Email and deliverability practices to avoid during the holiday rush

Author : Jennifer Cannon

Email marketing rush during holidays

During the time of year when retaining subscribers — and gaining new ones — is more critical than ever for most brands, email marketers need to pay close attention to their email practices and deliverability. Overlooking these factors for short-term results (and ROI) could ultimately lead to long-term challenges and costly remediation processes.


Before we even dive into the holidays, deliverability consultant at Salesforce, Josie Garcia, wants marketers to pay closer attention and better understand potential threats from the start. “The ISP (internet service provider) landscape is ever-evolving its efforts to stop unwanted spam. Marketers can look closer at their data to better understand their targets and lists. Issues like expired, for-sale, invalid, malicious and parked domains on their lists, for example,” said Garcia “Many are unaware that expired and parked domains could be bought up by blacklist owners just waiting for marketers to send email to those domains so they can brand them as spammers or blacklist them.“

Authentication practices are critical — and not to be overlooked.

During the holidays, inbox providers are on heightened alert and actively stopping bad actors from reaching their customers. If your authentication certificates have expired or something is out of line, take immediate action to solve the problem through the appropriate channels. This could mean either reach out to your internal IT department if you are working with a home-grown email application or getting in touch with your email service provider.


For SMBs who don’t have access to an in-house deliverability expert or a resource from their email service provider, Postbox Consultancy Services can perform a deliverability audit to quickly identify issues and propose steps for remediation.

Are you planning an IP warming campaign in the next two weeks? Stop right now.

Wait until after the holidays — or any high-priority email sending events that your brand has on the calendar — before starting any IP warming campaign.

IP warming is along-term strategy. Starting during the holidays could end with disastrous results for your brand. Sending emails from a different IP address during this time of heightened attention from inbox providers will result in being blacklisted by popular inbox providers. This will not only impact the ROI of your marketing campaigns but will likely lead to time-consuming and costly remediation.


Don’t start sending last-minute, high-volume sends

Marketing teams might find themselves in a position where they have no other option than to send a last-minute, high-volume email. Doing this during the holiday season will set off alarms at inbox providers, especially if you have a regular cadence and volume at which you send. Reach out to your email service provider’s deliverability team, or your internal experts, before hitting a send that could result in deferred emails and spam placement issues.

last minute high volume email send

Don’t neglect your personalization tactics.

It’s understandable that some things might slip through the cracks during the busiest time of year. But personalization efforts have been incredibly successful this year, and marketers should expect no less in terms of results if they’re using it correctly, or at all.

email personalisation


Personalization drives email engagements from open to clicks and ultimately conversions if the right content is served based on the subscribers’ preferences. Driving a high volume clicks and conversions through email with a strong focus on personalization and improving your standings among inbox providers while driving the ROI and hitting your goals.


Don’t risk it all

Establishing your sender’s reputation takes an ongoing, proactive approach. Marketers shouldn’t risk their yearlong hard work to build relationships with subscribers by suddenly sending them batch-and-blast emails once December hits. Doing so will put their brands’ reputations on the line for what could be a more costly outcome — before we even get to the near year.


Jennifer Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s senior editor, covering topics from email marketing and automation to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, Jen has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises, including the Boston Bruins. She has held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.