Retail Email Strategies To Help You Survive November

On your mark, get set… go! The holiday season is officially here, and email marketers everywhere are already feeling the pressure of the season, which is much like sprinting a marathon.  

Here are some tasks to consider to help make the most out of this critical time of year.

1. Inventory backup plan. Work with merchandisers to determine backup products for all emails. In case items are sold out right before campaigns are set to deploy, you’ll prevent a late-night scuffle. Make sure you preload the assets into your ESP, so that you’re set at a moment’s notice.

2. Ensure customer service teams are in-the-know. Most email marketers are rock stars when it comes to arming their front-line service teams with information, so keep up this tradition for the holidays.  Now is the time to make certain that your customer service teams understand when the highest volume campaigns will be going out the door. It's especially important to mention campaigns with limited-time offers. Better yet, give teams the ability to help close the sale over the phone, or email customers who have issues. This may mean giving out source codes in advance or having daily huddles with your customer service leadership teams to provide answers to FAQs that customers may have.



3. Pause some of your triggers. Some triggers just don’t make sense in November and December.  For example, items that are most likely purchased as gifts do not warrant sending a reviews email once the item has been delivered.  It could be weeks before the product is gifted, and you probably won’t have the contact information or the permission of the recipient to send the email.

You may have other triggers in place that could be giving away the big-secret gift to those who share an email address with a spouse.  Consider eliminating certain details on order and shipping confirmations, and even pausing communications that show specific products, to avoid sharing a secret.

4. Campaigns for this month. Several larger promotions are typically sent this month, such as Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday.  Be sure that these emails, which often contain lucrative offers, don’t bring your website down.  Work with your website manager to determine the hourly volume cap for email sends, and you’ll prevent a disaster.

By finalizing the groundwork for the holiday season, email marketers can reduce the number of hiccups that can turn a long day into a much lengthier one.  Not only that, you’ll be seen as a hero in your organization for driving revenue.  

What are some other tasks you plan on tackling this month to prepare for the chaos right around the corner? Let me know in the comments.

1 comment about "Retail Email Strategies To Help You Survive November".
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  1. Bill Kaplan from FreshAddress, Inc., November 5, 2015 at 11:14 a.m.

    Great suggestions, April, but one absolutely critical task is missing.

    Marketers (and spammers) send more email this time of year than any other. Even the most conservative marketers will find themselves digging deeper into older files in an effort to squeeze out more sales to make their quarters and bottom line look best at the end of the year. Accordingly, ISPs' spam filtering sensitivities are more trigger-happy than ever so as to handle the email volumes and issues that arise. 

    Given this difficult sending environment with each marketer struggling to be seen and read, the key to optimizing one's holiday marketing efforts lies in optimizing one's deliverability above all.

    To accomplish this, marketers must be more diligent than ever in cleaning, correcting, and validating the deliverability of their email lists BEFORE they hit the Send button. Spamtraps, honeypots, "role" accounts, heavy spam complainers, dormant addresses, and bounces will surely kill one's email marketing efforts if these are not caught up front.

    To learn more about how the leading marketers are ensuring their emails lists are SafeToSend, see

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