Once summer comes, customers become lazy and many web marketing activities are put on standby. Now that the holidays are over it’s important to organize your work for the last part of the year, which is the most important in many sectors. This handy checklist will help you plan and manage your tasks for the coming months.

This is the week that many people go back to work after their summer vacation. Some clearly suffer, while instead others have been looking forward to this for a while: that moment when they can plan their activities for the coming months. 

If you work in marketing, you cannot underestimate the importance of this moment: the autumn and winter campaigns (Halloween, Black Week, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas) are rapidly approaching and if you start planning your moves right now, you’ll work less and achieve better results in the last part of the year.

September is a crucial month in email marketing: the ground is being set for the success of the winter season, the most important of the year for many sectors. 

Your goal this month must be to build a solid relationship with the leads you collected this year, to thoroughly know their characteristics and anticipate their needs in order to present them with an offer so perfect and fitting, and at the right moment, that it will be impossible to refuse.

And the contacts already in your database? As far as they’re concerned, the watchword is: clean-up. They represent the great potential of your business: people who have signed up for your newsletter or have purchased on your e-commerce site. They are the potential customers who are one step away from converting, all you have to do is give them what they’re looking for. And those who demonstrate no longer being interested must be let go – with the appropriate precautions.

The email marketing checklist for planning autumn and winter campaigns

So let’s take a look at how to approach September in the most profitable way, using a checklist that will guide your steps in the coming months. More specifically, there are 24 actions divided into four reference areas. Let’s dive in!

Reporting and analyses

  • Summarize the goals you set in the first part of the year: which were achieved? which weren’t? what obstacles did you encounter? If you use a professional email marketing platform such as MailUp, you can use Statistical reports to see how your campaigns went: mailings, emails delivered, openings, ctrs, conversions. This information gives you everything you need to understand how the last six months went.
  • Define the goals you want to achieve from September to January 2021. You can include goals you didn’t achieve earlier in the year if you still consider them important.
  • Are the KPIs you set in January still useful for evaluating the success or failure of your activities? If not, reconsider them.
  • Analyze which emails worked best before the summer holidays and which worked best between September and December of last year. Find the common denominators: days, times, incentives used, persuasion levers in the copy, gifs, etc.

Pave the way

  • Schedule an email for any new contacts that subscribed over the summer. You may have already sent them a welcome email, but now is the time to get in touch again to strengthen the relationship.
  • Plan lead nurturing campaigns for your most loyal customers. Send them customized offers based on previous purchases. One way to do this, for example, is with with the MailUp Personalization engine.
  • Prepare a calendar with key campaigns and mailings for the coming months.
  • Set the tracking tools (Facebook pixel, segments on Google Analytics), double check and optimize your lists.
  • Define the email marketing activities you could automate to save time and be more efficient, and set up workflows to manage the customer journey.

New campaigns

  • Define the types of people you want to reach with the autumn and winter campaigns, the objectives of each email sent, the calls to action, and the actions considered conversions.
  • Segment your contacts to make more precise mailings. MailUp’s advanced filters let you segment the recipients of your emails by connecting up to 20 conditions.
  • Plan profiling forms and surveys to get more precise information on your contact base. The more information you have, the more relevant your proposals will be. MailUp has a drag & drop editor for creating a self-profiling form in just a few clicks. 
  • Plan acquisition campaigns. You can do this through your customers, offering discounts to those who recommend your brand, integrating new channels, for example social networks, and launching collaborations with other brands.
  • Integrate SMS marketing to increase your reach. You can set up an automatic workflow that combines email and SMS to make sure that if a message isn’t received on one channel, it’s received on the other.
  • Customize your mailings. You have collected a large amount of data, now use it to increase engagement. MailUp lets you customize email and SMS mailings three different ways: with dynamic fields, dynamic content, and dynamic images.
  • Create ad hoc layouts for your seasonal campaign emails. MailUp’s BEE Editor allows you to start from your email template (with the structure you have set) and customize it, changing the header with themed graphics, for example for Halloween or Christmas, and then save the template, if you plan sending more than one mailing for the same campaign. 

Inactive customers

  • Define the dormant users of your database: what behaviors lead them to be put on your “watchlist”?
  • Analyze the lists they’re in: maybe they’re not the right ones, maybe you didn’t have enough data to accurately segment them in the past, or you didn’t use professional tools. If there’s room for improvement, you can get much more out of these contacts by improving the next emails you send them.
  • Define a reactivation strategy: the content you’ll send, the incentives you’ll use to tempt inactive contacts, the sending timing.
  • Create a workflow that sends the reactivation email when the condition you have chosen occurs (which you can set with a filter). Define the number of emails, wait times, and actions to be taken at the end of the flow.
  • Do some A/B tests. 
  • Unsubscribe the contacts who don’t react to the defined mailings from your database.
  • Monitor results, especially how the reactivated users behave.
  • Always keep your database clean and organized.

Conclusions

As we’ve seen, there are tons of activities to organize this month. Planning the work for the rest of the year now ensures more precise and successful management. I want to add two final tips which summarize the various steps of this September email marketing checklist: 1) customization will be the key to the success of your campaigns, and 2) make some time to clean up your database on a regular basis, aiming for quality rather than quantity. 

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