Now that the holiday season is moving into view, at least from a commercial perspective, businesses will be looking for fast, inexpensive, and effective ways to share their specials and promotions with customers. That means, even with the possibilities that come from using things like pay-per-click advertising and social media, that email marketing is going to take center stage. After all, it costs next to nothing, and can make all the difference between a profitable holiday business season and a forgettable end to the year.

Unfortunately, many businesses set themselves up for disappointment, simply because they don’t know the best ways to take advantage of email marketing in general, and certainly not how to get the most out of it during the coming weeks. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, here are four tips you can follow to make the most of your holiday season email blasts:

1. Make your lists as targeted and specific as possible. Ideally, you’d be able to send a personalized message to every customer and prospect on your email list, with an offer that was tailored to their exact browsing and/or purchase order history. In the real world, that’s of course not possible. By segmenting your lists into very distinct groups of buyers, though, you can dramatically improve the response rates you get from your holiday email marketing campaigns.

2. Get your landing pages and promotions in order. As we often see in Internet marketing, it’s the last-minute work and changes that end up causing the most problems. That’s especially true during the holiday season, when designers, creative professionals, and clients alike are all busy and distracted. With that in mind, one of the best things you can do is get your holiday marketing promotions, email messaging, and landing pages all in order well ahead of time. That way, when it’s time to hit “send” there is nothing left to worry about.

3. Put a marketing calendar into place. If your campaign is substantial enough, it might have many different moving parts and pieces, including several different messages that will go out at regular intervals (such as a few days apart). If so, now is the time to start making a calendar. This will help you ensure that you don’t miss anything (going back to the point we made a moment ago) as well as that everything goes out on-schedule, for maximum marketing effect.

4. Stress test your website to make sure it’s ready. One of the worst thing that could happen to your company is having your business website fail when you need it most. That’s why it’s a good idea to “stress test” your site before the holidays, to ensure that it can handle the extra traffic that will be coming your way.

When it comes to email marketing, and especially during the holiday season, it’s all about executing small details that make your campaigns effective and profitable. So, keep these four simple steps in mind, and make the most of every note or message you send this November and December.

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