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Holidays Are Coming – Are You Making the Most of September Campaigns?

October is now the start of holiday season, which means this month is your last opportunity to make changes that will impact holiday revenue.

When I was a kid, the holiday season started when the Hallmark store at the mall set up the ornament display. Now that ornaments go on display in July and marketers start prepping for holiday in May, every month has a holiday preparation goal. This month  has two important goals: increasing the engaged file, and improving conversion rates. 

Redefine Engagement to Increase the Engaged File

An open is just the tip of the iceberg. An email received by a subscriber does not have to be opened to generate a sale or visit to your website or store. Consumer Surveys consistently show that between 30% and 40% of respondents mention “visit the company’s website via another route” as a likely response to an email.

That means instead of defining your engaged segment by how recently they opened, you could benefit from widening and deepening your definition of engaged for every metric. 

So instead of Engaged segment = Opened <90 or 180 days

Try treating other segments as active whether they opened or not, for example:

  • Click <180 or 360 days
  • Site visit < 180 or 360 days
  • Purchased last Holiday Season

Holiday season frequency and volumes are high enough that it pays to treat them as a formula, balancing wide and narrow sends to your lists. Changing your definitions of engaged subscribers will have a big impact on your send volume throughout the holiday season as it changes the list size of your narrow sends – and that trickles down to your revenue numbers. 

‍Improve Conversion Rates Through Your Best Triggers

It’s great to talk about sending more email, in a thoughtful way, to your engaged subscribers. But there are also significant gains to be had by looking at your smallest sends – triggers. 

About 50% of all revenue attributed to email automation comes from two trigger types – cart and browse abandon. 

You almost certainly have a cart abandon trigger, and it is worth taking a look at it to see if there are opportunities to make it work harder. Infusing next logical product promotions, progressive profiling, and engagement devices like quizzes to help confirm product options are all good candidates to explore if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to take a look at timing as well, in case you have opportunity here.  

No matter how much emphasis we have placed on opens and clicks as indicators of engagement, email drives a lot of purchase behavior in other channels. Browse abandonment triggers are a very powerful way to ensure browsers are identified and converted. 

Some of the same opportunities exist for browse abandonment triggers as for cart abandon triggers, and these are an easy first step. The second step is to make sure you expand the audience for browse abandonment as wide as possible. Tools such as Retention.com and LiveIntent exist to help identify browsers who are in your list but aren’t identifiable by you during their browsing session because they aren’t logged in. Adding these tools will help you increase holiday revenue by boosting your reach.

October is now the start of holiday season, which means this month is your last opportunity to make changes that will impact holiday revenue. Any time spent improving the conversion rates of those triggers over the next four weeks will pay huge dividends AND increase your overall conversion numbers.

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