The holidays are almost here, which for many means visiting with family and friends, eating until you feel like a stuffed turkey, major holiday sales — and a major barrage of holiday sale emails to go with them.   From November (and earlier) until Christmas Day, every retailer big and small will be emailing their customers multiple times with a variety of products and exclusive offers.

According to holiday projections by eMarketer, 2013 e-commerce spending will increase 15.1% this holiday season, and it’s a safe bet that email will play a big role in reaching out to big spenders.   No surprise there, since email is an easy and inexpensive way to reach many people at once.

So how can the little guy stand out in such a large crowd?  By delivering quality, targeted emails that appeal to your customers’ interests.  Remember, in this season of mass quantity, quality is the best way to make sure your email is opened.

Stay on Target
With all the competing emails that will be landing in your customers’ inboxes, how can you ensure that your email gets noticed? All you need to do is target your message to your customers’ interests.  For example, if you’re in the pet supply business, you wouldn’t send an email highlighting holiday dog toys to customers who only have cats.  Consider what your customers want, and plan your email content accordingly.  

Send Wisely
Over the past few years, people have come to expect multiple sale emails.  However, there’s a line between engaging and annoying. You want to stay in people’s minds, but you don’t want to be repetitive or, worse, end up marked as spam.

People are more accepting of frequent emails if the offers are (a) for a limited time, like a 24-hour sale, and (b) diverse enough that they feel like they’re getting a unique deal.   If your emails don’t fall into these categories, it’s still OK to experiment with more frequent emails during the holidays.  Be sure to check your open rates, though, as a decline in these is a good indication that you’re emailing your customers more than they like.

Don’t Get Greedy
It’s tempting to email people who have not opted in to receive your messages — what better way to get new customers than to contact them when they’re most ready to buy?  Try to resist this urge.   This is the quickest way to have your email blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and, worst-case scenario, get blacklisted so that none of your emails can reach potential or current customers.  The risks greatly outweigh the benefits.

Here’s to a successful holiday season!

About the Author: Erin King is the Email Marketing Manager for Webs and Pagemodo. Get more from Erin on Webs’ Blog.

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