Today was the first day it felt like fall here in North Carolina. There was a chill in the air, and I had to put on a sweater before heading to the Bronto office this morning. Yep, it’s official: Fall has arrived, and we're about to enter the most profitable time of the year for commerce marketers. Even if you’re still ironing out discounts, copy or other details for your holiday email campaigns, take a moment to add these best practices and dates to your holiday campaign timeline to maximize your sending performance and revenue results.

1. Clean segments by October 21.

If you have a significant number of segments in your account, clean house and delete those that are no longer of value to you by October 21. 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.

2. Complete data imports by October 31.

If you plan to add information to your database for your holiday campaigns, do it by the end of this month. 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.

3. Override frequency caps by November 11.

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

4. Schedule email deliveries by November 22.

Lock down campaign content and schedule deliveries of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails three days before Thanksgiving. 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

5. 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. When you communicate early and often with shoppers during the busy holiday season, you’ll get more mileage out of this important selling opportunity. Use Bronto to get shoppers to subscribe, browse and buy – and make this your most profitable holiday season ever!