Remember the days when the festive shopping period had two real booms: the week running up to Christmas day, and on January 1st when the sales started…? Me too, but those days have long gone. Not only have we changed when we shop, but also how we shop, with more of the UK population shopping online than ever before.
In 2014, the UK took on the traditional American pre-sale festive sale dates, adding Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Manic Monday to the UK calendar, and what an addition they were! Our Festive Insights Report shows Black Friday alone saw 181 million visits to retail sites with an estimated £810m spend, with Cyber Monday not far behind with 161 million visits and an estimated spend of £720m – making them the two biggest online shopping days of 2014. With this year’s Black Friday spending predicted to rise by almost a third to over £1bn, it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere.
*Key trend alert* – people are shopping faster and earlier… but what does this mean for retailers?
Well, retailers should be making the most of this opportunity and, as the number one preferred channel of communications from brands is email (70%)1, that will mean making the most of email marketing campaigns.
We all know that getting emails to the inbox is crucial for an effective email marketing program, yet 73% of companies still suffer deliverability problems2. Furthermore, 41% of them know that the biggest consequence of bad email deliverability is the inability to communicate with subscribers2. So here’s three ways to improve your deliverability and in turn your inbox placement rate:
Your email list is made up of consumers with very different behaviours towards your brand. Each person that doesn’t open or engage with your emails will have a negative effect on your sender reputation and can damage the delivery of emails to those who engage often, or who are your highest value email subscribers. Not everyone on your list should be treated the same - it’s important to understand who they are, how they behave towards you and how you should treat them. Ultimately, you want to maximise your emails’ chance of being opened, which will lead to you maintaining a good sender reputation and thus delivering to as many people on your list as possible.
Another factor that can have a negative impact on sender reputation is having a lot of invalid email addresses on your list. If this is the case, ISPs are given the impression that you have bad data collection practices and/or you aren’t ridding your list of hard bounces when they occur. As mentioned before, the lower your sender reputation score, the lower your deliverability and ultimately your email campaign success – don’t risk the delivery of your emails to your engaged subscribers by not looking at your list hygiene pre-send.
A great way to boost your sender reputation and thus deliverability is to get subscribers opening and engaging with your email, but how do you do that? Make it relevant! Retailers could have a wealth of insight on their customers – from contact details to what they buy, how much they spend and how often. So, in preparation for what’s going to be the biggest spending day of 2015, ensure you’re looking at the trends and sending your consumers emails about things they might actually want to buy, at a price they are likely to pay, and through the channel they most prefer to interact with you.
The 2015 email data quality trends report found that 33% of businesses don’t know how faulty their emails are but believe that at least 20% are invalid or inaccurate. To deal with this in the first instance, businesses should be cleaning their lists using email validation, and removing hard bounces as they occur. The problem is, marketing departments can’t stand the thought of cutting their list – even if the data is invalid!
By implementing an email validation solution at point of capture, marketers can ensure they are collecting email addresses they can begin and continue mailing to.
So, as this crucial time of year is fast approaching, I hope you agree that the quality of your email lists is of the utmost importance when it comes to deliverability and therefore campaign success.