It’s the most wonderful profitable time of the year!

If you’ve already kicked into full gear for holiday planning, you’re off to a great start. Careful planning in advance of the busy season is the best way to boost holiday sales and keep yourself from going crazy!

Many brands have started to launch their holiday emails earlier in the year to account for consumer demand – 8 percent start in August, 15 percent in September and 33 percent in October. So now is the time to plan out your themes and promotions, organize your calendar, line up your writers and designers (or calendarize when you’re going to do all the work yourself), and find those fun holiday GIFs to include in your emails.

But what good are those emails you’re spending countless hours on if they’re not getting opened? We’ve put together some tips that will help you increase engagement and revenue for your business this holiday season.

Check Your List… And Check It Twice

As a Mom, I like to purge before the holidays roll around. I know there’s a lot more stuff that will be making its way into my home, which means it’s time to get rid of the things we don’t need. Apply this thinking to your email list as well!

Before you start sending your holiday campaigns, take the opportunity to separate out subscribers who haven’t engaged with or opened your emails in a while.

Re-Engage Your Audience

But wait … before you just delete those unengaged subscribers, add them to a re-engagement campaign. Send them an email asking if they’re interested in receiving emails from you in the future. This will help you make sure that you’re not getting rid of people who really do want your content, but maybe just haven’t had the chance to open your emails recently. Here’s a great example of a re-engagement email that the AWeber team sends:

Then, once you’ve done all that you can do, remove the subscribers who did not opt to stay on your email list. This will increase your open rates and decrease spam complaints – which will helps your overall engagement and deliverability.

Click-Worthy Subject Lines

Okay, so now you know you’re sending to the right list. But how can you get more people to open? Subject lines are key for increasing opens. Here are 5 tips on how you can optimize your subject lines:

  • Look at your own inbox! Go back to emails you received last year and figure out what made you act. Was it a word? A phrase? An offer? Think about the psychology behind the click, and figure out how to apply that to your business. Sometimes the best inspiration comes from experiences in your own life.
  • Emojis are a thing… get on the bandwagon. Okay, okay. So you might not be a fan (or maybe you’re just exhausted from hearing your kids talk about them), but the emoji trend is here to stay. Use emojis to add a little personality to your subject lines while aligning them to your theme. Plus, emojis are a great way to make your subject lines stand out from crowded inboxes.
  • Create a sense of urgency. Key phrases like “Don’t Miss Out”, “Sale Ends Soon”, or “Limited Time Only” create a need for the customer to act quickly or even instill FOMO (fear of missing out). Use this as a way to pique interest and create engagement with your email.
  • Use themes and incentives. Whatever your holiday promotion is,market it in your subject line. Discounts, unique products, top selling performers… these incentives will make your audience excited to open your email. You can even try a mystery offer to get people intrigued about what you’ve got up your sleeve. Either way, position your offers and products in a way that creates a need to know more.
  • Get personal. If you segment your list, use offers and subject lines that you know are a good fit for that segment. If not, small tweaks like using the word “you” or adding your subscribers’ names into the subject line can help you create a more friendly and welcoming message.


No Spamming!

The last thing you want to do this holiday season is start spamming people with emails and hurting your deliverability. What is spam? If anyone who receives your mass emails did not specifically ask to hear from you, then you are spamming them. That means no buying lists! And making sure you are confirming opt-ins when people sign up for your list.

Post Holiday Plan

If you’re planning your editorial calendar for the holiday, it’s important to continue your planning through the new year to take advantage of the awesome engagement you’re already getting. Plan post-holiday themes and sales to keep people coming back! Plus, a regular email cadence will help you continue to build your engagement rates (which is great for deliverability) and will help keep your business top-of-mind for potential buyers. Here’s a great example of a post-holiday email promotion celebrating the new year:

Ready to start building emails? Keep the momentum going by exploring tips and tricks on making your emails stand out this holiday season. Here’s to a successful holiday season for your business. Cheers!

This post was originally published in our Holiday Resource Guide by Rebecca Pollard, digital marketing strategist for AWeber. Get additional tips on driving more sales this holiday season in the guide.

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