Navigating the Holiday Rush: How to Increase Content, Not Complaints
During the winter holidays, there is a fierce competition for attention in the inbox. Many marketers' first inclination is to increase their sending frequency in order to outmuscle other brands for mindshare, but is that the best option?
While this tactic can increase your presence in the inbox, it also can harm your email program by annoying your customers. Turning off prospective buyers isn't the biggest risk, either; generating more complaints can signal to mailbox providers that your messages are unwelcome, pushing them to reevaluate your sending reputation and potentially delivering your email to the spam folder.
Marketers who choose to increase their volume should mitigate this risk by doing more than simply sending a lot of mail. These ideas can help you stand out in the inbox during the holiday season, deliver more messages to your audience, and keep your seasonal program from damaging customer relationships during the rest of the year:
Unsurprise Your Audience
Increasing your sending volume suddenly can upset even the most loyal customer, and suddenly ramping up frequency without any warning can often lead to a rise in complaints and blacklistings. In a recent study, Return Path observed that 49 percent of blacklisting events occur during the holiday season. This is a terrible time to find yourself unable to get messages to consumers. To avoid surprising your subscribers, ask them for permission to send more. Even when they don't respond, they have advance notice that your messages will come more often. By asking customers to opt in to higher holiday frequency you lower the negative impact and stand out from competitors that who didn't bother to seek permission.
Tie Frequency to Benefits
If you offer clear value to receiving additional messages, your customers are more likely to appreciate them. Similar to the way you laid out program benefits during your initial signup process, you need to explain the benefits that increased holiday frequency will offer. Will the additional messages contain coupons? Personalized gift ideas? When asking permission to send more, make sure to offer more.