Dotdigital blog

The holiday hub: deliver emails with impact this holiday season

Maximize your marketing success and deliver emails with impact this holiday season with our deliverability tips.
Marketer learning how to deliver emails with impact this holiday season.

Every holiday season presents new challenges that marketers have to adapt to. Thankfully there are plenty of things we do know that can help us prepare our email and SMS marketing for the upcoming busy period that our businesses depend on. 2023 continues the trend of needing to strategically align the different channels we use to reach out to our customers to make their experience shine above the sheer volume they are receiving. 

We’re here to provide resources for your cross channel strategies that will help you meet the rising expectations that your customers have. Here are some frequently asked questions and resources to help you kick off the holiday season.

Should I be sending to everyone on my list for [insert holiday season name here] to maximize my results?

Be strategic! Show recipients that you respect them and that they’re more than just a number in your marketing database. During the holidays, recipients can become overwhelmed by the high volume of messages they receive. So, resist the urge to send to all.

  • Build an email sending strategy focused on consent and active recipients who are engaging with the emails being sent to them.
  • Complement any email sending strategy with strategies focused on other channels, like SMS for example. Meet your customers where they are at, don’t make them work to meet where you are at. 
  • Segment contacts who aren’t engaging with your emails regularly and target them on other digital marketing channels.
  • Respect those who are actively saying they don’t want to hear from you – unsubscribes are really important

Where’s my email?

During busy periods mailbox providers are handling a lot; year over year, Dotdigital alone consistently sends over double our usual daily volumes on Black Friday.

The huge jump in the number of inbound emails can mean that the journey of mail through filtering and infrastructure to the inbox is slower than usual. Mailbox providers like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo are likely to prioritize 1-to-1 emails if they’re busy, so you might receive Great Aunt Erma’s festive update email (she should really add an unsubscribe link) before marketing mail appears.

Additionally sending reputation matters. Particularly for larger sends, if you have a poor reputation or the MBP deems your email in some way suspicious (e.g. because you’ve sent to spamtraps), they may release some emails to the inbox and then wait and see what recipients do with those emails. Depending on how their users interact with this first batch, the MBP will decide whether to deliver the rest of your emails – and to where (inbox or junk). This is why email deliverability is important all year round, especially when prepping for the holidays when sales emails need to reach the inbox promptly.

If you’re struggling with deliverability to internal stakeholders, this can actually be a great opportunity to start a conversation. Take a look at our advice on how to handle your emails landing in the CEO’s junk folder.

Why is there an ongoing conversation about the value of opens and how do we use that metric to define success?

Email has evolved significantly in the last couple of years, and your open and click through rates may look significantly different this holiday season than in previous years. Using metrics like those need to be done holistically and measured against the goals of the messaging program. Compare opens to revenue or some other KPI to assess success. Gone are the days of being able to use opens and clicks on their own. We’ve written about navigating deliverability analytics over the busy period, and you can also take a look at the following blogs about the industry changes that are causing this question:

Help, I need to know more about deliverability

Learn about the 6 C’s of deliverability or check out our Deliverability 101 guide below to find out more about what it is and why email deliverability is important.

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