagery and language between your social ad and the landing page is key. For example, if you're a bakery and your message is "These deals are sweeter than our pie" with an image of apple pie, you want that theme to carry throughout your marketing materials for that product.

Next, it's important to have a workflow set up to check whether visitors to a landing page convert. If they do not, follow up within a day with an email that has messaging similar to the social post and landing page. This is a great opportunity to personalize, reminding them that they are interested but didn't yet buy.

Segment your list

Though automation makes it easy to send emails to many people at once, you shouldn't forget the backbone of successful email marketing: personalization. Emails that are tailored to your subscribers' preferences are more likely to be opened and engaged with, which in turn helps ensure your future emails don't get sent to spam.

Segment your subscriber list based on purchasing habits, interests, location, frequency of engagements with emails, etc., then create a series of customized emails targeted to each segment. Automation will then send the right email to the right contact based on your pre-selected segment categories, making each email feel personal.

Set it, but don't forget it

Because automation streamlines the email marketing process, it's tempting to set up an automated workflow campaign and ignore it until after the holidays. However, "set it and forget it" should never be your automation strategy. Schedule time to check in on the performance of your campaigns and make sure your audience segmentation is still accurate.

As you collect more data about your subscribers, continue to update your email targeting to generate sales or donations. For example, if you send your prospects a series of emails and you see high clicks and conversions on email 3, consider routing subscribers to that email first to maximize views.

Even if you think your automated workflows and email campaigns are performing well, don't hesitate to test alternatives. A/B-testing can gauge the effectiveness of everything from your subject lines to sending times to the content of your email. Do your customers prefer a discount or free shipping? Do subscribers value whitepapers or bite-sized blog posts? A/B testing with automated workflows is flexible, so it's simple to guide your email strategy in the right direction.

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Email marketing has long been an important tool for businesses during the holiday spending season, and by implementing these email marketing automation best-practices, you can make it your most successful one yet.


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Marion Price is marketing programs manager of email and marketing automation solutions provider iContact.

LinkedIn: Marion Price

Twitter: @MarionDPrice

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