With the election only a few weeks away, marketers may find that inboxes are crammed with email in the swing states.
That’s only one of the issues brands are coping with due to a heated political season, the COVID-19 pandemic and a digital holiday surge, according to Black Friday/Black Monday Special Edition, a paper by Essence of Email.
Ancient direct-marketing wisdom dictated that elections and the Olympics depressed direct-mail response, but that old rule may not apply this year.
Indeed, the “sharp increase in email sending frequency that happened during the depths of the coronavirus scare showed across the industry that consumers tolerate more emails than previously thought,” writes Heath Weaver, managing director of Essence of Email.
The downside is that email delivery will be a hurdle. The paper predicts that “the inboxing rate will decrease during the holiday season,” and adds that this is likely to hit firms without proper sending procedures and protective setups.
The reason is that shoppers “will not resume in-store shopping, so email communication regarding digital deals will be paramount to retail success,”states Matt Wolosz, vice president of sales at TowerData, according to the paper.
Here are some tips for getting your email delivered during this triple-threat period, courtesy of Essence of Email.
First, don’t try to email your entire list at once. Break it down into tiered segments based on such criteria as engagement frequency.
Start with the people who regularly interact with your brand, then move down the list to shoppers who aren’t so engaged.
Next, watch out for your sent times. Email service providers can be overloaded during periods of high traffic.
The paper advises: “Don’t schedule emails on-the-hour, but opt for quarter to or past the hour instead (for example, 6:15 p.m. instead of 6:00 p.m.).
Also, watch out for your cadence — don’t send emails to people who got one four, six or eight hours ago.
In addition, limit the number of emails you send at once — to 25% or 50% of your list each hour — to avoid being rejected by service providers.
Don’t overlook compliance — empowered by laws like GDPR, governments worldwide are cracking down on purported privacy violations. For instance, Australia fined a retailer AUD 1 million for “spamming” over 1.2 million consumers. This sort of problem can be avoided with double opt-in.
Finally, remember that "options will vary depending on your brand’s needs, the type of product you’re selling, the audience you’re trying to reach, and many other things."