Email best practice

Deliver the goods with good delivery

Maintaining a decent delivery rate can be hard enough at the best of times in email marketing, but it becomes increasingly difficult when you factor in busy sales periods like Black Friday or the festive period. Black Friday used to be just the one day, then Cyber Monday and you couldn’t do a whole lot of damage to your reputation across two days. But now companies have found to compete in the crowded retail market their campaign needs to span weeks, if not the whole month! That is a lot of emails for one person to get from a company and imagine how many they will get from all the marketing they are signed up to!

Deliverability tips

In a normal state of play, the best way to keep your email hygiene as tip top as possible may include the following:

  • Ensure you have correctly configured SPF, DKIM and DMARC records set up for your domain otherwise your emails may get quarantined or outright rejected and your delivery rate will plummet.
  • Ensure permanent bounces and all unsubscribers are removed.
  • Be willing to remove persistent soft bounces – they will never engage and only do harm to your send reputation.
  • You can sign up to receive the complaints back from such ISPs as Hotmail and Yahoo e.g. people hitting the “This is Spam” button and remove those.
  • Be willing to remove people that haven’t engaged with you for a particular period, e.g. 1 year, as again these emails will only harm your sender reputation and aren’t interacting with your emails. You can always attempt to re-engage them with reactivation campaigns.
  • Ensure you have a regular, steady flow of emails going out for ISPs to recognise the pattern from you which keeps them happy. Sudden changes, like massive volume spikes, may make them suspicious and less inclined to deliver your emails.
  • Targeting your users with personalised content is better than the “spray and pray” method to everyone. The engagement rates will be much higher and keep your sender reputation in good health. AI and data analysis can help you divine much about your users and only send them campaigns about things they actually like.

The above are a must for good delivery rates and list hygiene. But you may need to go a little further to survive busy sales periods unscathed.

A delivery tightrope walk

To ensure you get the best out of your sales campaigns whilst maintaining the health of your mailing list is no doubt a perilous balancing act. The temptation could be to send to as many people as many times as possible through fear of missing someone, but this method could have a disastrous effect on your sender reputation if complaints and unsubscribes come in their droves.

If you stop delivering to everyone, you are going to start missing out.

So what can be done?

Step 1: Warm up your IPs

The best thing you can do in the lead up to big sales events and an anticipated rise in email volume is to gradually increase your normal volumes and/or frequencies so there are no big spikes when the big push comes. If you want to know more about how this works, see our Black Friday-specific tips.

Step 2: Get your user preferences

Ask your users what they want! You will save a percentage of the data you would otherwise have lost if you provide a preference centre (even a temporary one) so your users can say how often they want to hear from you and on what topics (or even if they want to at all during the sales frenzy that is Black Friday). You may end up sending to fewer recipients as a result, but you should be sending them stuff they want which should increase engagement, reduce opt-outs and give your sender reputation a boost to keep your delivery rates ticking over.

Step 3: Stand out from the crowd

If people are receiving email after email that’s just piling up in their inbox, you need to stand out and be relevant to them. Getting people to engage with your emails is one of the best ways of maintaining a solid sender reputation and increase the chances of getting your email into the inbox, and not sidelined to a secondary tab, or worse, the dreaded spam folder. This will involve well crafted subject lines and as many tricks as you can rustle up, for example, why not check out Gmail’s promotion tools?

Step 4: Resend to non-engagers

With the aforementioned ever-growing pile of emails in people’s inboxes, even if you’ve done your best to get your customer’s attention you still may get missed. There is no harm in a second bite of the cherry by way of a resend to non-engagers, perhaps with a shiny new subject line, but this may well be a juggling act once again. You will inevitably pick up more unsubscribers for every send you make, which is an unavoidable hard truth in the art of email marketing, so you need to weigh up acceptable losses versus potential gains to work out the best strategy for you.

Forewarned is forearmed – you know how customers will feel throughout intense sales periods so make sure you do everything you can to keep them happy and nurture your relationship with them. Even if it feels like your strategies lead you to sending less than the maximum number of emails, the quality will be better and should produce better results whislt maintaining your list hygiene and see you through unscathed.

Email Marketing

Supercharge your holiday marketing with these 5 email automations

The holiday season is a magical time for consumers and critical businesses. For marketers, it’s a period when customer interactions are at their peak, making it crucial to leverage every available tool for success. One such tool that often goes underutilized is email automation. Email automations, when optimized with a holiday twist, can be a game-changer for your marketing strategy. In this article, we will explore the power of email automations during the holiday season and how giving them a festive makeover can significantly boost engagement and conversion rates.

Harnessing the power of email automations

Email automations have become a staple in modern marketing strategies. They allow businesses to send personalized and timely messages to their audience, triggered by specific customer interactions. However, one common pitfall is the “set and forget” mentality, where these automations are left running without adjustments. During the holidays, this approach can lead to missed opportunities.

