How are you thinking about deliverability this holiday season?
Send more emails, make more money.
This is a common mantra from a lot of brands these days – one needn’t look further than their own inbox to take notice that during the holiday season, brands are sending out a lot of email to a lot of people. In our experience, it’s not uncommon for brands to want to reach back out to even their most inactive subscribers during the holiday season.
And who could blame them? Many brands do a huge amount of business during the holiday rush in November and December, and email is still one of the most powerful tools to publicize sales and bring customers to websites and apps.
But there’s a cost to sending so many emails, and it’s not necessarily apparent from just looking at the total number of sales you get – sending email to long-inactive users could land all of your marketing emails in spam folders.
Over the years, more and more email providers like Gmail and Yahoo take a holistic approach when evaluating where a sender’s emails land for the end user.
If you’re sending lots of emails to lots of inactive users and you’re seeing your open and click rates suffer, some of that might be because many of your emails aren’t making it to the inbox at all.
When we think about email segmentation and deliverability, it’s a question of risk vs. reward. Users who have recent activity (a valid open or click, for instance), are low risk and generally reap the highest rewards – these are the users who are most likely to make a purchase. On the other end of the spectrum, users who haven’t opened an email in more than six months tend to represent high risk and low reward because generally, they’re less likely to convert, and they may ding your overall email reputation, affecting even users who regularly open and click your emails.
While there is no guaranteed way to ensure that all of your emails land in the inbox, there are steps you can take with your segmentation approach to get the most value from your email list while taking a more calculated approach to the risks you’re taking with inactive users.
These are several things we like to think about when taking a smart approach to segmentation that yields the best results:
- How long has it been since a user clicked one of your brand’s emails?
- How long has it been since a user opened one of your brand’s emails?
- If a user hasn’t opened or clicked recently, how long has it been since a user signed up for your email program?
- When did a user last make a purchase?
- Is the user engaged on another channel like SMS or your mobile app?
- Has a user been visiting your site?
- Has a user ever had any activity at all in their history with your brand?
In the world of lifecycle marketing, we’ve seen time and time again that reducing volume can sometimes yield better revenue numbers due solely to the fact that smarter segmentation typically yields better sales numbers.
Look beyond open and click rates – sending to active users will surely pump up these numbers – and look at the raw number of people who open and click an email.
Oftentimes, a better segmented message can yield not just improved open and click rates, but also more users who open and click because high risk users have been taken out of the equation.
Are you thinking hard about how you’ll segment for holiday? We’d love to help you devise a smart strategy for sending email that helps you drive better results during the holiday season and beyond.