Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all posts from our UK team here.

Suddenly, the festive season is within touching distance.

You can almost smell the bread sauce, mulled wine and needles of the spruce tree. That means it’s time to execute your carefully planned Holiday email marketing strategy. The one that will light the way to festive sales as effectively as Rudolph illuminates the night for Santa. At least that’s the plan, right?

But wait.

In the frenetic, frantic run up to Christmas it’s easy to forget a few email marketing basics. (Seriously, we hear horror stories every year.) And forgetting the staples of email marketing could really hurt the effectiveness of your campaign. Not good. Not good at all.

Here are a few quick pointers to keep self-sabotage at bay.

 1.  Make it easy for people to recognise you

For most consumers, familiarity with the name of the sender is the number one reason they open. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The average person gets bombarded with emails every day. As they navigate the battlefield of their inbox, a familiar name is normally the difference between your email being opened and getting hurled towards the trash can.

So take a moment to double-check what it says in your sender field. We’d recommend using your business name, but if you have been consistently using something different now is not the time to change. Occasionally the sender field can default to an email address, so open up your email software and take a look. It pays to be sure.

 2.  Get the subject line right

If the sender name is the most important element of your email, the subject line runs a close second. Taking the time to get it right will pay dividends. (Metaphorical ones, of course.) Unfortunately, there are few hard and fast rules when it comes to subject lines. Myriad factors are at play and, ultimately, your subject line should be driven by context.

Having said that, the following is generally considered best practice:

  • A total of 50 characters or fewer
  • Don’t repeat anything from the sender field
  • Absolutely no typos or spelling mistakes
  • Seriously, typos suck
  • Don’t be too salesy or spammy

Pro tip: split test your email subject lines to boost your open rates.

 3.  Make sure your email is mobile-friendly

If you are drilled on this, bask in a moment of self-satisfaction and move to the next point. If not, heed our words.

Your emails simply must be optimised for mobile. We’ll repeat it until we’re blue in the face (and not from the winter chill). Not sure how to optimise for mobile? We have a range of mobile-friendly email templates to choose from.

 4.  Don’t pack your emails with too much content

Christmas is prime time for gorging on food. Don’t ask your reader to do the same with your content.

You are privileged to be in your reader’s inbox. If they open your email, you can bet your Christmas turkey that this person does not want to read reams and reams of content. Chances are they are browsing on their smartphone during a few stolen moments while the kettle boils. Their mind is most likely somewhere between sweating about work deadlines, panicking about Christmas shopping and fantasising about putting their feet up with mulled wine and a good Christmas film.

Bottom line: Get in. Get to the point. Get out.

Let’s wrap this up…

A lucid email marketing campaign is a wonderful thing. But to give your campaign the best possible chance of success, it’s essential to remember the basics:

  • Make sure you are instantly recognisable from your sender field
  • Spend time perfecting your send title – with a total of 50 characters or fewer
  • Make sure your email displays properly on mobile devices
  • Respect your reader’s time and be concise with your content

Editor’s Note: For relevance and accuracy, this post was updated on November 1, 2019