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Retail data consistently shows that shoppers begin their holiday shopping earlier each year, often well before the traditional start of the holiday season.

Optimizely's cutting-edge Digital Experience Platform (DXP) continues to be your go-to resource for a successful holiday season, offering refined simplicity. A key feature of our DXP is composability, granting you the flexibility to select components based on your desired business outcomes. As the pressure mounts to achieve goals and produce results during the holiday season, it's more important than ever to make clear decisions backed by data.

To navigate the holiday hustle, let's explore how Optimizely can assist you. In this post, we'll dive into the capabilities of Optimizely Data Platform (ODP), a part of Optimizely DXP, and provide practical examples of how you can make sure you’re set up for success.

Customer-centric holiday email marketing with Optimizely

At Optimizely, we encourage thinking in customer-centric, rather than campaign-centric, ways to help our customers.

In this era where data-driven decision-making is crucial for holiday and year-end sales success, our Data Platform empowers you with actionable insights into your audience, guiding your strategic choices. With newfound insights, you can use one-click integrations to activate your data in leading marketing, sales, and customer service channels.

While brands have been meticulously crafting their content and campaigns for the peak holiday season starting in October, remember that even the best campaigns can fall flat if customers don't see them.

When it comes to email marketing, marketers need to be concerned about the governing principles that determine email deliverability and use their data to investigate where they can be the most successful from an ROI and customer experience perspective.

The key to email devliery in 2023

… Is the customer experience. Consider your audience and the role of internet service providers (ISPs) in email marketing. ISPs act as gatekeepers, ensuring a quality online experience for their customers and enforcing rules against spammers and unsolicited content. Adhering to these rules is crucial, especially during the holiday rush.

Our Data Platform supplies prescriptive recommendations based on your audience data, clarifying who should receive specific messages, when they should receive them, and what those messages should convey.

Let's review some key factors to keep your brand top of mind this holiday season.

Deliverability tip 1: Maintain consistent send volume and engagament

Maintaining consistent send volume is crucial for inbox placement, proving to ISPs that you're not a spammer. ISPs also monitor recipient engagement, so ensure that your emails provide real value to your customers and focus on recipient clicks.

Deliverability tip 2: Segment audiences for engagement and send frequency

Beyond send volume, it's crucial for brands to focus on recipient data. Our straightforward approach to identifying engaged customers during the holiday peak is this: Use data platform to target those who have clicked or made a purchase within the last 13-18 months. This also significantly reduces the risk of falling into spam traps or reaching disengaged inboxes.

Optimizing segmentation for the 2023 holiday season

Data platform helps marketers to segment your audience by seasonality, identifying seasonal shoppers and tailoring your outreach accordingly.

For example, you can use Data Platform to identify seasonal shoppers to create a segment of customers with at least one order from the previous year. For example, shoppers between November 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, who also had no transactions before November 1, 2023.

Highlight your special holiday deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, appealing to those looking for 'treat yourself' or 'high ticket' items.

Focus on frequency and personalization

One proven strategy to stand out is to complement email campaigns with multiple touchpoints to maintain customer engagement.

To illustrate, let's say you send out an email campaign at 9 AM the week before Black Friday. Chances are, due to higher-than-average inbox volume, your message becomes buried beneath the competition by the early afternoon. This is the case for the second touchpoint.

Keep your brand top of inbox and top of mind by sending a second nudge that goes out later that day to all customers who have not engaged with the first email, since the data shows they may have missed it.

Data Platform makes it easy to create a genuine and personalized experience for your customers - marketers can easily use insights to personalize emails, even through automation.

For example, adding dynamic content to the subject or preheader, such as the customer's first name or the name of a particular product you know they're interested in, is a quick and effortless way to catch the eye of your consumers. When paired with personalization, urgency can also be decisive – focus on using language to express approaching deadlines.

Unlock omnichannel success with Optimizely Data Platform

Data Platform streamlines segmentation, making it as effortless as a click, and allows for greater specificity as you craft the ideal email strategy.

However, relying on a single channel can only take you so far. As they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. With Data Platform, marketers can seamlessly activate multiple channels to engage customers with relevant and personalized messaging.

Expand your marketing reach by utilizing various channels with Optimizely Data Platform, harmonizing your website, social media, emails, and SMS messaging for enhanced engagement and revenue.

The reality is that some consumers are more active on certain channels. Consider adding an SMS message to your flash sale emails, or adjusting your web experiences such as modals and embeds to display Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. By expanding your marketing reach, you’re creating more incentives and ways for your customers to shop. More ways to shop = more revenue!  

Collaborate with Optimizely experts for a successful 2023 holiday season

Our Customer Success Team is here to assist you in implementing these best practices for the upcoming peak sending season. Reach out to your assigned Customer Success Manager or our Optimizely Support Team with any questions.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season from our team to yours!