‘Twas the week before Christmahanakwanzika and all through office
Not an employee was emailing, not even in marketing;
The empty templates were all lonely and bare,
In hopes that someone soon would put an email in there.

Whether you want to believe it or not, Christmas is next week – stay calm, deep breaths … it’s going to be OK. While you’ve been busy crossing items off of your holiday to-do list, you might have forgotten about a holiday email marketing campaign. Don’t be alarmed, Flying Cork is here to deck your marketing halls with a festive email plan!

But there’s no time to waste – let’s get to these tips with feverish haste.

Jingle bell, jingle bell, make your subject line rock!

To open an email or not to open an email – that’s the question a good subject line can answer. Let it be known that your email could have the most thought-provoking, awe-inspiring content that has ever graced the internet but, if you don’t have a subject line that catches your audience’s attention, chances are that amazing piece of writing will never be seen. When you’re putting together your email marketing strategy, realize that email volumes increase greatly during the holiday season. So your subject line has to grab your readers’ attention and convince them to open your email with as much excitement as they would when opening a present on Christmas morning.

Dashing through the clutter with a mobile-friendly template!

Each year, more and more online traffic is coming from mobile devices. This holds true especially during the holiday season, when users are dashing from store to store, and party to party. As consumers are increasingly using their tablets and smartphones to consume email, now more than ever, it’s imperative that you make your holiday marketing emails mobile-friendly. Here’s how:

  • Beauty is in the eye of the email consumer, and how your emails look on their mobile devices will decide how consumers react. Be sure to use templates that are mobile-friendly, which will help you more clearly get your message in front of your audience. On mobile devices, a standard template with multiple columns usually appear either condensed or jumbled – neither of which you want. To avoid this issue, use a single-column template or one that’s built with mobile in mind, which can be viewed on a variety of mobile devices all the while simplifying your design.
  • Though mobile marketing is getting bigger and better, everything on mobile devices continues to stay smaller. This includes images and, of course, the font. If Stuart Little has to squint to read your email, consider making your font larger. Examples of web-friendly fonts are Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman or even Verdana.

I’m dreaming of a call to action…

So, your reader’s interest has been piqued by your subject line. They clicked on your email and landed on a mobile-friendly message that’s clear, concise and easy to read. Now, what’s the next step in this process? No matter what time of the year, but especially during the holiday season, a strong call-to-action (CTA) is a key piece of your email marketing campaign. Since we’re talking about the holidays, perhaps your CTA could prompt your users to redeem a deal, or maybe it’ll direct them to a link that highlights your best-selling products. Whatever the case may be, the CTA must be eye-catching. When creating a mobile-friendly CTA, use a button that is at least a 40 pixel x 40 pixel square; however, I suggest making the CTA button 75 pixels x 75 pixels. Also, make sure that your CTA is in a different color than the rest of your email template. The difference in colors will draw your reader’s eye right to the CTA – mission accomplished.

Have a holly, jolly email list

Finally, another important component to your holiday email marketing campaign is to clean up and segment your lists. Our email marketing specialist, Krystal Clark, wrote a blog post about email list hygiene – definitely worth a read.

Once you’ve done some holiday cleaning, it’s time to work your magic and segment that shiny new list in an effort to provide a more targeted message to each audience – maybe include a different CTA depending on the audience. Cleaning and segmenting your lists will in turn increase the likelihood that your target audience will take some sort of action.

After reading this blog, you sprang to your desk,
and away you began giving your email your best.
Using all four email tips with all of your might-
you wished your customers “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

 

Revisiting, creating or updating your website copy is an intimidating task, especially if you’re in an industry where writing creatively isn’t something you do every day. (Or think about … ever.) I know what happens: Once you get the sentences on paper, you start to overthink things. You’re worrying about every word: Wait…should I really use a contraction? What the heck is a semicolon for, anyway? Maybe you start to get lazy and just copy a paragraph from other sections here and there, thinking it won’t be a big deal if the same copy shows up twice. No one will notice, right? Wrong! Search engines will.

And chances are your audience will, too. Writing for the web differs from any other writing project you do on a daily basis, so you have to think about it differently. That might even mean – gasp! – defying typical conventions you thought were canon. Here are some of my favorite tips for writing web copy.

  1. The best thing you’ve got going for you is your own unique voice. Use it! Don’t think that just because you’re a subject matter expert, you have to talk like one. Instead, write to your audience as if you’re having a casual conversation with them. They’ll enjoy it much more than if the content was full of tongue-twisting technical jargon. Plus, search engines look favorably on conversational language rather than force-feeding your technical keywords to them. (More on that in point #6.)
  2. Avoid duplicate content across pages. You might be tempted to use some of the same copy on different pages because it seems relevant. However, this can really confuse both your audience and search engines. Remember, a search engine has one goal: to provide the best answer it can to a given query. If it’s looking at two identical answers, how does it know which one to display? It doesn’t—and it might think you’re actively trying to dupe the search engines, which can lead to ranking penalties. Just remember that each page should have its own dedicated topic. If you feel the need to duplicate your copy, re-evaluate your need for that page in the first place.
  3. Be a rebel. Feel free to do those things that your high school English teacher told you not to! For instance—you can use contractions. You can use second person. You can use exclamation points! You can even start a sentence with a conjunction if you’re feeling frisky. Just make sure it works and fits with your voice. Not sure if it does? Read it out loud. Does it feel okay? Did you trip over it? Take note and adjust.
  4. Make your content easy to skim. Don’t be afraid of bullet points or subheads. The truth is, people on the web scan. They want to quickly absorb information, so make it easy for them. However, keep in mind that there is a right and wrong way to use heading tags in code, and search engines take a critical look at what you think is important enough to be a header. So your headers will need to be tagged correctly (your web team will likely handle this part), and they need to contain the right content.
  5. Use active voice as much as possible. Quick English lesson: active voice means the subject of the sentence is performing the action. Passive voice means that the subject of the sentence is having the action performed on it. For example, active voice: Jen is writing this blog post. Passive voice: This blog post was written by Jen. Active voice is succinct, direct and to the point.
  6. Incorporate keywords into your content, but remember to write for people, not search engines. Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past, and it can get you into a heck of a lot of trouble if you’re trying to rank in Google. Revise content so that keywords will fit in naturally. When in doubt, go with a sentence a reader would enjoy, not a search engine.
  7. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Bad grammar or a poorly constructed sentence can look like keyword stuffing or gibberish to search engines (and people!).

Still having trouble? It could be time to let the experts take over. If you need help organizing your content or nailing down your content strategy, give Flying Cork a call!