Originally at http://www.business2community.com/email-marketing/10-christmas-email-marketing-tips-small-business-01397163

10 Christmas email marketing tips for your small business

If Christmas is magic, the build-up is manic. You could definitely be forgiven if you currently feel like you are spread as thinly as bread sauce on Boxing Day. But that doesn’t mean your marketing has to suffer. Here are ten, easy-to-integrate tips that will keep your email campaigns sparkling this festive season.

1. Stay steady with your sender field

Do not underestimate the value of a familiar name in a crowded inbox. The sender field allows your reader to see exactly who the email is from. A Christmas-themed pun on your business name can be fun, but if in doubt consistency is the best policy.

2. Make your subject line a cracker

If there’s one part of your email worth labouring over, it’s the send title. It’s the single biggest factor in determining whether or not your readers open your email or hurl it towards the trash can. Getting the right mix of words can be a challenge, but the following is best practice:

A total of 50 characters (including spaces) or fewer
Don’t repeat anything from the sender field
No typos or spelling mistakes
Nothing too salesy or spammy

Be original. Be enticing. Speak to your reader’s fears, needs, desires, doubts or ambitions. It’s also a good idea to use split testing to find out which of your send titles is most effective at driving open rates.

3. Find your festive spirit

Whether it’s adding a Santa hat to your logo or adding snowflakes to the background of your email, a sprinkling of seasonal imagery can bring lots of festive charm to your emails. Just stay on the right side of kitsch. If your email makes the average Santa’s grotto look reserved, you may have gone too far.

4. Optimise for mobile

There’s no two ways about it: your email has to display well on smartphones and tablets. More than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. That means if you fail to cater for mobile users, you might be alienating more than half of your email list. Scary stuff, huh? The best way to check how your email is performing mobile-wise is to send a test to yourself and open it on your own device. Easy.

5. Keep it brief

When it comes to email marketing, less is more. The average person’s inbox is as cluttered as Santa’s toyshop and regularly pelted with new emails. Brevity is a skill you’d do well to master – and your reader will respect your efforts. Besides, nothing shouts louder than simplicity. If it takes longer than a minute or two to absorb your message, it might be time for rethink.

6. Monitor your email frequency

Again, it’s about respecting your reader’s time – or rather lack of it. Bombarding your list with multiple emails is unlikely to get results. Worse, your unsubscribe rate could surge. Keep your list happy by exercising a little restraint.

7. Write for an audience of one

It makes no difference whether your email is being sent to 10 people or 10,000. Try to get into the habit of building a mental image of your model reader and crafting a message that speaks to them directly. Crude example: “Hope you have a merry Christmas” is more engaging than “Hope you all have a merry Christmas”. Imagine yourself having a conversation with your reader in person outside a coffee shop. One-to-one. It will help your writing pop.

8. Don’t hide your hyperlinks

You want your reader to click through to an article? Or browse your latest products? Or fill in a survey? Then cast an eye over your email design to make sure your hyperlinks and CTA buttons have all the zing they need to stand out.

9. Be smart with segmentation

Targeted marketing is more effective than scattergun campaigns that take a catch-all approach. You need to be prepared to produce different content for different list members at different times. Example: let’s say you have an online shop and you notice that a customer’s first interaction with your business was last Christmas. Segmentation allows you to send an email to last year’s festive purchasers with vouchers that can be put against another purchase this year. Hey presto — you’ve turned a one-time customer into a repeat purchaser. The more you know about your list subscribers, the more potent segmentation becomes.

10. Check, check and check again

Marketing and urgency rarely go well together. If you are rushing to get a campaign into the digital ether, there’s no substitute for checking your content with a fresh pair of eyes. Do your links go to the right page? Does the design look as it should in the most popular email clients? Is the writing free of typos and spelling errors? It’s worth checking — really checking – before you hit the send button.

Let’s wrap this up…

Clever creative and gorgeous email design is all well and good, but you can’t beat doing the simple things well. Remember the basics of email marketing and you will be on your way to festive outreach that gets results.

Have additional tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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