Just last week, I walked out of a store and got in my car only to discover a few miles down the road that I was cheerfully humming “Silver Bells.” Christmas music already? You bet, and now is the time to focus your efforts on holiday email campaigns that deliver the goods. Without further ado, here are my top ten email practices that will determine whether your subscribers put you on the naughty or nice list.

Naughty: Ramping up email frequency without fair warning.

Your subscribers have come to expect messages from you at a consistent frequency. Start increasing that frequency without telling them and they’re likely to dump you in the spam folder.

Nice: Ask for permission if you plan to change sending frequency.

Or better yet, give subscribers the option to set preferences. Segment your list so that those who opt in can receive daily holiday reminders, while other subscribers can still receive emails at the intervals they’re used to.

Naughty: Sending fluff emails, just because.

Your subscribers already have to wade through more email than normal at this time of year. Don’t waste their time with holiday greetings that provide no benefit.

Nice: Include a clear benefit and call to action in every email.

Make sure the subject line communicates the benefit and that customers can take action directly from the email.

Naughty: Ignoring mobile users.

As the number of people using mobile devices to check email increases, so does the frustration caused when your email doesn’t display properly on the subscriber’s iPhone or other smart device.

Nice: Design your email for mobile screens.

Include a call to action that can be viewed without enlarging and make sure subscribers can easily access a mobile version of your website.

Naughty: Failing to communicate shipping policies.

Shipping makes a big difference for most online holiday shoppers, and failure to communicate can result in lost sales.

Nice: Promote special holiday shipping offers in your email subject line or state clearly in the body of the email.

Free shipping can make the difference between a lead and a completed sale, so highlight it if you have it. If you don’t, it’s still a good idea to provide a clear link to your shipping policy.

Naughty: Failing to follow through post-holiday.

Don’t leave subscribers hanging on December 26th. Post-holiday needs should comprise an essential part of your holiday email campaign strategy.

Nice: Communicate post-holiday specials clearly and promptly.

Return policies, clearance sales, and New Year’s resolution targeting can all be appropriate elements of your late December and early January email strategy.

Let eConnect Email help you keep your email campaign on the nice list this year by taking advantage of our customizable templates, list segmentation, deliverability, and tracking data. Eggnog, anyone?

About amy:
Associate Editor and Blogger, eConnect Email; Business Consultant, HMG Creative; Texas Ex, PR Grad, Not-too-shabby chef, Hearts mini chi weenie, Snoopy D. Follow her on Twitter @AmyKauffman