Countdown to the holidays: Hot tips for the holiday marketing season

Liz GouldQ&A with Liz Gould, Experian CheetahMail’s Director, Strategic Accounts

As a follow-up to its holiday planning webinar held earlier this year, on October 4th, Experian CheetahMail will host an additional holiday marketing webinar to help email, mobile and social marketers integrate last minute tips and strategies into their holiday campaigns, as well as identify early trends for the 2012 holiday shopping season.

The webinar will be hosted by Experain CheetahMail’s Liz Gould, Director, Strategic Accounts and Andy Werner, Senior Strategic Account Specialist.

Q: What differences do you anticipate seeing this holiday season in terms of marketing strategies than last?

A: We foresee two major trends affecting holiday campaigning this year more than any others.

The first is mobile. We’ve seen clients with up to 65% of their users reading emails on mobile devices. This is driving marketers to become savvier in terms of how they design their emails and how they are driving those customers to a good mobile experience.  More clients are now even serving up reminders or follow ups for on-the-go consumers who are not able to purchase at the time they view an email on their phone. If you are a marketer who hasn’t begun testing for mobile optimization, I highly suggest doing it now – and then use those results to help drive your holiday campaigns. Remember that there’s a high chance your customers are out and about during the holidays and its best to optimize knowing those patterns.

The second involves deliverability. With significant changes to the deliverability landscape, such as ISPs using engagement ratings to determine spam and ISPs cracking down on bad data, we expect changes to how aggressive marketers are over the holidays. For example, in the past we spoke about reactivating old users over the holidays, as now is the time that someone who hasn’t opened, clicked or even purchased recently may re-engage. As marketers, we now have to be much more mindful about mailing inactive addresses or aggressively mailing customers you may not have mailed as frequently in the past. Additionally, since ISPs are bulking based on engagement, it’s more important than ever to get your engagement up and clean your lists of “dead weight.”

Q:  Are there online strategies that Experian CheetahMail is seeing that are experiencing early success leading up to holiday?

A: With the massive clutter in consumer’s inboxes, we see campaigns that use creativity making big impact. It could be as simple as using symbols in subject lines or more progressive by turning emails on their side to create horizontal scrolling email or creating real-time dynamic emails to optimize creative target for specific devices and display real-time store locations.

With real-time creative optimization, where you can switch in creative that performs best during live campaigns, we’ve seen up to 110% lift in clicks for our clients. That’s huge! Horizontal scrolls have seen up to a 10% lift in clicks and the newer, more intriguing symbols (like airplanes, umbrellas, and shoes) have shown lift up to 15% in opens. While some of these are quick win tactics, they’re helping our clients up their customer engagement before the holidays, which is helping deliverability and in turn increasing sales.

To learn more holiday marketing tips and trends, register for Experian CheetahMail’s special webinar, Countdown to the holidays, on Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:00 PM EDT.