Don't forget that although these pieces of advice refer primarily to this year's Black Friday, they are generally valid for all Holiday season campaigns and marketing activities.
The single most important advice we can give you with Black Friday approaching is to trust Emarsys.
We have built an infrastructure which, on the day itself last year, was capable of processing
- more than 1,1 BILLION emails
- 70 million push messages
- 10 million web channel impressions
- 7 million SMS messages
You can read more on the details here. But in short: we are ready.
There are a few things you can do to make the journey even smoother for yourself, and give your emails the edge over all the others competing for inbox space.
These best practices will also make your segments, campaigns and Automation programs run quicker and even more reliably.
General advice for all channels
- Try to avoid big volume contact deletion.
- Start campaigns before Black Friday if possible.
- Don’t do full product catalog update around the holidays.
- Do big product catalog uploads well before Black Friday
- Don’t do a full sales data upload during the peak days.
- Use batch/recurring programs instead of transactional ones, if possible. Transactional mails are for time critical messages. However, when setting up transactional mails you should consider that the following are not time critical emails:
- refund emails
- password reset emails
- Please also bear in mind that batch emails cannot have any attachments to them.
- Try to make hourly batches for sendouts, e.g. 5000 emails/hour.
- Filters should always be followed by an action node.
- Timer nodes are usually set to whole hours, so by setting your timers to other than whole hours, you can avoid congestion.
- If you want to send a follow-up email based on whether contacts did or did not open or click a previous message, include a wait of at least a couple of hours. This will give the ISPs time to deliver the first email, and give you a more reliable launch list.
Ad hoc email campaigns are faster to process than ones in Automation Center programs, so use them for time-critical emails.
- Make sure that in your block-based transactional mails you only use maximum 3-5 block targeting with segmentation elements, so that your emails will be populated and sent out faster.
- If you are planning a bigger sendout than usual (10x), please contact Emarsys Support for extra advice.
- If your email message exceeds 100 kbytes, let us know.
- Try to have not more than 30 tracked links in a message.
You can follow the progress of email generation using the new Campaign Launch Monitoring feature.
- Try to limit the number of criteria for the segments. Overusing behavior or geolocation criteria within a segment will lead to performance degradation. We suggest using not more than 30 criteria.
- Last year’s data show that the peak hours, between 6 AM and 10 AM CET were very crowded, you may want to avoid this time period.
Using the unsubscribe feature instead of segmenting on unsubscribe link clicks speeds up behavior segments.
- Use manual or auto-import instead of API calls.
- Avoid import of new contacts if possible, do the import well before the holiday season.
- Import files should not be too large or too small, either. The ideal size is around 1 GB.
- Do not start new import within 10 minutes of the previous one.
- Avoid special fields: e.g. news letter, multichoice.
- Make sure to use duplication handling.
- Make sure not to import large number of duplicates based on the key column.
Use "good" (a.k.a. fast) imports: make sure that the date format and columns format, count and order match properly.
- Don't base all your campaigns on email. Customers spend a lot of time online during this period so make use of our other channels such as push messages, SMS or CRM Ads.
- Campaigns without personalization and links are faster, especially during high traffic periods.
- Try to avoid peak hours (6 AM to 10 AM CET).
Use faster segments (i.e. with less criteria, avoid heavy usage of geo-location or behavior segmentation).
- Non-personalised campaigns that are aimed to all visitors are the fastest.
- In the peak hours, the Automation Center audience refresh can become slower than usual because of the high traffic.
- Single SMS messages are faster.
- SMS messages without links are faster.
- SMS messages without personalization tend to be faster.
Mobile Push/Web Push/Inbox
- Messages without personalization are faster.
- Messages with small content size are faster.
- Avoid targeting contacts with not up-to-date push tokens.
- In Reporting, note that it may take longer for data to show up on the screen during this period.
- When using the API for contact updates, use keys that you have tried out before (do not start experimenting with new one).
- Relational Data and External Content may slow you down, based on your actual implementation.