email deliverability

5 Holiday Best Practices for Increased Email Deliverability

‘Tis the season… for email marketing campaigns to ramp up! Which means increased promotions, increased email volume, and, unfortunately, increased subscriber fatigue. How do you ensure that your emails stay on your email subscribers’ “Nice” list, keeping your email deliverability rates high, and don’t migrate onto the “Naughty” list – resulting in unsubscribes or worse? Here are five simple but powerful holiday-themed email marketing best practices to keep in mind:

1) Fulfill email frequency wishes: This is the most important thing you can do as an email marketer to honor and respect your subscribers’ wishes. And yet it’s one of the most flagrantly abused by many email marketers, especially around the holiday season. If your subscriber requested once/weekly emails from your business, store, or organization, just because ’tis the shopping season, does not also equate to ’tis the time to flood email inboxes. At this time of year, email subscribers are already inundated with more than the normal volume of catalogs, circulars, newsletters, and donation requests in both direct mail and email. The last thing you want to do is annoy your email subscribers with too many emails, especially if they specifically requested the frequency with which they want to hear from you. Honor their wishes and your email deliverability will benefit.

2) Surprise your subscribers: Holiday shoppers are looking for great deals and special savings at this time of year: it’s your opportunity to think of fun and creative ways to offer it to them. Another boring 10% off promotion won’t cut it… this yawn of a sales email results in a “delete” without a second thought! But today I just had an interesting offer hit my inbox that taps into the joy of unwrapping presents because everyone likes a surprise: “unwrap your secret offer to save over 50%!” The code is valid only upon checkout, but I’m already guaranteed a 50% savings, making the offer highly attractive. The added surprise of an additional discount of who knows how much more off just makes it irresistible.

3) Spread holiday cheer: Take this special time of year to be fun, whimsical, and make your subscribers smile. A crowded email inbox means there’s less patience on your subscribers’ part for clicking through and reading. Are your subject lines informative while also inspiring positive feelings or a nostalgic memory? Think of ways to make your email marketing campaign stand out from the rest, and you’ll increase your email deliverability and, ultimately, your email ROI this holiday season.

4) Make a list and check it twice: Email deliverability relies upon sender reputation. Check yours now and take note of where you can improve. Can you improve your email content relevance? Have you segmented your list for increased specificity?  Are you developing targeted email campaigns for different subscriber populations?

5) Inspire with merry and bright designs: Make sure your designs are eye-catching, clean, and fun. Do your emails render well on mobile and tablet, as well as desktop clients? Are they holiday-themed but are any pictures or image files streamlined for quick loading? Keep it simple and be sure to test your designs for effective rendering. What do your emails look like in the preview pane? Always keep in mind your subscribers’ behavior path and design to lead them all the way through to conversion: Preview, Open, Scan/Read, Engage, Convert.

Keeping these five holiday-themed email marketing best practices in mind this season will ensure you’ll sail through the holidays with high email deliverability rates and increased conversions!

Published On: December 5th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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