Communicating with customers and prospects during the holiday season is more challenging than the rest of the year. Why? Because everyone is doing it! Just getting your message noticed is tough. Luckily, there are certain things you can do to cut through the clutter and get the results you want from holiday mailings whether you deliver them through the postal system or e-mail.
REGARDLESS OF HOW YOUR MESSAGE IS DELIVERED:
- Choose your list of recipients carefully. Your chances of getting messages read are greatly improved by sending them to people who would actually want to receive them.
- Use variable content and personalization to craft messages, images, and offers to match the personas of your audience.
- Write in a personal tone. Keep technical jargon and meaningless marketing talk to a minimum.
- Prominently display deadlines and calls to action to encourage rapid response.
- Clearly define for yourself the reason for sending each message. Include a call to action that supports this objective. Sending a general happy holiday greeting is fine if your goal is simply maintaining customer connections, but don’t expect it to ignite a surge in holiday sales activity.
FOR POSTAL DIRECT MAIL:
- Try color envelopes to make mail pieces stand out. Just be sure to follow USPS guidelines.
- Use jumbo postcards. Postcards have plenty of room for colorful photos and graphics with no envelopes to open. Your message will be seen.
- Postal permits and window envelopes scream “mass mailing”. Try using stamps on closed-face envelopes to make pieces appear more personal.
- Make your holiday mail piece look different from the mail you send the rest of the year. If recipients believe the contents are the same as previous mailings, your piece may go to the recycle bin unopened.
- Consider odd-shaped or dimensional mail, or envelopes with a lumpy item inside. They cost more to produce and mail, but pieces with interesting shapes usually outperform standard business envelopes.
- Spend as much time crafting the subject line as you do on the rest of the message. Subject lines have a huge influence on read/delete decisions. “Happy Holidays from ABC Company” isn’t compelling. Be more creative.
- Use responsive design techniques so emails are easily readable on any device. Test messages before sending using various email clients and platforms.
- Put compelling content towards the top, and make it stand out. Recipients may abandon messages that fail to get their attention early.
- Use a person’s name in the “from” line. If you don’t think recipients will recognize the individual, use a format such as “John Smith from ABC Company”.
- Be brief. Rambling emails do not get read. Avoid corporate versions of “recap of the year” type of messages that your distant relatives seem compelled to mail every season.
- Don’t put the most intriguing words of a long subject line at the end where they may not be seen. Inboxes may only display about 30 characters of the subject line.
- Don’t ignore the power of simple, text-dominant email messages. Beautiful images certainly have their place, but a message that concisely conveys an important or urgent fact can be extremely effective.
- Test all the links in an email. Make this one of last steps performed before sending. Landing pages or other resources may have moved or been corrupted since the initial design phase.
How do you get your holiday messages noticed? Share your holiday marketing best practices.