1. Abandoned cart – festive reminders to increase conversions

Abandoned carts are a pain point for e-commerce businesses year-round, but during the holiday season they can be especially frustrating. Fortunately, holiday-themed email automations can work wonders in recovering these potential sales. By capitalizing on the festive shopping mood, you can send reminders with a touch of holiday magic. Include enticing offers, limited-time discounts, or even free gift-wrapping to entice customers to complete their purchase.

It’s important to note that holiday shoppers are often in a rush, so your abandoned cart emails should create a sense of urgency. Highlight shipping deadlines to ensure that gifts arrive on time, thus motivating hesitant shoppers to finalize their purchases.

2. Browse abandonment – nurturing engagement with festive flair

During the holiday season, customers often browse through products without making an immediate purchase. This presents an excellent opportunity to convert their passing interest into sales. Your email automations can play a pivotal role in nurturing this curiosity with a festive touch.

Send follow-up emails showcasing the browsed items, along with holiday-themed product recommendations. Add a sense of urgency by mentioning limited availability or exclusive holiday offers. By doing so, you can turn those casual browsers into enthusiastic buyers who are excited to make a purchase.

3. Purchase anniversary – triggering a just in time brand engagement

Purchase anniversary emails are a highly effective automation that not many businesses utilize at all let alone during the holiday season. These emails remind past buyers of their previous holiday purchases, creating a sense of comfort and brand loyalty. By acknowledging their previous holiday purchases and offering relevant recommendations, you can drive repeat seasonal sales.

Furthermore, these emails can help position your brand as a thoughtful and customer-centric choice, which can pay off significantly during the holiday shopping frenzy.

4. Cross-sell and upsell – maximizing customer value with a holiday touch

Cross-selling and upselling are strategies that can substantially boost revenue during the festive season. When customers are already in the buying mindset, it’s the perfect time to suggest complementary or must-have holiday items. Email automations can play a pivotal role in executing these strategies effectively.

Craft personalized emails that recommend additional products based on the customer’s previous purchases or browsing history. Offer bundle deals, exclusive holiday collections, or limited-time promotions to entice customers to increase their order value. By adding a holiday touch to these offers, you can maximize customer value during the holiday shopping rush.

5. Welcome series – anticipating festive sales

Your welcome series is often the first interaction new subscribers have with your brand. It’s a prime opportunity to make a lasting impression, especially during the holiday season. Give your Welcome Series a holiday makeover to bring future sales forward by introducing new subscribers to upcoming holiday offerings and promotions.

Incorporate festive visuals, exclusive sneak peeks of holiday products, and enticing incentives to encourage new subscribers to make their first purchase sooner rather than later. By setting the holiday tone from the beginning, you can set the stage for increased engagement and conversions throughout the season.

Up-to-date holiday season e-commerce stats

Before diving into the holiday email automation makeover process, it’s essential to understand the current landscape. Here are some recent e-commerce statistics to highlight the importance of optimizing your email automations for the holiday season:

  1. Adobe expects U.S. online holiday sales to hit $221.8 billion this holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31), representing 4.8% growth YoY.
  2. Email marketing remains a potent tool during the holiday season, with e-commerce emails getting higher than average response.
  3. The importance of personalized and relevant emails cannot be overstated. According to Statista, personalized emails have an average open rate of 18.8%, compared to 13.1% for non-personalized emails.
  4. A survey by Marketing Sherpa found that 72% of consumers prefer email as their primary communication channel with brands.


The holiday season is a hectic and competitive time for marketers, but it’s also a period of immense opportunity. Email automation, when given a holiday makeover, can be a powerful tool to engage customers and drive conversions. Whether you’re recovering abandoned carts, nurturing curiosity, triggering repeat purchases, maximizing customer value, or welcoming new subscribers, there’s a place for holiday-themed email automations in your marketing strategy.

However, it’s crucial not to fall into the “set and forget” trap. To fully capitalize on the potential of holiday email automations, consider enlisting the help of a professional agency. Their expertise can ensure that your email campaigns stand out from the crowd and lead to a substantial lift in conversions. Don’t miss out on the festive frenzy—supercharge your holiday marketing with email automations and watch your business thrive during the most wonderful time of the year.

Elevate your holiday marketing with The Email Factory

While optimizing your email automations for the holiday season is undeniably valuable, it’s also a task that requires careful planning and execution. The holiday season is a busy time, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with other priorities. This is where we can make all the difference.

The Email Factory specializes in email marketing strategies and automation. We understand the nuances of holiday marketing and can tailor your email automations to maximize engagement and conversions during this crucial period. Here’s why you should consider working with the Email Factory:


The Email Factory is staffed with experienced professionals who understand the intricacies of email marketing. They stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices, ensuring that your email automations are optimized for success.


Every business is unique, and the Email Factory recognizes that. They will work closely with you to create personalized email automation strategies that align with your brand and target audience.


The holiday season is fast-paced, and timing is critical. The Email Factory can streamline the process, ensuring that your email automations are set up and ready to go precisely when they will have the most significant impact.

Maximizing ROI:

Investing in our expertise can lead to a substantial return on investment. By optimizing your email automations, you’re more likely to see increased conversions and revenue during the holiday season.