What is Ad Blocking and How to Work Around It

ad-blockerAd blocking has officially become mainstream, with more than just a few people aware of it’s powers. Almost 200 million active users are using ad blockers to block advertisements online.

That’s 200 million people who may not see the advertisements you are creating and paying to show. This year alone ad blocking grew in popularity with a 44% increase of global users and that percentage will only increase as we go into 2016.

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Business Insider

To help make sure your advertisements are actually being seen, let’s first tear apart the fundamentals of ad blocking.

What Exactly is Ad Blocking?

Ad blocking has been around for years and does exactly what it’s name implies: it blocks ads. The point of ad blocking is for users to be able to remove any and all advertisements from a web browser and visit pages freely, without having to see unwanted ads. This makes for a cleaner layout when reading articles online and helps improve the load time by saving the bandwidth needed to display ads. This also makes for an extremely difficult situation for advertisers, publishers, and media companies who make a majority of their revenue from displaying ads on web pages.

Ad blocking doesn’t just block advertisements, though. Content that is deemed intrusive or an invasion of privacy may also be blocked from web pages using content blockers on mobile. Buttons and sharing features can also be categorized as “annoying” from content blockers and be removed, which limit sharing options on mobile.

Does Ad Blocking Affect Publishers?

You bet your ad budget it does! This year alone, ad blocking is estimated to cost publishers almost $22 billion of revenue. First came print, then came online and with online came the struggle to make money from providing free online articles. Publishers have just barely figured out that battle and then got hit with ad blocking.

How Are Companies Handling Ad Blockers?

Ad blocking is extremely frustrating for publishers and advertisers. That’s why companies like Yahoo are taking a stand against ad blocking, at least to an extent. Since ad blocking is legal and meant to benefit user experience, publishers are having a difficult time persuading users to not use ad blocking.

Yahoo recently got creative and decided to tiptoe around this issue by banning users from email accounts if they use ad blockers. Yahoo, like Google, depend heavily on advertising for revenue and are able to offer free services like news articles and email accounts because of the revenue stream from advertising. Ad blocking not only complicates this stream, but is forcing companies like Yahoo to rethink their free services.

On November 23, Yahoo told the Washington Post that they were experimenting with this for a small number of Yahoo users as a “test”. Depending upon the results and reactions to the test, Yahoo may make this policy a norm.

How Does Ad Blocking Effect Mobile?

The mobile version of ad blocking is just as harmful to publishers and advertisers, especially with Apple’s latest update. Which is why Axel Springer, one of the largest digital publishing companies in Europe, is taking iOS 9’s newest ad blocking app “Blockr” to court. Blockr is an app that lets users block ads and other content that slows down web browsing on mobile. Axel Springer has gone to court to stop developmentation and distribution of the app and wants to prohibit Blockr from being able to block ads on mobile, especially from their website.

Whether or not Axel Springer wins their case, users can still download a variety of other ad blocking apps on their phones to block ads from appearing and help to increase web page load times. Faster load times, which use less bandwidth, help increase battery life and user experience when reading and searching online. The benefits for users using ad blocking is clear, but publishers are still struggling to adapt.

How Can Publishers Survive Ad Blocking?

Ad blocking has the potential to harm how the Internet works, but not just in an advertising sense. If ad blocking continues to cost billions in revenue it will eventually affect how free services are provided online, and if they continue to remain “free”.

While we see how ad blocking plays out in 2016, there are a few ways to get around ad blockers as long as you are willing to get creative.

  • Design Less-Intrusive Ads. Advertisements are either helpful, entertaining, or downright annoying. Don’t choose the latter; design your advertisements to be helpful, attractive, and relevant to a user. People are less likely to want to block ads if they can relate directly to them.
  • Tell a Story Using Ads. Get creative and tell a story with each ad, sending a direct message to your demographic. Try incorporating more video and animated elements to go along with the story and make the ad more engaging. Chipotle did a great job of this with their new app-based game that received over 15 million views on YouTube.
  • Timing is Everything. Pop-up ads are so 2000. No one wants your advertisement to pop up as a new page loads or in between app activity on mobile. Time your ads to display at relevant times and in relevant locations. Conduct several A/B tests to see what type of placement and time your ads are most clicked on.
  • Be Relevant. Why advertise a food magazine subscription on a gaming app? Do thorough research on your demographic and create advertisements tailored to their specific needs and likes. You can also experiment with finding hooks for your products to display ads on pages that may not be 100% connected, but have similar features you can draw from.
  • Technology. Some marketing companies are looking into developing a tool that blocks ad blockers so advertisements can still be shown. This tactic can be risky, as it will upset users who clearly chose to remove advertisements. Still being able to see ads could cause several users to attack brands, but brands would be able to get their revenue streams back online.

