Holiday marketing is a powerful opportunity to reconnect with customers and boost sales. As the holiday season looks a bit different this year, it is crucial to communicate with your customers online. With over 300 billion emails sent daily, email marketing has become an essential marketing tool. If done correctly, it has a phenomenal impact on ROI, especially during the holiday shopping season. A simple $1 investment can give you a return of $40.

Here are five email marketing tips to drive sales and foster engagement with your audience for your holiday marketing campaigns:

1. Clearly define your email marketing goals

Setting measurable and attainable goals is crucial to email marketing success. After you clearly define your goals, continually monitor the performance of the campaign to determine your progress. A goal can be specific to a segmented audience or applicable to your whole community. For example, increasing the overall email open rate would apply to your entire subscriber base whereas driving the number of purchases for a recommended product can be specific to a segmented audience. Once a goal has been set, it is much easier to build engaging and personalized email content.

The top email marketing goals businesses should focus on to achieve success are driving conversions through engaging campaigns, building brand loyalty by sharing relevant resources with customers, and sharing discounts to drive sales.

2. Develop engaging email copy 

To create engaging content, it is essential to be clear and conversational. Ask yourself what your audience needs and how you can add value by sending an email. The copy should have a personality while being relevant to your brand. Take advantage of short paragraphs and bullet points, as you don’t want your audience to lose interest. Given the current context, it’s beneficial to remind customers of how appreciative you are of their support. A simple thank you or personal note can create an emotional connection that has a lasting and positive impact on your business.

3. Optimize your call-to-action to drive sales 

An on-brand email design captures the attention of your audience and guides them to your main message and call-to-action in the best possible way. Your design supports your content by keeping it structured, naturally drawing the reader’s attention to the call-to-action, and drives the click-through rate. A high click-through rate is a strong indicator that your email marketing campaign resonated with your audience. Call-to-actions can include “sign up,” “try for free,” “learn more,” “get started,” or as simple as “subscribe.”

4. A/B test to optimize your campaign 

A/B testing is a process when you test different versions of a web page, email, or other marketing assets to see how small changes can impact your results.  You choose what you want to test and compare results to find out what works and what doesn’t for your audience. Think of it like a competition, where you’re putting two versions of your assets against each other to see which comes out on top. This is a great way to find out how you can optimize your email campaigns. You can A/B test subject lines, content formats, and call-to-actions.

Variations of your email are tested on a small sample group in your contact list. Most email service providers have A/B testing available. This test usually takes between 4-12 hours. A winning version is determined based on what metrics you’re testing, usually open rate or click-through rate.

5. Segment your email list to personalize communications with your audiences

Not all customers are the same and can have different buyer personas. Segmentation allows you to divide your list into subcategories based on similarities such as age, location, purchase history, etc. Instead of sending an email to all your customers who identify as women, you can send an email to contacts who have opened your last two emails, live in the US, and identify as women. Being more specific means you will spend more time creating emails for different audience segments, but it will result in increased engagement because the content will be highly personalized.

Steffen Schebesta is the CEO of North America at Sendinblue

Holiday email marketing stock photo by legenda/Shutterstock