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3 Ideas To Keep Your Email Marketing Off The Naughty List

Nothing Says Christmas Like an Overstuffed Inbox

Remember the seasonal golf store in the mall that you bought a gift from last December? Chances are you haven’t heard from them all year but right now they are re-opening and it is just a matter of time before you start getting their weekly emails.

Or what about the big box stores? They’ve been tracking your purchases all year long so they can practically put together your wish list for you – to be arriving in your inbox soon.

So what’s a dealer to do who simply wants to get their newsletter or sales email opened during this busy season? Here are three ideas to keep your email marketing off the naughty list.

Christmas Count Down

What Counts recently published a study of last year’s holiday email marketing ( They noted that holiday email traffic picks up the week before Thanksgiving with the two weeks prior to Christmas being especially busy. So if it all possible, try to get your emails out early in the month, or wait until after Christmas.

They noted that Thursday had the highest open rates last holiday season and also the highest volume. Surprisingly, consumers are opening nearly as much email on Saturdays as they are on Thursdays, but marketers are shipping 60% less email on Saturdays. Consider sending your emails on the weekend if you’re sending close to the holiday.

Less is More

Make sure you are coordinating all of your outgoing email campaigns. While open rates overall decline in December, spam complaints increase. The easiest way to get your customers mad and hitting the spam button is sending too frequently – or sending a fruitcake.

I’ve worked with dealerships where the sales and service managers have no idea what each other is sending out. The last thing you want to do during a busy holiday season is fatigue your database by sending out a sales blast one day and a service offer the very next. An easy solution to this is to simply set up a Google docs calendar and have anyone who does an email campaign post their intended send date on the calendar. Not only does this avoid accidentally hitting your database too frequently, but it gives you a nice visual history of your campaign sends.

Check Your List Twice

Chances are you have people on your email list who haven’t opened an email from you in year or so, if ever. What are the chances that December will be the first time they open one? Not nearly as good as the chances that they’ll finally hit the spam button and get you out of their inbox for good.

Why not take a look at your list of inactives and if you’re not willing to pull them off your list permanently, at least consider taking them off the send list for December. You may actually see your inbox placement improve as you demonstrate to the email providers that a higher percentage of your list is engaged, opening and clicking on your emails.

Have any additional ideas that that worked with keeping your email marketing off the naughty lists?


P.S. This is will my be last blog article for 2012, so I wanted to Wish all YOU DealerRefreshers a Happy Holidays! See you in 2013!

Take one part geek, add a healthy dose of creativity, top it off with an obsession for marketing and you have… Malinda Terreri. Her marketing talent...
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  • December 12, 2012
@dealerrefresh there is a naughty list lol...?
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  • December 16, 2012
Malinda, as always - great post and great executables for dealers. 
"Make sure you are coordinating all of your outgoing email campaigns". So important if you really care about reducing your opt-outs rates. I've witnessed too many times where the dealers newsletter goes out the same day as their service and direct sales email campaign.
A marketing calendar and coordinating between departments is a necessity to maintain an effective email list.