Bah Humbug Could Your Holiday Emails Be Hurting You

Skip me if you’re sending out holiday emails, especially if we’ve never met. What you consider to be Seasons Greetings, I consider to be SPAM. And I have 512 such pieces in my inbox. I could have a part-time holiday job just opening them all.

And when I do open some of them and try to extend greetings of the season to you in return (it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?), the “To” box auto-fills itself with things like “[email protected]”, [email protected], [email protected] and so on. It makes me feel so special, I can’t tell you.  What were you hoping to achieve?

Holiday Spam Spirit?

Now yes, I get it. It’s a marketing thing and personalizing each one is too time consuming, especially when you’re targeting so many people. And it’s late in the season and all. But if that’s the case, what are you telling me? First that either you don’t want to be bothered with me on my terms or second that (and sorry for this, kind of) you’re too stupid to set yourself up to win. After all, even if your marketing message had been well-received by me, you would never even know.

But, hey, this only my opinion. There are e-mail experts who say that holiday greetings are excellent opportunities to develop deeper ties.  Here are some of their tips:

Eoghan McCabe, co-founder and CEO of Intercom, said: “Keep in mind that everyone is sending a holiday mail. How will yours be different? Make sure you're unique.” He also suggests that you consider sending an in app message instead.

“Keep it personal,” he added. “Holidays are about family and friends, peace and joy—it's a very personal concept to most folks. If there's a time to speak from the heart, it's now.” And by all means, he says, “Don’t use it as an excuse to spam and be self-serving. Think of a way to very genuinely offer your customers something, to invest in your relationship with them for the next year.”

Ryan Pinkham, content manager at Constant Contact, suggests that you share a story about how your family celebrates the holidays. “The holidays are a great time to make a more personal connection with the people who support your business,” he said.

Scott Hardigree, publisher of eMail Critic and founder of Email Industries and Indiemark, suggests that you invite consumers to make a wish list and share it online. “Encourage people to use it via your email marketing, then encourage them share their lists with loved ones who might be buying for them,” he said.

Gretchen Bulan, an inbound marketer at Modgility, said, “Make sure your email messages are responsive. Be sure customers on-the-go during the holidays can view your messages easily on their mobile devices. Understand that if viewers have difficulty viewing or interacting with your messages, you’ll lose them quickly. Make the investment in mobile technology.”

And, in case you didn’t send out holiday e-mails and wish you had, Pam Neely, owner of City Different Marketing, said online retailers might think about sending “Didn’t Get What You Wanted?’” promotions in January. “January is a big month for online retail sales. Your shipping and customer service team may be exhausted from the holiday sales, January sales can be well worth the extra work.”

Others suggest that featuring videos, gratitude lists and sharing recipes might be effective. 

Title image by jan zeschkyn  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.