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Maria Giulia Ganassini
17 July 2018
Reading time: 7 min

Summer Makes Open Rates Plummet? 5 Ideas To Avoid It

Summer is a beautiful season and many businesses are slowing down the performance of their summer emails. There are effective remedies to prevent these declines. Let us discover them together.

1. Plan campaigns in advance

Even marketers go on vacation. What is the best way to avoid compulsively checking the MailUp platform while sunbathing on the beach? Organize all activities in advance.

Planning campaigns with plenty of time avoids a last-minute rush, preserves the quality of the mailings, and minimizes the possibility of errors. It seems trivial, but who does not constantly put themselves in the position of planning email campaigns along with a thousand other things the day before leaving?

Great allies to be utilized: programming and Marketing Automation. By taking advantage of the tools that MailUp makes available, you can:

  • Schedule mailings accurately and on time
  • Check, through the calendar view of the dashboard, that everything is under control and that you have not forgotten a mailing
  • Set up automatic flows that organize mailings based on the behavior and preferences of each user, without the need for manual intervention
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2. Make mobile-responsive emails

Just because the recipients of your emails leave their desk for a few weeks for beach chairs and sunbeds does not necessarily indicate a horrible doom for email campaign performance. Rather, it is the opposite: seasonality will reward those brands that are able to respond to the changing needs of their database.

If you do not want to undermine the effectiveness of your email campaigns, you must ensure that all their parts are usable, even under the beach umbrella. That they are, that is, perfectly mobile responsive.

Here is what to keep track of:

  • Layout: Use the BEE editor to optimize all messages for mobile (automatically). The structure of the blocks will be dynamically rearranged to fit the screens of smartphones and tablets.
  • CTA: use a bulletproof call-to-action button, not an image. This way it will adjust its size to be easily clickable, even on small screens.
  • Subject: carefully study a subject that attracts a click, and that is of the correct length to avoid being cut by mobile devices.
  • Preheader: if you shorten the object, remember to add useful content to encourage a click in the additional row of the summary.
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3. Animated and interactive lead content

Premise 1: a less frequented inbox during holiday periods means that emails accumulate, and that the open rates are negatively affected.

Premise 2: summer calls for lightness, color, and joy in communication tones.

Point: it is necessary to study messages that are capable of standing out in the vast sea of communications that clog up the mailbox, and that at the same time engage a click, fun, and interaction. Green light for tests and experiments:

  • Emoji in the subject: when used sparingly and with intelligence, emojis are a great ally of open rates. They are attractive and isolate the message in the confusion of an overcrowded inbox.
  • Customization: calling the recipient by name (both in the subject and in the body of the message) and offering them ad hoc content is an effective way to improve message engagement.
  • Animations: lightening the tone and improving communication usability also goes with the inclusion of interactive and animated content with a fun and playful spirit. Green light to the animated GIF and the countdowns, but also to videos.
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4. Rethink the mailing frequency, content, and channels

Who said that the mailing frequency must remain unchanged throughout the year? It is good practice to adapt the communication frequency to the changing habits of the audience in order to stay relevant and interesting. For the sake of the click on messages rate.

Here is what to test:

  • Every company knows the peaks (positive or negative) of the seasonal sale trends. A communication strategy should follow these trends: if the summer is a period of low business, it may be useless (and even counterproductive) to hammer the audience with excessive communication. Reducing the sending frequency can give a lower pace to the strategy, avoiding the likelihood of unsubscriptions.
  • This also varies the content that you propose in the communication, seasonally adapting them. Colors, graphics, proposed products, applied wording – everything can be made more appealing and suited to the summer tone.
  • Is it difficult to make emails be read under the beach umbrella? Instead of insisting on this channel, why not test a different one? SMS are an ally to the email channel, and are great for using in contexts where certain openings and high engagement are needed. The data, in fact, say that 97% of SMS are opened within the first 3 minutes of receipt, and that the average click rate on imbedded links is 30% (compared to 2% in email). Source: Voodoo.

5. Allow reception to take a break

Did you know that you can allow your contacts to take a break from receiving emails during periods of their choice? Inform your database of this possibility (manageable through the Profile Management Center). It allows you to limit unwanted mailings to contacts, avoid maximum unsubscriptions, and protect the performance of your campaigns.

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The Profile Management Center is configurable from the backend of the MailUp platform: each company has the right to decide which options to give to the recipient.

On the other hand, each contact that receives a message sent via the MailUp platform has the possibility to access its Profile Management Center and independently set the mailing frequency and receiving breaks, check (and possibly update) their data, and register or unsubscribe from specific lists. This tool is of fundamental importance due to the introduction of the GDPR, because it allows total transparency and control by the recipient about the use of their data.

Summing up

Summertime can be a trap for the marketer who does not adapt his strategy to the changing needs and patterns of his/her database. Here is what to do in order to maintain high performances without incurring critical situations:

  1. Plan campaigns well in advance, minimizing errors, and taking advantage of the power of Marketing Automation to automate mailings
  2. Pay particular attention to the yield of mobile emails, considering most recipients will use it away from the desk
  3. Make emails more interactive, thanks to the use of animations and other dynamic elements
  4. Adapt the mailing frequency to the habits of the database, perhaps forgoing some frequency for the advantage of relevance
  5. Give the database its ability to pause reception, thus safeguarding the campaign performance and decreasing the risk of bounce and unsubscription

Now you can shape your summer strategy effectively. After that… have a great summer!

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Maria Giulia Ganassini

As content creator at MailUp, my mission is to make email marketing strategies accessible, useful and interesting for everyone, newbies to experts. Behind every 'send' button there is a complex world, and my goal is to unravel it for marketers. I am an avid reader, a restless traveller, a self-confessed grammar nazi and a proud cat owner.

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