4 Ways to Increase Email Open Rate This Holiday Season

Lifecycle Marketing

Do you feel like your inbox is absolutely clogged with pre-Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Christmas sales and deals? Are you so overwhelmed that you don’t even open those emails? 

You’re not alone. A study conducted by Yes Lifecycle Marketing tracked nearly eight billion emails sent in Q4 2016 and found that holiday-themed emails generated a 14.6 percent lower open rate than business-as-usual emails. As a consumer, you’re tired of seeing the same subject lines—such as “Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year,” “Premium super sale for Black Friday,” and “Holiday-ready sales.” 

As a brand, what can you do to stand out? Think like you are the consumer of your product or service and think about what would get YOU to open a holiday-themed email. Here are four tips for actually getting people to click on your holiday emails in their inboxes.

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1. Get festive and creative with call-to-actions (CTAs).

Make your readers feel like you’re giving them a present in your CTA. Subjects like “Claim your holiday gift now” or “Free gift with purchase” intrigue readers to click on your email. Puns can go a long way as well, such as “Season’s eatings!” for a food-centric business or “Fleece Navidad” for a clothing company. 

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2. Create a sense of urgency.

Utilize a countdown if you’re promoting a sale—such as “Last chance to take 25 percent off before the holidays” or “This 30-day challenge will keep you toned during the season of eating”—and use a strong pre-header to tease the promotion. The pre-header is the support your subject line needs. Generally, you want your subject line to be short, sweet, and powerful, so you should absolutely use that extra room to describe what you’re selling and get your point across.

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3. Ask your consumers the obvious.

Rhetorical question subject lines can really get your audience to tune into your email if done correctly. Although the question may seem rhetorical, going the extra mile to provide answers helps minimize any confusion your readers might have and solidifies that they’ll receive the solutions they were looking for. If you’re an e-commerce brand, think of what your customers may be struggling with before the holidays, and create a subject line like “Struggling with Christmas gifts? Help is here!” 

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4. Turn up the excitement factor!

Use the first name tag to speak directly with your audience members—such as “Hey Susan! We’re thankful for you this season. Here’s 20 percent off your next purchase.” It’s a do-good, feel-good holiday campaign and subject line that will at least increase your email open rate, if not your product sales. 

If you’re looking for other ways outside of personalization to create excitement around your email, test out the use of emojis and see if they get a higher open rate for your audience. Don’t just throw a number of random emojis into the subject line, though. Make sure the emojis you’re choosing make sense for the holiday or product/service you’re promoting. 

To summarize the above, you basically want to craft a subject line that will give your audience FOMO if they don’t open your email. Just like no one wants to miss out on a turkey that’s fresh out of the oven or a surprise present under the tree, no one wants to miss out on a clever product or service sale from a brand they’re already interested in. For more email marketing tips tailored to your brand, check out some additional holiday marketing insights below and fill out the free consultation form (also below) to speak directly with Hawke Media marketing pros today!  

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