Where do you stand with ad blocking? Comment your thoughts below!

9 Things Digital Marketers Have to Be Thankful For

Thankful-toolWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, it only felt proper to reminiscence on all of the wonderful things digital marketers have to be thankful for. It’s easy to get swamped under the pressure of ranking on page one and having the most engaged business page on Facebook, but there are a lot of bonuses digital marketers have to look forward to. Here’s just a few of the many things we have to be thankful for this holiday season.

All Hail, Data

Data is one of the biggest things any digital marketer can be thankful for. Information is how we A/B test, it defines who we target, what different behaviors patterns are, and how we can better improve user experience. Without data, digital marketers would constantly be marketing in the dark.

As technology advances, we are given access to more and more data to better allocate marketing and advertising efforts. Web developers and SEOs are able to discover insights on traffic, rankings, keyword behavior, and demographic information, whereas social media managers can take advantage of Facebook’s data providers (Acxiom, Datalogix, Epsilon, Experian and Merkle) and obtain specific demographic data. All of this information creates a better experience for the user and for marketers, something everyone can be thankful for.

Facebook Advertising

Advertising on Facebook is only advancing and will continue to do so as we dive into 2016. The various different types of ads alone are worth being thankful for, but Facebook continues to push the envelope for advertisers and create new opportunities for businesses to connect with their consumers. Facebook has also continued to offer competitive bidding and pricing for lower cost per objectives than other advertising routes.
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Multiple Social Media Networks

There’s a social media type for just about anybody with overtypes of social  networks available. The ability to reach engagement on multiple social networks is a craft and all boils down to quality content. Luckily, not every industry belongs on every network, and that alone is something digital marketers can be thankful for. Certain social media networks are made perfectly for specific types of demographics and industries, whereas others like Facebook and Twitter are more commonly used by all businesses and consumers.

Advanced Tools

Handy tools like Authority Labs help cut time in half for digital marketers, while helping to improve business goals. Before online marketing tools, tracking data and ranking information was just left to tools like Google Analytics. Now there are hundreds of different tools available to help with social media, SEO, content marketing, and local search. THANK YOU, tools!
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Google Apps

Oh, what would we do without Google Apps keeping us all organized? Over 5 million businesses take advantage of Google’s Apps, making communication and file sharing that much easier for digital marketers. Between the Cloud, Hangouts, and Gmail, Google Apps help keep us all in line and provide a quality place to share information.

Google is also constantly updating and releasing new improvements for their plugins like Boomerang. If you’re using Boomerang, you already have something to be thankful for this season. If not, Gmail has different types of plugins to make managing your inbox easier. Here’s a few more Gmail plugins to be thankful for:

  • ToDoIst. Turn emails into to-do items to keep you on check.
  • Rapportive. Get to know everything about the person your emailing with these profiles inside Gmail.
  • FollowupThen. Don’t ever miss following up on a client again with these follow up reminders.
  • WiseStamp. Enhance your email signatures for a cleaner, more professional look.

User Generated Content

The time has come for digital marketers to stop sharing boring stock photos and one-liners. User generated content has changed content marketing, and in a good way. Consumers are sharing their opinions on Facebook, posting videos on YouTube, and talking about brands on Twitter.
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Take advantage of this extra publicity and creativity, and share the positive user generated content encouraging other consumers to do so, as well. It’s an opportunity for new content and something all businesses should embrace and digital marketers be thankful for. Even the negative user generated content gives brands an opportunity to reach out to consumers and address any issues or concerns.

Mobile eCommerce is a Thing

Mobile has not only become a traffic source, but a prominent platform for online shopping. People have become comfortable making purchases on their phones, giving digital marketers another place to increase ROI. Desktop used to be the norm, then tablets, and now mobile can be used to help increase online sales. This is something we can all be thankful for: consumers, businesses, and marketers.

Trial and Error

Testing in marketing is kind of like sampling at Costco. Costco provides customers with samples of different kinds of products they have to offer. They strategically rotate samples based on different types of products and in different sections of each store, making sure to include something for everyone. The sampling process provides awareness to customers who are now familiar with one more additional product from Costco and have the option to then purchase, or continue grocery shopping. Costco then has a better idea of what to offer and what to discontinue.

Digital marketers do this all of the time. Taking an expense, by offering something for free or giving a discount, digital marketers can test the market to see what people want and are attracted to most. Then, they A/B test different marketing strategies such as headline variations, image filters, and content to further define results. Once a few options have been released to the public, users react based on the content shown and data is collected. Thankfully, we have the ability to A/B test like Costco and produce the highest converting landing pages, websites, advertisements, and best tasting samples.

