The turkey is the perennial symbol of the particularly American holiday known as Thanksgiving but as an email marketer the last thing you want to be known by your customers as is that big breasted waddled bird. To ensure that your brand isn’t seen as a turkey this Thanksgiving, make sure you never ever commit these top five email marketing mistakes this holiday season that announce to the whole world that indeed you are a turkey. Gobble gobble…

  1. Wassail your customers. We all want our email missives to stand out but you have to be very careful to holster that hype-y sales pitch in your subject lines or you’ll be standing out alright, but as a spammer. Your customers are being [w]assailed by all sorts of exhortations to Buy Buy Buy this holiday season so you’re going to be much better off if you adopt the caring, soft-sell approach. Asking if your customer is seeking the perfect gift, would like some very special gift ideas, or would be amenable to an attractive holiday offer will be far better received as a subject line than “Max Out Your Credit Card & Buy It Right Now!”
  2. Squash your layouts. In the mad rush to ensure that your email messages can be properly read on screens the size of the aforesaid credit card without resorting to the evil horizontal scrolling, many online marketers are producing emails which look like a telephone pole when displayed on anything but a mobile device. Although the online world seems to have forgotten about them, there are still hundreds of millions of people around the world who still engage in the nostalgic activity of reading emails on a computer display (remember those?) Embracing Responsive Web Design will ensure that your email will be properly rendered on everything from a 3 inch to a 30 inch screen.
  3. Carve with a dull knife. If you’re not carving up your email list into easy bite-sized segmentation chunks, you’re engaging in the “one size fits nobody” strategy of email marketing the way it was in 1620. You can emigrate far beyond the common segmentation groups of gender, age, and geography by exploring the New World of behavior based categorization by leveraging all of the data you can obtain on what your customers do and when they do it. Try targeting your customers according to reviews they’ve written, where they had last year’s gifts shipped to, how often they buy and whether their purchases are seasonal, what their percentage of cart abandonment is, and even implement heat maps to determine key information from where they park their cursors!
  4. Squanto opportunities. You can get so embroiled in your own email marketing campaign’s holiday themery that you can end up burying the all-important call to action (CTA) amidst the flurry of holiday offers, therefore Squanto-ing great conversion opportunities. Especially during the holidays, your customers are busier and more distracted than ever so they are going to appreciate a very clear and straight-forward CTA which allows them to get to the point of the email and take advantage of your offer. Lose ‘em in the maize. Once they have responded to your CTA are you leading them down a confusing and frustrating ma[i]ze to a landing page that’s either non-descript or is loaded down with more trimmings than a lottery winner’s Thanksgiving dinner table? If your landing pages are not echoing the holiday theme set up by your email you could be flummoxing your customers as they might think that they have stumbled onto the wrong page, or if you’re overdoing it with the holiday gimcrackery, they might take in too much and fall into a tryptophan slumber.
    By learning from these top five email marketing mistakes, you’ll make sure that you can get into a fair fight with your competition without engaging in fowl language or getting the stuffing knocked out of you. So be the baste you can be, start a drum roll with your drumsticks and be like the turkey who crossed the road and show the world that you’re not chicken.