It’s that time of year again; put on your best segmentation stockings and furry red deliverability hat because it’s time to deck the inboxes with boughs of email!

Perhaps more than any other time of year, the Christmas season puts pressure on marketers to stand out from the crowd and drive purchases. But whether you’re new to the area, a seasoned veteran or if last year just didn’t go so well, I’m here to help.

Make sure your customers want to take you under the metaphorical mistletoe rather than put you on Santa’s naughty list. So without further ado…

On the first day of Christmas, my email marketer said to me: “Don’t leave it too late!”

This is where the knowledge that you’ll have built up over the year about how your audience behaves will really pay off. Start thinking about and planning your strategy sooner rather than later and you’ll be able to be able to make the most of the season. Perhaps consider upping your frequency as you get closer to the fateful day (which doesn’t necessarily mean Christmas Day and might just as well be the last posting day) but always make sure you’re providing valuable content.

But also bear in mind that too early can be just as bad as too late…

On the second day of Christmas, my email marketer said to me: “Increase your data capture!”

With the amount of time and money spent during the Christmas period, and the increased attention that will be focused on your site, make sure you’re doing everything you can to sign people up for your newsletter. Run competitions, add incentives, and keep them visiting the site as much as possible to ensure they’ll sign up.

Remember, a subscriber is not just for Christmas!

On the third day of Christmas, my email marketer said to me: “Theme your emails!”

You can guarantee your competition will be making a big song and dance about the yuletide season so you don’t want to turn up to the party unsuitably dressed. What’s more, it’s an important time of year to check, double-check and triple-check everything – with the stress that the festive season brings, any frustrations experienced by your readers will be doubled.

So make sure you have a theme that’s coherent across your emails and site but which doesn’t distract too much from the overall usability (check out our festive logo for reference!) How far this compromise goes may depend on your audience.

With 3 days of Christmas down, join me for another batch soon when I’ll be discussing landing pages, virals and social networks!