Marketing Equality for Businesses

One of the biggest tactics for successful marketing used to be based on large advertising budgets. Nowadays, small business marketing has just about the same chance of success as the big corporate players. Through generating quality content, A/B testing ads to craft the “perfect” ad at the lowest CPC, and other SEO tactics, small businesses are able to compete for engagement with the big boys.

There’s still an advantage when it comes to corporate advertising with larger marketing budgets, but more marketing companies like Facebook are trying to level the playing field to help benefit small businesses just as much as large businesses. Not only does this help businesses, but it helps digital marketers perfect marketing for all business sizes.
What do you have to be thankful for as a digital marketer?

Why Keyword Rank Tracking is Still Important


Folks ask me all the time what AuthorityLabs is. When I explain we offer keyword rank tracking I am often asked why it is needed. I am always surprised at the question. I often find that the people asking are newer to online marketing or SEO and they have read that “keywords” don’t matter. Keywords do matter! They were even mentioned by John Oliver last week on his show. Keywords will always matter and with semantic search keywords matter now more than ever.

What is Semantic Search?

Semantic search is aimed at determining the searchers intent and the contextual meaning of the term or keywords a person is searching for. Semantic search opens the door for a variety of related terms and options based on what was originally searched for.

So essentially, if you are planning an SEO strategy your need to not just be focused on a few keywords you think are important, but also what the user is trying to determine with their search – you have to focus on the questions they have and the knowledge they are searching for – then create your keyword strategy.

You need to know which keywords or phrases are ranking and working for you.

Google Analytics Took Away Our Keywords, So Work Around it!

So, thanks to Google we can no longer see what keywords people searched for to find our website and/or specific web pages, but you can work around this for the data you need. If you know which pages are ranking for each keyword, which is what the AuthorityLabs tool shows you, and you can see the traffic for those specific pages in GA, you basically have an indicator of whether or not your keyword rankings are sending traffic.

Look at the acquisition data in Google Analytics. What was the path people took to get to that page? If it was a search engine, take the keywords you are focused on for that page and check the search rankings for the word(s). This is your indicator.

Mobile Rank Tracking

I don’t need to review all the stats on how many people are searching and buying through mobile, this changes daily anyway, but we all know it is massive!

It is critical for every business to know where they rank in mobile search vs. desktop. You also need to know where your competitors rank. Mobile ranking data tells you where you need to put in your best efforts with SEO, marketing and how to supplement with PPC & app advertising.

AuthorityLabs’ Toolset is Awesome – Local, Mobile, Related Keywords & More

DataIf you are reading this and thinking “Melissa works for AuthorityLabs, of course she will say it is awesome”, I see your point, but that is not why I am writing this. I am writing about the importance of keyword rankings because the data is valuable.

I believe to the depths of my soul that the ranking data you receive from AuthorityLabs is needed keyword data to be used for content development, SEO strategies, offline marketing strategies, and it will help you determine how you should invest in paid ads.

Here are my favorite features:

  1. Track keyword rankings via country, city & zip code – You don’t have to worry about personalized or local search results you get when you search on your own. You get the real data and you get to see how those rankings change over time.
  1. Mobile ranking data – Again, via country, city & zip code. You can compare how you rank on mobile searches vs. desktop searches.
  1. Now Provided, – With this tool you can see what keyword opportunities you are missing! Get data on what people are searching for and get some new ideas for all you marketing efforts. See what Stephan Spencer says about this data on Search Engine Land.
  1. You can keep track of competitor rankings, create weekly or monthly reports with automated data exports, organize keywords by category, group related sites, graph rankings over time, your entire team can have access, and we have an API. There is even more that the toolset offers and you can see all the options on our tour page.

AuthorityLabs offers a free 30 day trial so try out the tools and see how powerful the data can be. And don’t forget the importance of keywords – we all use them for search.

Common SEO Problems Recovery Options – AuthorityLabs HoA Recap, Video

This episode of the #AuthorityHoA was originally streamed live on November 11 with featured guests Michael Schwarz and Dan Roberts of ImprooveSearch.com, and hosted by Melissa Fach, produced by Michelle Stinson Ross. Below we a have a quick written recap and the video from the hangout.

The Recap

Melissa Fach: What is the best strategy to avoid content vomiting and still rank for important topics?

Dan comments that engagement is the critical signal to winning top position for your content. How users interact with the content produced on your website matters. If you’re not tracking things like click-through rate and impressions in Webmaster Tools, you are missing out on key validation of the effectiveness of your content.

