While many consumers have already started their holiday shopping, the busiest period is yet to come with just weeks to go before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Chances are you’ve been hard at work finalizing your creative and marketing strategy for the big days, but there are also a few important things to remember when it comes to getting ready with Bronto. Take advantage of this lull before the storm to shore up your holiday marketing and make sure you’re on track to maximize your sending performance and revenue results this season.

Do Immediately

Clean segments. If you have a significant number of segments in your account, clean house and delete those that are no longer of value to you. This will allow you to focus resources on the segments that are most important to you and more easily find those you plan to use during this busy season. Complete data imports. If you plan to add information to your database for your holiday campaigns, do it as soon as possible. When you import contact data or add/update order data during peak sending times like Black Friday, it will take longer and slow your progress, which you definitely want to avoid at this time of year. Review marketing plan, override frequency caps and identify key remail opportunities. Give your holiday marketing calendar a final once-over and make adjustments in the platform as needed to save time in the weeks ahead, including automating remailing for key sends and updating frequency caps as necessary. Frequency caps help you avoid contact fatigue by limiting the number of emails that can be sent to your contacts over a period of time. They’re particularly helpful when you’re running multiple campaigns. But using them during peak sending times – such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday – can slow your email send performance because the system checks and computes sending frequency for each contact in real time. Go ahead: Pull out the stops. A steady drumbeat of emails through the holiday will keep you at the top of shoppers’ minds. You can always cut back sending after the holidays, when your contacts are likely to have shopping fatigue. Here’s how:  Messages > Messages > [select a message] > Schedule > Show Advanced Options > Email Frequency Caps Override > [check the box] Frequency Caps Additional list management. Knock out any additional business-critical list management tasks, including list merges, list splits, bulk contact imports and updates, as soon as possible. That way you can address any irregularities early and skip the headaches when it’s time to schedule your sends.

Schedule Email Deliveries As Soon As Possible

Lock down campaign content and schedule deliveries of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails this week to avoid any surprises. If you’re sending to more than 2,000 contacts, be sure to spread deliveries over time, which will help ensure optimal deliverability and mitigate traffic spikes on your website. This is a general best practice for email marketers, but it’s especially important during the busy holiday season. Here’s how:  Messages > Messages > [select a message] > Schedule > Show Advanced Options > Delivery Scheduling Spread Delivery Time

Send Emails Early: Hello, Gray November!

Once considered a single-day event – the Friday after Thanksgiving – Black Friday has expanded to include Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. And holiday marketing and selling now begin weeks before, spurring the phenomenon we call Gray November. The sooner you get your campaigns built and scheduled to deliver, the sooner your products will show up in shoppers’ inboxes. We’re here to help you get the most out of this important selling opportunity. Your account manager can answer any last-minute questions you have about setting up your holiday campaigns, and Bronto Support will be available to answer last-minute questions on a limited basis this Thanksgiving and during regular business hours on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For more inspiration and strategies for a successful holiday season, visit Bronto's Holiday Marketing Academy.