The holiday season always means lots of new customers for your products (we hope). And new customers mean new opportunities for messaging and engagement.
For email marketers, the New Year is a great time to leverage the channel to get these new customers engaged, keep the fire burning, maintain the holiday season momentum throughout the year.
The big question is ‘HOW’. Here are some ideas on how you can keep the fire going:
Brand Introduction Onboarding Welcome Series
New customers are especially eager to learn more about the functions, features, and details of the company, brand, and product/service they purchased over the holidays. An onboarding welcome series of emails can inform your purchasers about their products while helping to build a lasting bond.
The series can include:
Getting Started/User Guides
“Complete Your Profile” emails
Activation of service emails
Content preference emails
Once you gather up these additional details and preferences, you can begin to deliver targeted messaging that continues to nurture and educate your customers all while keeping them up-to-date on new features and use cases.
First-hand, feature-specific, satisfied customer reviews are a great way to drive engagement. You can utilize email to gather new testimonials as well as feature your top reviews in email campaigns as well as on your website. Testimonials help generate trust and positive attitudes towards your brand, and can help towards grabbing new customers as well.
Personalization can help boost engagement (a fact 74% of marketers attest to in a recent eConsultancy report). This simple method is a great way to make new customers feel important and wanted.
Extended Campaign Offers and Discounts
The holiday season is a natural time to see engagement reach an apex as most people are on the lookout for a gift of some kind. Therefore, it’s also natural to see a dip in engagement come January. This doesn’t necessarily have to be true for you. Post-holiday offers are a great way to keep the buzz alive. Extend your holiday offers and discounts and target upcoming holidays for “early” offers (after all, it’s “almost Valentine’s Day” already!).
New customers in the New Year require special attention. Build targeted messaging geared specifically toward their place in the product/service lifecycle, leverage the holiday spirit, and maintain the good will and momentum you’ve gained from great holiday marketing to forge strong relationships for the future.
Holidays are all about getting in the mood to have some serious FUN!
The excitement of the commencing holidays is reflected even in an email marketer’s emails. As they pack their bags to zip off for a well-deserved vacation, it’s time we gather up some of the best holiday email templates that reflect the essence of ‘the holidays’ in full swing.
The “Free Shipping Day” grabs the attention on the first sight. It is also showcased in a graphically well-presented way. The clean and simple CTA category of a few top selling products and suggestions is displayed. It shows the right time to order, taking care of the holiday delivery deadline date, and the timeline creates transparency and a trust factor.
A good pre-header text on the top along with a highlighted ‘free shipping’ tab in the top navigation bar gives an impactful look. The “12 days of giving” campaign is simple and clear along with an Offer description with a bold green CTA that is standing out. A unique use of the tag hanging on the date strip with another bold green CTA provides other information as well. The product image is in a 2D effect that’s separately standing out and is equally noticeable.
A nice gift card mailer for last minute shoppers. The adorable looking French bulldog pup with a glowing Rudolph red nose gives it a merry start to the email. They haven’t highlighted ‘free shipping’ as this email is only promoting gift cards.
BRAND: TIFFANY & CO.
Just a shipping FYI mailer that is simple yet striking. The classic Tiffany&Co blue box gift wreath as the design is very attractive. The text is simple and concise giving the required information.
A simple and sober design with a snowy white background. The Offer text is highlighted in the strip informing about the timeline. They haven’t used any CTA as it doesn’t even require one. However, what’s missing is social sharing icons.
A simple gift card mailer with a strong question at the opening that connects perfectly with last minute and confused shoppers. The email is minimal and is in dual colors giving a heightened impact. The bold CTA followed with a THANK YOU message underneath is a great way to connect with the customers.
A great pre-header text with a rather unusual ‘share this’ widget in the top right corner. The usual category mailer with a zig-zag styling product display. The “Big Sale” text at the bottom of the email with Offer details and more navigation bars, which is something different.
The bold discount text at the beginning of the email is a great way to attract the customer at ‘first glance’. The email is in a zig-zag pattern with category options and relevant images. At the footer, highlighting “12 days of deals” with a different font and color is making it look very attractive compared to the other discount information and the CTAs.
Boden email has a good use of the pre-header text for better opens as it’s carrying a nice strip showcasing the ‘discount’ and ‘free shipping’. It’s a creatively nice email with bold CTAs at the end and a catchy introductory text.
A perfect example of a non-promotional email. The email is loaded with wishes for the subscribers. A good fascinating and interesting use of GIF and fonts. It looks like a perfect casual holiday wishing note.
Another email just wishing the subscribers for the holidays with a ‘no selling’ agenda. The pretty creative is flowing with words from top to bottom as they blend in within the creative and socials at the bottom.
Holiday emails are all about having fun with the design and words. They usually don’t have to have a promotional or sales agenda. Sometimes just the wishes work their wonders.
With just a couple of weeks left in 2016, planning your email marketing budget for 2017 (if you haven’t done so already) is an absolute must. This foundation for email marketing program success helps ensure that great ROI is in your forecast for the coming year.
If you’re still at a loss for how to spend your email marketing budget, here are some ideas for how you can utilize and maximize your spend:
Template Design Refresh
The first of the year is a great time to give your email templates a fresh design—especially if you’ve been using the same template for a couple of years or more. After all, not only does your template deserve a nice update in terms of look and feel, but a full update to the code will get your templates up to date in terms of responsiveness for rendering across all devices.
