Inbox Insider: 'Tis the season for e-mail marketing

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Thanksgiving is this week, and with the turkey comes the holiday shopping season.

Friday is Black Friday, the official beginning of the season and one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Next is Cyber Monday, which has become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

With shopping comes online marketing – and this Cyber Monday stands to be one of the biggest e-mail marketing days in history, according to Responsys.

According to a report from the e-mail marketing firm, retailers will send more e-mail messages to consumers on Cyber Monday than on any other day of the year. The report also predicts that this will be the biggest Cyber Monday in history, and therefore the day with the largest amount of commercial e-mail sent. According to Responsys customer data, marketers sent more e-mails on Cyber Monday than any other day of the year in both 2008 and 2007, and Cyber Monday e-mail volumes were 40% higher last year than 2007.

In addition, 70% of the top online retailers tracked by the Retail Email Blog sent at least one promotional e-mail on Cyber Monday last year. That was up from 68% in 2007. And Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, predicts nine in 10 retailers will have a special promotion for Cyber Monday.

With that in mind, e-mail marketing company Campaigner has released a few tips to help marketers navigate the hectic e-mail day. The first is to create a sense of urgency around Cyber Monday e-mail marketing efforts. It is a good idea for companies to make offers exclusive to the big day, and run special promotions that reward consumers for responding to early holiday marketing messages within a specific time frame.

Campaigner also recommends optimizing landing pages. Companies that are successful enough to get a consumer to open and then click through marketing e-mails ought to have products and deals right in front of them, because consumers may not click around. In addition, the company suggests cross-selling and upselling – always a good idea in e-mail marketing to push the transaction numbers up.

No matter your approach, remember that consumers will be overwhelmed this Cyber Monday. And with the tight economy, they will be looking for values and might be willing to dig a little deeper for the right deal. So make your deals valuable, easy to find and meaningful to the shopper, and customers will respond.

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