If you crafted and sent out your holiday emails on time this year, give yourself a pat on the back. There's a sense of relief that comes with negotiating the busy holiday season and getting your newsletter out before the new year. But make sure you haven't checked the task off your list and forgotten about it. Now's the time to review your holiday response rates and learn from them as you kick off your 2012 email marketing efforts.
Let's take a look at a few email campaigns crafted by Emma agency partner, Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). USHG includes some of New York City's best known restaurants, including Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and Maialino. These four campaigns carry representative looks and strong response rates — and serve as fitting case studies for welcoming in the new year.
Union Square Hospitality Group
In this snowflake-themed campaign, USHG has fun with a split test of sorts. Can you guess which button earned more clicks? In fact, the gift card button edged out the e-gift certificate button by just 2%.
+ Sent on Wednesday, December 21st at 9:00 am to 69,892 people
+ Subject line: The Perfect Last Minute Gift
+ Open rate: 19.58%
+ Click-through rate: 6.16%
+ Shares: 23
Why it works: There's a sense of whimsy in the design — and the sentiment. Plus, the two buttons are a source of education for USHG; they'll be able to see who clicked where and follow up with other relevant offers, if they like.
This festive winter campaign, created on an Upload Your Own HTML template, captures the sophistication of The Modern and shares, among other things, details of its New Year's Eve line-up.
+ Sent on Tuesday, December 20th at 11:17 am to 10,497 people
+ Subject line: Winter News from The Modern
+ Open rate: 31.33%
+ Click-through rate: 1.92%
+ Shares: 6
Why it works: The email provides a consistent brand experience with The Modern's website, and with a mix of compelling content, it's an easy email to navigate.
+ Sent on Tuesday, December 20th at 9:00 am to 7,949 people
+ Subject line: Happy Holidays from Gramercy Tavern!
+ Open rate: 31.41%
+ Click-through rate: 47.39%
+ Shares: 4
Why it works: Talk about piquing curiosity. Nearly half of email openers clicked through to view the photo. When average click-throughs hover around 6%, a spike like this is a coup.
Union Square Cafe
Created on Emma's blank template and utilizing an Advanced 7 layout, this campaign by Union Square Cafe follows the format of a traditional newsletter. A departure from their usual campaigns coded from scratch, the built-in layout allows them to revise each newsletter without pulling in a designer from their team — a definite time-saver.
+ Sent on Thursday, December 15th at 1:03 pm to 19,140 people
+ Subject line: Union Square Cafe Newsletter – Winter 2011
+ Open rate: 27.18%
+ Click-through rate: 14.96%%
+ Shares: 5
Why it works: The campaign makes use of space by providing short story blurbs that link to the full scoop elsewhere. Moreover, it plays with content placement. Convention would tell us that the top story in your campaign will earn the highest clicks; in this case, the link to the recipe for Ménage à Pommes is the most popular. Union Square Cafe's audience is an engaged bunch, happy to spend some time with the campaign and comb it for their favorite stories.
Ready to interpret your holiday response rates? Here are some things to look for:
- Compare the numbers … Use our campaign compare feature to see how your holiday results stack up against the prior month's mailing — or against your holiday results from last year. Then, see how they compare to industry averages.
- … But only the numbers that matter to you. It doesn't make a lot of sense to compare click-throughs to your Facebook page if that wasn't the one of the goals of your holiday campaign. Instead, focus on metrics that correspond to your intended goals. Look for places where you fell short, and adjust the approach of your next mailing.
- Plan a follow-up. When people click on links in your campaign, they're telling you that they're interested enough to learn more. Armed with that knowledge, make plans to send a smaller, targeted mailing to the audience members who are most likely to read and engage.
- Prepare for the next mailing. Do the response results of your holiday mailing seem interesting but inconclusive? Have a hunch about why your subject line enticed more people to open? Set up a split test in your next mailing to test your theory. Read more about subject line split tests in Cassie's post.
If you have questions along the way, we'd love to help. Comment here, or reach out to our support team.