Maximizing Deliverability: 6 Strategic Moves for a Spam-Free Holiday Season


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Among the festive rush of the holiday season, where sales surge and web traffic skyrockets, the heightened email activity also raises the specter of your messages being lost in a sea of spam. Crafting a successful email deliverability strategy entails more than simply flipping a switch – it demands a multifaceted approach.

The Significance of Deliverability during the Holidays

Black Friday acts as the ignition for a massive spending spree, prompting a significant surge in ecommerce emails. However, this upswing isn't confined to a mere 24-hour blitz; it extends far beyond Cyber Monday (BFCM).

During this period, Black Friday's email volumes skyrocket, averaging 65% higher than an average June weekday. Over a 30-day stretch from Black Friday, total email volumes surge by 35% compared to June.

Deliverability isn't just about reaching inboxes; it's about navigating through this sustained surge and ensuring your emails are well-received and recognized favorably by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The Reign of Email during the Holidays

According to our comprehensive 2023 consumer survey, an overwhelming 68.9% of consumers prefer receiving BFCM promotions via email. Yet, it's not solely the promotional emails that hold sway – transactional messages wield equal importance, acknowledged by 80.4% of surveyed consumers. Why? Because transactional emails harbor vital purchase information and time-sensitive updates.

The surge in emails triggered by Black Friday initiates a whirlwind of hyperactive holiday sending. With both promotional and transactional emails vying for attention, there's a myriad of angles to consider for ensuring deliverability amidst seasonal challenges.

Key queries this year revolve around;

  1. Evading the Spam Folder: Strategies to steer clear of spam filters.
  2. Ensuring Desired Inbox Placement: Techniques to secure prime inbox placement.
  3. Consistent Rendering across Devices: Crafting emails that render uniformly across various devices.
  4. Content for Conversion Boost: Tailoring content for heightened conversion rates.

ISP criteria vary, and unraveling their filtering processes is often more art than science. But how do you construct a winning strategy? Before delving into holiday deliverability, it's imperative to:

  • Validate your email authentication setup.
  • Warm up your Domain/IPs.

Step one: Crafting Purposeful Content

Decide what to send. The objective isn't bombarding inboxes; it's about standing out amidst the deluge. During Black Friday, the most impactful content revolves around the products and services on offer. Focus on brief, personalized, and relevant campaigns. Consider advanced personalization, segmentation, and AMP emails. AMP not only adds interactivity but keeps users within the email, boosting conversion rates by up to 41%.

Remember, you have limited space and time to engage. Optimize your subject lines, email body, and brand visuals for maximum impact.

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Step two: Segment By Engagement

Consider this scenario: A nonprofit seeks donations annually during the holidays. With a list of 1 million subscribers, the instinct might be to 'send to all.' But that's a flawed approach:

  • Inactive contacts lead to high bounce rates.
  • Subscribers from over a year ago might no longer be interested, risking spam flags.

Segment your lists based on engagement levels. Avoid inactive contacts and focus on those regularly interacting with your emails.

Step three: Determining Optimal Sending Frequencies

Establishing content and segmented lists is pivotal, but determining the ideal frequency of sending poses another challenge, especially during peak times like Black Friday.

Evaluate last year's metrics comprehensively—scrutinize open rates and compare them against the frequency of holiday campaigns. If the metrics fell short of expectations, consider recalibrating the sending frequency.

Moreover, consider the volume factor; a sudden increase could potentially harm deliverability. Gradual escalation in sending frequency is key to maintaining a positive sender reputation.

Further, the timing of your email dispatch plays a crucial role. Research suggests that peak sending times, like 9 AM, often witness a deluge of campaigns. Consider a slightly staggered send time, like 9:17 AM, to circumvent inbox congestion and potential delivery delays.

Step four: Rigorous Email Rendering Testing

The visual presentation of your emails holds immense significance. Ensuring flawless appearance across diverse devices and platforms becomes non-negotiable. Leveraging email preview tools facilitates preemptive identification of issues pre-send.

Beyond appearance, optimizing emails for functionalities like dark mode compatibility, ensuring functional links, and meticulous spell checking are paramount. Amidst the deluge of over 116 million emails on Black Friday alone, impeccable rendering stands as a crucial determinant of engagement.

Step five: Curating Lists through Email Validations

Maintaining a well-curated list remains a cornerstone of email deliverability. Validating emails before launching holiday campaigns becomes indispensable. Implementing double opt-ins serves as an effective method to build a highly engaged list, significantly reducing the risk of emails being marked as spam.

Step six: Conducting Comprehensive Seed Tests

Seed testing essentially acts as a dress rehearsal. By sending test campaigns to addresses on a seed list—a curated set of test email addresses—brands can identify and rectify potential issues. This proactive approach minimizes the likelihood of triggering spam filters and enhances inbox placement.

Seed testing also offers insights into authentication processes, provider scores, and determines the positioning of your emails within the inbox hierarchy. On high-volume days like Black Friday, seed testing plays a pivotal role in ensuring optimal inbox visibility.

Leveraging This Year's Insights for Future Success

Holiday deliverability isn't a fleeting concern; it's an ongoing process requiring continuous evaluation and adaptation. Analyzing metrics from this year's campaigns can provide invaluable insights, shaping strategies for peak sending times in the future.

In summary, while the intricacies of deliverability during the holiday season might appear daunting, they are instrumental for a successful email marketing strategy. At Pinpointe, our passion for email deliverability drives us year-round. To delve deeper into these strategies and discover more about our expertise, schedule a free demo with our experts.