Your 2021 Holiday Sending Packing List

Gear up for holiday email sending with tools and resources that'll help you make 2021 a success.

Chapter 1

Introduction

2021 has been full of ups and downs. The COVID-19 vaccine brought a peak of optimism that came crashing down with the discovery of new variants, and now, a new wave of uncertainty looms as the most important time of the year for businesses big and small quickly approaches.

While holiday shopping is going to feel a bit different this year, you’ve already got one successful pandemic holiday season under your belt. Still, you’re going to need to bring your A-game to turn this year around.

Let us help. We’ve compiled the best-of-the-best tools and resources to give you an advantage this holiday season.

In this updated 2021 Holiday Sending Packing List, you’ll find blog articles, guides, and webinars designed to give you essential tools to streamline and optimize your email program.

Q4 2021 is going to be a challenge, but we’ve conquered this mountain before. And, as they say in the climbing world: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

Let’s get you geared up for this adventure.

Up Next

Set Your Expectations and Gear Up

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Set Your Expectations and Gear Up

While this holiday season’s going to be different, it’s nothing you haven’t handled before. Since consumers are now accustomed to the convenience of online shopping and holiday sales starting earlier and earlier, we expect to see another eCommerce boom this Q4. With everything that’s going on, do your best to stay informed and set realistic expectations so you know what to anticipate.

8 Tips to Rise Above Your Competition This Holiday Season

Although we can’t alleviate all of your end-of-year anxiety, we can provide you with some tips to rise above your competition this holiday season. In a time when our inboxes are irritatingly cluttered and our digital environment is buzzing with notifications, here’s how to stand out in crowded inboxes this holiday season.

5 Planning Tips for Holiday Emails

In a world of uncertainty (lots of that right now), planning ahead and expecting the unexpected can make a world of difference when weirdness arises. Be prepared to pivot and adjust to accommodate whatever 2021 throws at you.

Architect Your Email Program for Success This Black Friday

While last year’s Black Friday was marked by uncertainty, we’re feeling a little more prepared this year. Not only have customers become more accustomed to online shopping in the last year, but many are also realizing they prefer it. Plus, most marketers probably feel more prepared having had a successful 2020 shopping season under their belts. 

Holiday Preparedness: Email Sending

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how to build customer engagement strategies that enhance your customers’ experiences and maximize your holiday revenue. You will learn how to expand your engagement footprint while shifting from physical interactions and transactions to digital, with considerations for personalization and channel selection all built on a secure foundation.

 

Up Next

Holiday Campaigns Start With Your List

Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Holiday Campaigns Start With Your List

There’s no holiday email campaign without a homegrown, top-notch email list to send it to. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s prime time to give your list some much-needed TLC. Here are a few tips and tools to keep handy in your holiday sending pack.

Grow your contact list with up to 15 Signup Forms.

Marketing Campaigns Advanced Plan
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12 Tried-and-True Email List Signup Forms and Tips

Whether your email list is 1,000 or 1 million strong, you need signup forms to keep it growing. If you’re looking for some signup form inspiration, start your trek here. You’ll find a variety of irresistible ideas to get subscribers jumping to join your list—plus tips for creating compelling signup forms.

With your email list healthy and growing, you’ll need to follow a few best practices to keep it polished and rust-free.

  • Enable Double Opt-In. Double opt-in is an ideal method for collecting email addresses because it requires your recipient to demonstrate a genuine desire to receive your emails, helping you weed out unengaged recipients early on.
  • Validate Addresses. Close to 10% of all email addresses captured on your site are invalid or fake. Get caught sending to those emails, and you can say bye-bye to your deliverability rates. With our Email Validation API, you can verify emails before sending them—decreasing bounces and increasing delivery rates to the intended mailbox.
  • Clean Your List. Just like you always need to maintain your trekking gear, make it a habit to scrub your email list regularly. Remove invalid, non-responsive, and duplicate email addresses as often as you can. Do it before and after the holiday season to keep your list squeaky clean.

 

The Best (and Worst) Ways to Verify Email Addresses

There’s a right way and a wrong way to verify email addresses. This time of the year is prime for gaining brand-new customers and subscribers—guarantee the quality of your growing list by verifying new contacts with the gold standard.

denis
Ask the Expert:

Denis O'Sullivan

Denis has spent the last decade in the email delivery world helping brands get their messages to the folks that want them.

“Unexpected volume increases can result in deferrals and blocks. Make sure to warm up your volume to Black Friday and Cyber Monday levels over a number of days, rather than overnight”

Up Next

Take a Load Off Your Shoulders With Automation

Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Take a Load Off Your Shoulders With Automation

Email automation can feel daunting and cumbersome, but it’s far from the challenging mountain it’s made out to be. With the right tools and a little know-how, automation can help you create deeper connections with your audience and save you a boatload of time.

Email Marketing Automation—It’s Easier Than You Think

Despite automation’s clear benefits, only half of companies currently use it. Why? Because trying new things can be intimidating. Not to worry—our email experts will show you just how easy automation can be.

3 Email Marketing Automation Mistakes To Avoid

Don’t get over ambitious too quickly. While email automation can provide necessary relief, you’ll want to be aware of a few common pitfalls. Armed with these insights, you’ll be prepared to create powerful automations while avoiding catastrophe.