Need fresh eyes for a fresh start? Consider doing an email marketing program audit. With an audit, you can take a deeper look at what parts of your email marketing strategy and programs are working well, what parts are simply not working, and derive crucial insights into how you can improve and further develop your program for maximum ROI.
List Building and Optimization
Increasing the size and value of your email marketing list is critical for program success. And doing it the right way takes time, patience, and cross-channel cooperation.
Building your list organically requires cooperation between your email program, your website, SEO, and paid search engine marketing. These channels need to work seamlessly together to gather new leads, nurture them, and convert them into paying customers.
We never recommend buying an email list (there are myriad reasons why), but there are list rental options that could work for increasing your list provided you have the budget to do so. Focus on publishers and outlets that pertain directly to your industry category and get as concise of a list or target segment as possible, combine it with a persuasive opt-in email campaign, and you may just find yourself a winner.
A New Email Service Provider
We never advocate moving ESPs just for the sake of moving. But if your program is at a point where a new provider is advantageous, the beginning of the year (or the end of your current contract, if applicable) is the perfect time to go through the transition. There are many factors that go into such a decision, including budget.
Hire an Agency or an In-House Email Marketing Manager
Perhaps the new year is the time you can budget for expert handling of your email marketing program. Whether you go with an in-house hire or bring in an email marketing agency depends on budget factors and simple preference. The cost factors for both may surprise you, as we discuss here. In any event, expert help is always a great way to go, and budgeting for that kind of help can be incredibly beneficial to your bottom line.
As the holiday season begins to wind down, the New Year brings optimism and new opportunities. If you haven’t started planning next year’s budget already, the time to start is now. The sooner you plan, the better the position you’ll be in to achieve your 2017 goals.
And of course, if you need some help and insight, InboxArmy is here to help.
When was the last time you really thought about your transactional emails? Perhaps you should look them over again. Here’s why:
According to an Experian report, transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email. If done right, transactional emails can also generate 6x more revenue compared to other bulk promotional emails.
Why? Because these emails are triggered based on user action, and frankly, users look for these emails as well (perhaps as a sort of “digital paper trail” if nothing else).
This is because they contain certain information that holds value for your subscriber. A recipient looks forward to receiving these emails since they are triggered by user action and also generate 6x more revenue compared to other bulk promotional emails.
Obviously, transactional emails contain valuable information for your subscribers. Here’s a look at five of the most frequently used transactional emails:
Registration Email (Welcome Emails)
Welcome emails are usually the first registration emails your subscribers see. According to EasySMTP, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails. (We’ve touched on the importance of the welcome email before.)
Your registration email should have:
Login credential information (if required)
Your website links for easy navigation
Support contact information
Links to your site’s articles, blogs, video tutorials, etc.
Attractive offers and discounts (if applicable)
Highlighted tabs for easy social sharing and increasing visibility
Direct and to-the-point, this email provides the recipient with the credentials, accounting settings, and support information they need to take the next steps. A more prominent CTA and perhaps a dash of color could be useful.
According to Litmus, 64% of consumers consider transaction confirmations the most valuable messages in their inbox. They must provide the details of the transaction as well as opportunities to update the transaction, get in touch with customer support, etc.
Example: J. Crew
The following order confirmation email provides detailed information of the order such as:
The order number
Order tracking information
Brands send notification emails to improve customer experience and notify the recipient regarding important information including password changes, account re-activation, account notifications, billing failures, banking-related data, etc.
The email provides a highlighted CTA button urging the subscriber to take an action. The Dunked email also creates a sense of urgency in the opening line of the copy, “You have 3 days to activate your account before it expires”.
Brands send emails requesting customer feedbacks mainly to enhance, improve, and build trust in the customers’ experience. As per a Temkin study, 63% of companies expect to spend more on their customer experiences.
This is a combination email, combining a confirmation of a transaction as well as a direct feedback request of the customer’s experience and how the company can perform better. A more obvious CTA button could add value to the email.
Cart Abandonment Emails
Upwards of 3 out of 4 carts are abandoned. Obviously, this is a significant challenge for marketers. Automated cart abandonment emails work as triggered reminders, urging the customer to return and complete their purchase. (We built an infographic on this topic.)
In this example, the customer is shown the contents of their cart, the price, and obvious ways to complete their order. The text is simple yet creates an urgency as they emphasize that their chosen products may sell out. A recommended test of ours would be merging the two buttons into one and making the email a bit more streamlined.
Transactional emails should not be forgotten as part of your email marketing mix. In fact, they can be a boon for e-commerce and email marketing.
Make sure to incorporate some of the following points in your transactional emails:
Include social sharing and linking buttons
Include order tracking links and event tracking links along with website navigation
Enhance conversions by having cross-selling and up-selling
Make sure to enhance your customer’s experience at every step
Have an attractive email copy and design
Make sure to adhere to the CAN-SPAM and any spam/privacy laws applicable in your country
The age-old question: Do I hire in-house for an email marketing manager or outsource to an email marketing agency?
There are pros and cons to both routes, and varying costs associated with both as well. But what are the real costs?
When thinking about hiring an in-house email marketing manager, you have to factor in the “True Employment Cost” or “TEC.” The TEC, according to most studies, averages to about 1.4 times the cost of annual salary due to:
Federal and state income taxes
Medical, dental, and vision insurance
Paid vacation and sick time policies
Equipment, office space, etc.
Agency costs can vary greatly, depending on rates and services desired.
We’ve put together this small infographic on the real costs of hiring in-house versus hiring an agency.