8 Tips to Rise Above Your Competition This Holiday Season | SendGrid

8 Tips to Rise Above Your Competition This Holiday Season | SendGrid

Take a glance at your inbox…Do you see a handful of holiday discounts and savings announcements already longing for your attention? Between competitors getting a head start on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, the stress of Q4 nearing its end, and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing our interactions to be 100% virtual, know that you won’t be suffering alone. We’ll all be feeling a rush of holiday stress and a need for caffeine!

Although we can’t alleviate all of your end-of-year pressures, we can provide you with some tips to rise above your competition this holiday season. In a time when our inboxes are irritatingly cluttered and our digital environment is buzzing with notifications, these small building blocks will enable you to reach new heights in your communication endeavors—and quickly! 

Tip #1: Segment your audience where possible

What customer data do you currently have at your disposal?

Use existing data to segment your audience and provide relevant information based on individual preferences.

Instead of sending the same message to all of your customers, try sending different offers to different audiences depending on their engagement track-record or purchase habits. This makes the customer feel valued and provides a more exclusive experience.

Tip #2: Try a different approach to subject lines and CTAs 

This time of year, our inboxes are inundated with slogans like “Black Friday deals!”, “Don’t miss this sale!”, “New Savings”, or “Buy Now!” Don’t settle for these tedious expressions and try something different this year. Spicing up your subject lines and call-to-actions (CTAs) with relevant, on-brand copy that provides a glimpse of your end goal might just catch the attention of a holiday-fatigued consumer! 

Tip #3: Double check your preference center and opt-in experiences

In order to provide the best possible customer experience and ensure your recipients are happy with your holiday communications, you need to set clear expectations. When a recipient subscribes, send them a friendly welcome email to confirm their subscription, highlighting the types of emails you will be sending and how often they should expect to receive your emails. 

It’s also  important to double check that your preference center is up-to-date. Allow your recipients to unsubscribe from various types of communications, like holiday offers or promotions, so they don’t feel inclined to unsubscribe from all of your emails. Remember to refrain from messaging anyone who has unsubscribed from your promotional emails in the past. 

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Tip #4: Tell a story 

It’s easy during the holidays to overwhelm consumers with demands to make a purchase. To alleviate your customers’ pressure to pull out a credit card, try telling a story. How has your business evolved up until this point? How are your customers or employees using your products this holiday season? What makes your product special this year? Do you have a business mission or goal worth sharing? This personal touch makes your messaging relatable and establishes more positive brand association. 

Tip #5: Make sure you’re geared up for delivery success 

As companies flock to email as their primary form of communication, mailbox providers (like Gmail or Yahoo Mail) are increasingly on the lookout for spammers and bad actors. It’s likely the case that some of your competitors won’t be prepared for such heightened security from these mailbox providers, meaning some of them are bound to experience deliverability issues.

One of our biggest pieces of advice is to make sure you are well equipped to land in the inbox.

This requires you to do things like clean your recipient list, warm up your IPs, and authenticate your domain. There are tools within your Twilio SendGrid account and resources, like our Deliverability Guide, to help you achieve these tasks quickly! 

Tip #6: Monitor your email responses 

One unique tactic you can try this year is encouraging your customers to reply to your emails with questions, comments, or feedback. Not only will this help take the load off your Support team, it also provides a way to get to know your customers and adds a human element to your messaging during a time when people are yearning for more 1:1 interactions. Be sure to set up a reply-to address and monitor your account for any incoming responses

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Tip #7: Add another channel 

Did you know that Twilio SendGrid offers SMS, WhatsApp, Video, and more channels as a part of Twilio? Adding another channel to your communication portfolio enables you to message your customers on the channels they prefer while differentiating your communications. 

Try starting with SMS. SMS complements your email program by providing a medium for more urgent or timely alerts. Twilio makes it extremely easy to get up and running with SMS while providing a global, scalable, and reliable platform—just like Twilio SendGrid! Give it a try for free.  

Tip #8: Be authentic 

Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to be authentic to your company and brand. During the holiday season, businesses tend to reinvent the wheel by switching up their voice and tone or look and feel. Staying true to your company values and providing best-in-class customer service is vital to rising above your competition. 

Holiday sending takeaways

Quick last-minute tweaks can make a profound impact on your email program this upcoming holiday season. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Segmenting your audience and allowing recipients to respond to your emails creates a hyper-personalized experience that won’t go unnoticed. 
  • Trying new tactics like story telling or adding an additional channel, like SMS, enables you to stand out among a cluttered digital space. 
  • Double checking you’ve completed any critical deliverability tasks and updated your preference center is critical to providing a stellar customer experience. 

With these 8 tips and a toolbelt of resources at your disposal, we’re confident you’ll reach new heights this holiday season! 

For more holiday sending tips, check out our article, Black Friday Predictions for Email Sending in 2020

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