Delivering during the holidays – the new rules

As the holiday season approaches and retailers kick promotions into high gear, it’s important to examine campaign strategy, including deliverability. Much has changed since last season. Now, ISPs put heavy weight on engagement to determine a sender’s reputation and inbox placement. While in the past, marketers gained momentum via a “batch and blast” strategy, today, that strategy may negatively impact deliverability. Although historically, deliverability rates usually decline during the holiday season, the holidays are a great opportunity to engage and connect with your subscribers.

Engage early
Experian QAS encourages clients to re-engage inactive subscribers year round. While re-engagement may not always be first priority, it pays off come holiday time. Think about the frequency in which you email. Are your offers personalized? Are they relevant? Marketers must still be mindful to treat subscribers as individuals and make their holiday messages resonate.

Know what your customers want
Utilize what you know about your customers to ensure email engagement. Today’s shoppers expect highly customized and relevant communications. Also leverage all touch points and channels to connect and engage with your customers in their preferred channels.

Leverage point of sale email collection
Point of sale data capture is not always accurate, especially during the holidays. Cashiers are extremely busy and receive few incentives to focus on accurate data capture. With that in mind, retailers need to utilize email hygiene services to avoid collecting ‘fake’ information (or information that has been incorrectly captured).

Set expectations
When you over-send non-relevant email during the holidays, you have a higher chance of being marked as spam or having customers unsubscribe. With this in mind, it’s important to set expectations with subscribers (and stick to them). Describe the types of communications that subscribers will receive and how often they will receive email from you. We recommend that clients use welcome emails to communicate subscription benefits, as well as set expectations.

New rules – so now what?
Send engaging messages that are relevant to your unique client base. Be strategic with your holiday campaigns and utilize email marketing technology to treat subscribers as individuals. For more information about deliverability and ISP engagement filtering, download Experian CheetahMail’s white paper: Three pillars of successful email deliverability.