How to Build Your First Email Automation With Marketing Campaigns Free Plan

Ready to build your first email automation? Go on a step-by-step walkthrough with one of our email experts and learn to build a high-quality automation from scratch. From account signup to sending your first campaign, see what the entire process looks like.

Up Next

Test, Test, and Test Some More

Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Test, Test, and Test Some More

Email testing is a sure-fire technique for breaking in new email tactics and ensuring the quality of every message you send. Just like you wouldn’t want to wear a brand new pair of boots on a difficult long hike, you wouldn’t want to blindly experiment with fancy GIFs or countdown clocks during your important holiday campaigns. That’s where email testing comes in handy.

Email Testing Walkthrough and Examples: Send Flawless Emails Every Time

Don’t let image rendering, broken links, or spam filters get in the way of your sending success. This post will teach you how to confidently test your emails to perfection and eliminate “uh-oh”s or “whoopsies.”

Up Next

Holiday Email Inspiration

Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Holiday Email Inspiration

With your holiday pack full of signup forms, automation best practices, email testing tools, and more, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty details. We can’t create your holiday campaigns for you, but we can provide enough holiday inspiration to get your wheels turning.

2021 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Email Examples and Insights

With the online shopping holidays quickly approaching, we dug deep into our inboxes to pull out some of our favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing examples. In this article, you’ll find some clever campaigns that are bound to inspire your own festive email campaigns.

Email Marketing Tips From Holidays Past

What better place to find email inspiration than in the inbox? Whether you’re looking for subject line or email design genius, here are real-life holiday emails that cut through the noise.

3 Ideas for Thank You Email Campaigns

We ask a lot of our customers, especially during the holiday hubbub: buy this, look at that, sign up here. It’s a lot, which is why it’s so important to take a step back and show your gratitude with a kind “thank you” campaign.

Check out our free template gallery for grade-A, pre-built email templates.

Holiday Templates Galore
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5_Koryn_Delprince
Ask the Expert:

Koryn DelPrince

Koryn DelPrince (also known as Korn at Starbucks) is a Lifecycle Marketing Manager focused on nurturing our existing customers through email.

“The act of making a purchase has changed for good. As consumers have grown comfortable in a contactless environment, companies are leaning on digital experiences more than ever before to make a dent in their yearly revenue goals and this coming Black Friday/Cyber Monday is certainly no exception!

As our digital environment becomes even more competitive, you have an opportunity (if not an obligation) to step up your segmentation and targeting. This holiday season, businesses who choose to send their customers or prospects relevant communications that appeal to a variety of preferences are going to win the race for attention!”

Up Next

Make Sure Your Emails Reach the End Destination

Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Make Sure Your Emails Reach the End Destination

Whether you send transactional or marketing emails, it’s critical your emails reach the inbox— especially during the holiday season. It doesn’t matter how clever and beautiful your email campaign is if nobody ever sees it. With a few tools and resources, you can take control of your deliverability and ensure your emails finish their journey.

Twilio SendGrid’s 2021 Email Deliverability Guide

No matter what type of emails you send, all businesses have the same goal: getting to the inbox. This is where deliverability comes in. This year, we updated our 2021 Email Deliverability Guide to provide best practices and look at how COVID-19 has impacted sending practices and deliverability.

If delivery isn’t your thing and you’d like a little help, consider partnering with our experts. We offer a variety of services to take your email program to the next level. Whether you need help with implementation or ongoing support, we have options for customers of every size and budget.

Up Next

Add SMS to Your Packing List

Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Add Multichannel to Your Packing List

Email is only one part of the customer engagement experience. Expand your communications program by adding complementary channels like SMS, chat, in-app notifications, ads, SEM, display, and more.

Using SMS and Email to Engage Your Customers in 2021

Enhance your existing email program by adding a way to send real-time updates, alerts, notifications, reminders, and confirmations. SMS combined with email creates a seamless customer communication experience that’s scalable, reliable, and downright powerful.

How to Use SMS to Grow Your Email List

Your email list is your most important marketing asset. It’s the lifeblood of your marketing program—the sprinkles to your frosted doughnut. Use your existing SMS program to drive new, high-quality subscribers.

The Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel

Omnichannel is all the buzz—and for good reason. In this guide, we share how an omnichannel strategy can unlock a complete view of your customers’ behaviors and preferences so your business can deliver the exceptional service and hyper-personalization that today’s email recipients crave.

15 Ways to Use Data to Engage Your Customers

We all want more data, but data is only as good as your strategy to apply it. Here are 15 ways you can leverage data to optimize your messaging and create personalized experiences across channels.

Up Next

Pack It Up

Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Pack It Up

When it comes to packing, more is never better. We believe in taking the same approach with your holiday email program—keep it streamlined, minimalist, and oh-so efficient. We hope this packing list has provided you with the necessary tools to finish 2021 with a fist bump and a smile.

Happy sending!


Let Us Pack Your Bags for You

Instead of mixing and matching your gear, find everything you need nice and neat in our Free Plan. Add a signup form, experiment with automation, and start testing emails—all for free.

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Get Started with SendGrid

SendGrid helps you focus on your business without the cost and complexity of owning and maintaining an email infrastructure. And with a full-featured marketing email service that offers a flexible workflow, powerful list segmentation, and actionable analytics, all of your email needs are met in one simple platform.

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