As the 2022 holiday season inches closer and closer, I’m sure email marketers everywhere have their tasks cut out. With customer spending during this time reaching unimaginable heights, the busiest time of the year could well prove to be the most lucrative one for your business, provided you hit the bull’s eye with your email campaigns.
One surefire way of infusing vitality into your holiday email marketing efforts is by leveraging automation skilfully. From improving your lead generation to increasing your ROI, the gifts of email automation are immense. If you haven’t already hopped on to this bandwagon, the holiday season is the perfect time for you to finally do so. That said, keep in mind that email automation is a heady ship and if you don’t have the right captain manning it, you could end up heading nowhere. Now, who’s this captain, you ask? An email automation specialist, of course.
Today, I’m going to discuss the various ways in which onboarding an automation expert can help take your holiday season campaigns to the next level. Read on!
3 Ways an email automation expert can help you
1. Improve Your Segmentation Game
It is no secret that during the holiday season your customer’s inboxes are going to be flooded with a barrage of promotional emails. So, what can you do to grab their attention? Send them personalized messages. But to execute personalization effectively, you first need to segment your contact list.
Segmentation refers to the practice of dividing your subscribers into different compartments based on various factors such as age, gender, location, buying history, and the like. It is important for it helps you identify the needs and expectations of every section of your audience and cater to them accordingly. And it has solid numbers backing it as well. Compared to untargeted campaigns, segmented campaigns register a 50% higher CTR (click-through rate). Moreover, they drive up transactions by 18% and revenue by 24%.
Adding an automation expert to your team will help you have a solid segmentation framework in place. That, in turn, will help you drive the results you desire. Besides, segmentation during the holiday season is a whole different ball game altogether for customer behavior during this time exhibits a marked change. For this period, experts prefer taking the following parameters into account while building their segmentation framework.
- Browsing history: Normally, past purchases serve as a reliable indicator of your customer’s interests and preferences. It’s no surprise, thus, that businesses use them to curate their recommendations. But, come holiday season, and all that goes for a toss. You see, during this time, people don’t buy for themselves as much as they do for their friends and family. So, for this time of the year, the parameter you’d ideally want to eye is browsing history. That will give you an accurate idea of what customers are looking for and depending on that you can send them personalized recommendations accordingly.
- Website activity: During the holiday season you launch several products. However, different customers will be drawn to different products. Monitoring their interactions and activity on your website will help you understand who likes what, thereby allowing you to craft hyper-personalized emails. While monitoring their activity do ensure that you are compliant with all the standard data privacy laws.
Next, let’s look at some of the segmentation best practices automation experts will help realize for you in your holiday season campaigns.
- Don’t try to build a complex segmentation framework at the outset. You’ll end up confusing both you and your subscribers. Start simple, see how it’s working and then add more layers along the way.
- Ensure your segmentation strategy is flexible. Never forget that your segmentation derives from the behaviors and interactions of your audience. And you know just as well as me how arbitrary that can be.
- Define tangible segmentation thresholds. Suppose, you want to classify a customer as “interested”. Ask yourself, what action must they take to earn themselves that label? Does visiting your landing page qualify them for that? Or do you need them to browse through your offerings in detail? You need to be extremely mindful while taking these calls.
2. Set Up The Correct Automated Workflows
What kind of business you are and the time of the year you are operating in are deciding factors in determining which automated workflows you should be setting up at a particular point in time. Having an automation expert onboard will help you make the right call.
Here are some automations we reckon you must implement during the holiday season.
- Welcome emails: You’ll be attracting a lot of new customers during this time so you must have an automated welcome workflow in plae. At the same time, keep in mind that a lot of these folks would be “seasonal subscribers”, meaning they’ll likely unsubscribe as soon as the holiday season draws to a close. Hence, while penning these emails, adopt a different approach than what you do for other times of the year.
- Cart abandonment emails: Increased traffic during this period might also bring in a slight spike in the number of abandoned carts your business encounters. Unless you have a water-tight abandoned cart sequence in place, you’ll have a tough time recovering lost sales.
- Re-engagement emails: Before the holiday season, it’s a good practice to check in with some of your inactive customers to understand how your mailing list will look like when it’s time to launch your holiday campaigns. Hence, the need for impactful re-engagement emails.
- Product launch emails: These are going to be, arguably, among your most-sent emails during the holiday season. Ensure, thus, that their content and design is immaculate to a fault.
- Feedback emails: Along with launching several new products, you would also want to understand how they are being received by your subscribers. This is where feedback emails come into the picture. They help you address inconsistencies and resolve them at the earliest.
3. Ace Your Timing
A big reason why marketers love using automation is because it lets them send their subscribers the right message at the right time. And when it comes to email marketing, the significance of timing cannot possibly be overstated. It doesn’t matter if you have poured all of the world’s sparkliest wonders into your campaigns. As long as your timing is off, you will struggle to taste success.
Timing, as it is, is a sticky thing. It’s an extremely subjective affair, meaning you can read all the best practices in the world and still fail to drive results. The only way to understand what works best for your audience is to test it out yourself- experiment with different days, times, and email types; you’ll surely arrive at an informed conclusion.
Email automation and timing join hands when it comes to sending triggered emails. As the name suggests, triggered emails are automated emails sent to subscribers when they set off a particular “trigger”. Identifying these triggers and setting up corresponding automated emails for them is where you need an automation specialist’s assistance.
Below, we list out a few automated emails that every business uses and the right time for delivering those.
- Welcome emails: What kind of first impression you are able to cast with your welcome email boils down to two factors- your content and your timing. Subscribers expect to receive their welcome emails the minute they finish filling out their sign-up forms and you’d do well to oblige. If you’re planning a sequence, keep an interval of 24 hours between successive emails.
- Cart abandonment emails: These emails perform the best when you execute them in a sequence and time them right. Send the first email within a couple of hours of the customer abandoning their cart. If that fails to invite any action, wait out for 24 hours before sending another. Remember, the trick is to instill a sense of urgency in the customer’s mind without coming across as desperate.
- Transactional emails: These emails should be delivered to the customer as soon as they wrap up their purchase. Any waiting period, and you risk sowing unnecessary seeds of suspicion in their minds.
- Post-purchase feedback emails: Ideally, you’d like to wait for a minimum of 7-10 days (more if the product in question is a hard good like refrigerator or washing machine) before sending one of these. If you send one any sooner, the customer wouldn’t have used the product enough to form a solid opinion about it.
When you manage to get both your timing and personalization right, you’ll find it extremely easy to nurture your leads. And what do you stand to gain out of lead nurturing?
- Ability to obtain a wealth of information regarding your customers, thereby obtaining sufficient fodder to strengthen your relationships with them.
- Opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader.
- Generating new leads.
- Discover ample cross-selling and up-selling avenues.
Wrapping It Up
No matter how much you mentally brace for it, the holiday season is going to be a handful nonetheless. Getting an automation expert, however, promises to make your life a lot easier. Looking to hire pre-vetted and certified email automation managers? Get in touch!