Never send this holiday email…ever.

Please, for your email list’s health and well-being, never send this email.

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Believe me when I give you this advice that it is not to be glib about others email marketing strategies or a surly holiday curmudgeon, but rather it is out of genuine concern seasoned by specific (unfortunately repeated) experiences.

These kinds of emails WILL skyrocket your unsubscribe and complaint rates. In forced (yes, clients often force us to send these list murdering emails against our best counsel) testing these kinds of emails typically yield unsubscribe and complaint rates of three times the lists’ averages.

Why is this? Here’s the simplest of analysis

  1. Emails like this fundamentally miss the point of why people subscribe to your email list in the first place. People subscribe to you email lists for deals, discounts, and maybe in some rare instances education (this is also a very dangerous bit of hubris, to be fair).
  2. They often come across as unrendered broken images or garbled messes. That’s just frustrating to subscribers.
  3. Wastes your subscribers’ time. There is no value to opening this email.
  4. Wastes your subscriber’s time. Yes, I said it again. It’s that important. Never underestimate the damage you do to your relationship with a customer when you take liberties with their time.
  5. Wastes your subscriber’s time. Okay, that’s the last time I will say it. But, just to put a sharper point on it. This email is probably even more irritating during the holiday season when everyone is already time-strapped and stressed because of it. Sending your happy, jolly email to the spam bucket become cathartic for them.

So what should your email marketing campaign look like during the holiday season?

Here’s a good holiday email…

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…and here’s why:

  1. It’s true to the promise that was made at the time of email subscription
  2. It’s helpful, in a relevant and timely way
  3. It does not waste my time–I actually saved this one because I wanted to go back and read one of the articles I didn’t have time to read at first open.

What do you think? Am I full of Bah Humbug?