8 Ideas for Effective Holiday Marketing Emails….After Being Inundated with Black Friday Messages

I got 150+ emails in less than 3 days about Black Friday shopping! And then another stack came in over the weekend about Cyber Monday. The messaging is that every single business has the absolute best deals right now; my life will be incomplete if I don’t take advantage of each one of them.

woman hands computer rawpixel

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

There were so many that they blurred into each other, intent lost. After scanning many of them, I put together a list of 8 tactics that can make your emails stand out from the pack:

  1. Subject line: A deadline can help improve open rates: “Today Only.” “Ends tonight.”   Followed by “Sale extended” and “Almost Over.”
  2. Offer: If you have the capability, send each individual a targeted message based on previous activity or purchases. If you cannot do this, craft an offer by a group with similar characteristics (ie. demographics, age on file, previous activity).
  3. Keep it simple. State a clear offer in the subject line, make the response button stand out, and the email layout easy to navigate.
  4. Sending 4 of the same emails with the same subject line is a cheap tactic. Change it up!
  5. Emojis in the subject line must be the “in” tactic this year to get people to notice the emails. Many, many emojis. I would test whether this improves click-thru rates.
  6. Early specific promotions can also work. For example, Cyber Monday offers started on Sunday to boost sales.
  7. Double check your load times on several browsers. If your content take too long to load, it is likely they will be deleted or ignored.
  8. Free, it still works. Free shipping, free bonus gift, free download, freebies. All those can bump responses, in your email.

While it may be too late to incorporate these ideas into this holiday season promotions, we should all continue testing in 2019. I am such a huge proponent of testing; here is another post  I wrote with testing ideas.

The journey continues.

Cindy

The List–A Critical Key to your Marketing Success

Marketers, who is vetting your lists??!!

We have lived in our house for 13 years. This week I received an 8.1oz mailer for an event addressed—with very wrong spelling—to the previous owner. What a waste: of postage, of a fairly heavy direct mail package, of a lead name, and most importantly, of a possible attendee who might have wanted to spend $700-5000+ to attend this particular event?

The list. Whether you are using email/search/direct mail/telemarketing/tv/radio channel to market, the quality of your list is still key to getting any response.

If your message doesn’t go to the right person, it doesn’t matter how fancy, attractive, or pithy your marketing effort, copy or offer is.

Choose your lists carefully, keep your own database clean, and analyze results and bad contact info (mailing address, phone number/email) to decide which lists to use again.

An experienced marketer can work with a legitimate list broker to research and recommend lists that reach your target audience. There are so many details on a list rental “data card” that the marketer knows how to interpret, as well as questions to ask about newly available lists. And on the flip side, there are unscrupulous brokers and cobbled-together-from-garbage lists.

Here are 4 simple ideas to clean up and then analyze many of your marketing efforts:

  1. Run your final mailing list through NCOA, have emails cleaned, or have your telemarketing vendor clean up area codes and numbers.
  2. Only buy lists from reputable firms and brands.
  3. Double check bad address/phone/email counts (from before mailing) and response rates by list.
  4. Sometimes, you can spot check a few names against company websites or LinkedIn. Other times the list firm insists a rented list go directly to the mail house, so you cannot do this.

It’s back to basics for marketing smarter in today’s competitive environment. And it’s the details can help you drive success.

The journey continues.

Cindy

20 Life Lessons I Learned in 20 Years While Running a Business

I’ll be honest. I didn’t realize it been 20 years since I started working for myself until I saw it on LinkedIn. In that time I’ve worked with a wide variety of brands, projects I never would’ve anticipated, with different types of companies, a myriad of personalities and work styles, and ever-changing technologies.

Here’s a list of 20 life lessons I have gained from my years of owning a business that can be applied to so many part of life.

  1. Partner with smart, reputable, trustworthy colleagues, vendors, and clients.
  2. Targeting customers remains the same, even if the technology has changed. The hype may get an initial response, but it’s the quality that keeps people coming back.
  3. Be honest.
  4. When you end a project, always try to do it with a handshake. You just might meet that client again working for another company.
  5. Keep learning.
  6. Be curious. I ask a lot of questions, and it often inspires further conversation.
  7. Actively listen. Take a breath. Then respond.
  8. Read a few days worth of your emails before you send them out. Are you sending them out with a positive tone or starting off all your emails with the negative? (I literally changed my email tone after monitoring them about 10 years ago).
  9. You will make mistakes. Admit it when you do.
  10. If you are stuck, walk away. I resolve a lot of issues when I shut my computer and go for a walk.
  11. It’s okay to say no to a project, especially when your gut tells you to.
  12. Check your emails at specific times each day. Otherwise, shut it off. It’s amazing how much more productive you can be without the distractions.
  13. It’s easy to get comfortable working alone. Face-to-face meetings can inspire change and a new direction.
  14. Have a schedule. I find that time blocking my day (Using the Best Self journal) has improved my focus and productivity immensely.
  15. Try something new.
  16. Keep reaching. What’s your goal?
  17. Most people really don’t like networking events. Do it anyways; set a goal beforehand. Someone may become a future colleague or customer.
  18. Be flexible.
  19. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to clarify, if you don’t understand.
  20. If you are bored on a regular basis, it might be time to change what you do. Or how you do it.

And remember that if you have a stressful phase, sleep on it, as a fresh day and mood awaits you.

The journey continues.

Cindy