Holiday Planning: Preparing Your Database For The Big Day
Holiday planning continues as I walk through step-by-step on preparing your database for the big day. Those of you that execute this will be pleasantly surprised how well this helps. These segments we create will guide our email content as we try to make the most out of the holiday season.
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 Holiday Planning: Preparing Your Database For The Big Day
In this episode, we will chat about something near and dear to my heart, your database. Before we get started, note that I have structured this episode for you to read through, and then go back and use it as a step-by-step guide. If you follow all of these steps, you are going to be in good shape. Come the time to blast out your holiday emails. The first thing I will say is email is only as good as the database. There are going to be multiple levels to this.
First, we need to look at how active our list is. Your first activity will be to go into your ESP and write down the total number of mailable contacts in your database. The only thing you need to do here is to eliminate all of the bounced and unsubscribed. You should get a number. It might be 5,000 or 60,000, but regardless, your mailable contacts are those that you can send to. Go create your segment, email is through and has not bounced or unsubscribed. Get that number.
Do not continuously send to non-purchasers. It does nothing for your email metrics and revenue, and it can kill your deliverability.
You will create another segment that shows those on the list you created, so your mailable contacts but that have opened an email in the last 120 days. Go ahead and create that segment. Did your segment drastically reduce? The answer is probably yes. This is the segment I like to call your active database. These are the users that are engaged and are most likely to buy from you. As you have heard me say repeatedly, the thing you do not want to do too often is continuously sending to these zombie-like recipients. It does nothing for your email metrics revenue, and it can kill your deliverability. We are going to start with your active list.
You are going to need to take a moment to get over the shell shock. For instance, if you have 60,000 people on your mailable list and you run your segment to say, "Show me all of these mailable contacts have opened an email in the last 120 days," and your list is now to 24,000 people, take a moment and get over it because that 24,000 are going to be the ones that are going to help you achieve your goals. From there, I want you to take your active list, and split it up by purchasers and non-purchasers, which are your customers and leads. Now, we have the baseline numbers of who we are going to start to target. We've got our active purchasers and leads. That's part one.
Next, for the segmentation exercise, you must sit down and understand who these people are as it relates to the upcoming holiday season. Do you have gifters on your list? Let's try to understand who they are. Your customers are likely going to want to take advantage of wish lists to send your product to their family, who will then come back and join as gifters. We also want to understand some basic things about them, your customers or even your leads, what colors they love, their sizes, and things like this. Your holiday emails should be tailored to your audience.
Here's what you are going to do to execute this. First, create a short form with a few things on it. Include the question, "Do you buy for yourself, others, or both?" This is non-negotiable. This is how we identify the gifters, and then add a few more that fit your brand to better understand your user base. For instance, "What is your favorite color? What is your size?" You are then going to create an email for a profile update. The copy will allude to wanting to enhance their experience ahead of the holiday season. Please take one minute to update your profile now. It's super simple.
You will want to send this out both to your active leads and customers, and likely drop it about two more times to those that have not clicked. Get as many as you can to self-select. If you feel the need to enter them into a raffle, you can do that to enhance participation. Regardless, once this is complete, you will create new segments in your database, gifters, non-gifters, both, and any others that are important to you. Do you see what we are doing here? This is helpful. You then have your leads and customers separated into these niche categories, where you can now start to tailor your email.
The last thing I want you to do, let's get your disengaged leads and customers into segments as well. These are the unopeners in the past 120 days. Let's get them onto their own lists to email them our best holiday promos and keep them separate from our active users. A) This keeps your data cleaner. It allows you to see the true performance of your email against the active group. When I send to inactive users, I assume lower open rates and lower click-through rates but we are still going to try because it is the holiday season. B) It lets you pick and choose what and when you are sending. For example, maybe you only send this list and email on Black Friday and Cyber Monday or use SMS instead.
This is important to do. What we have here, after this episode, is we've got our active leads and customers. We have our segmented groups, gifters, non-gifters, both and any important segments, and then we've got our disengaged leads and customers. This is amazing. One last thing to prepare your database is a hygiene sweep. Go through and collect all unsubscribes and bounces into a list. Let's go ahead and delete those from our database, so they are not there wasting space any longer. They are no good to you. It's better off especially heading into the holidays that you remove them and get your database a little bit cleaner, and then your database is ready to roll.
It is time to think about your emails and how they will come to life with your audiences. In the next episode, we will talk about the best and worst holiday promos that have ever lived to try to help you get those planned out. Please reach out if you have any questions about getting your database cleaned up and ready to roll for money season. You can send them my way at Conversations@EmailGrowthSociety.com. Until next time, happy emailing.