Michael chimes in that more is not better when it comes to content. Over time we have moved from ranking due to the volume of content we can produce on a topic to becoming the highest quality source of information on a topic. He hints that Google also compares sites that can be verified as high quality against other sites that are more difficult to verify. Your best bet is to emulate the best sites in your business space. Do your best to serve the users’ expectations.

Michael moves quickly into talking about some of his favorite free tools.

  • onpage.org
  • answerthepublic.com

Melissa Fach: What recommendations would you have for people regarding voice search?

Michael says they have been debating the issue internally. He’s careful how he answers this particular question, and if you know anything about former Googlers, they know way more than they can actually say. He does comment that voice search is opening up fresh opportunities, especially in light of how queries are changing. Users are more likely to use longer questions via voice search. Those longer queries indicate far more intent and specificity than a two or three word phrase. He also mentions that the answer boxes served up in mobile search can be more helpful for branding than traffic. To make the best of the opportunity, your content needs to expand on the basic answer to a question.

Dan reminds people that you need to be more comprehensive in the way your content deals with common questions. However, be aware that the return on the investment to produce this kind of comprehensive content is likely to be long term and cumulative rather than a quick payoff.

Melissa Fach: What do you look for when helping clients with mystery SEO problems?

Michael says he loves the challenge those kinds of clients present. He shares the example of a European sports betting site that was about to lose their placement in Google search about 3 weeks before the World Cup championships. In their case, they had to get a ton of pages reindexed before they lost major seasonal traffic. For issues like this that need to be fixed and fixed quickly, they don’t take time to experiment, but rather comb through the site to reverse engineer what is still working. For other clients, communicating directly with Google is critical. If the mystery issue turns out to be related to an algorithm update, site owners have to understand that while they are dealing with making improvements they may have to give those improvements time to work their way through the update.

When it comes to Panda related issues, site owners have to make certain that their “product” really does the best job possible to answer the questions they intend to rank for. Getting into Panda difficulties are much easier to get into than to get out of. Do users get the information and experience they are expecting? Are the pages that have been created really useful? Are those thin pages driving too much traffic to cut lose? Finding ways to update or remove thin pages isn’t just an SEO issue. Site clean-up on this scale is a business issue. To be truly successful, choices have to be made about time and effort so that both rankings and revenue improve.

Michael and Dan also had a great deal of information to share about mobile search behavior and how you find an SEO consultant to help you with problems. Be sure and check out the entire video and share your thoughts in the comments.

Digital Marketing in 2016: What to Expect and How to Prepare


It’s been an exciting year for digital marketers with the launch of #Mobilegeddon, virtual reality becoming a thing, algorithms continuing to change, and advertising data becoming easier to access. Next year we can expect even more exciting, and somewhat irritating, advancements for the cyber world. Take note of the advancements below as you begin to start planning your 2016 marketing campaigns.

Mobile Conversions Will Become Priority

This was the year for each and every website to become mobile-friendly. Google set a deadline and gave plenty of advanced notice of the impact mobile-friendly websites would have on SERPs. Many businesses listened and adjusted their websites to work on mobile, while some are still struggling to update their sites.

Next year is going to be the year where businesses need to take the responsiveness a step further and perfect their mobile design and funnel. It’s no longer enough to just have a mobile-friendly website. People need to be able to easily make purchases, sign up for webinars, and get the information they need on their phones without it being a hassle. Landing page optimization for mobile will be key and switching gears from increasing traffic to increasing conversions from mobile will be the new goal.

Influenced Marketing Will Takeover Purchaser Decision

​Instead of investing all of your advertising dollars into Google and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, start investing a portion of the budget into real people in 2016. Have you noticed how every other celebrity whitens their teeth and posts photos of them doing so on Instagram? What about the trending skinny tea posts, like #FitTea?

The companies behind the teeth whitening products and weight loss teas are bringing marketing back to it’s roots – using public relations techniques. A majority of these sales come from people who are following stars and social media celebrities who are using products and posting about them on social networks and blogs. Using a celebrity type of endorsement is still a valuable advertising asset for marketers and will only become more valuable as social media celebrities grow larger in 2016. Dust off your PR skills and start reaching out to these Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram stars to begin building relationships, similar to the old idea of link building. 😉

Long Form Content and Keywords Become the Norm

​Simple 500+ word blog posts will no longer be enough to satisfy Google’s ​search ​algorithms. Long form content will become the norm, averaging 1,000-2,000+ words per page​. ​This is because people don’t just want quick answers anymore, they’re now hungry for knowledge and want to know why the sky is blue instead of yellow.

The transition to long form content will automatically encourage advertisers to expand their keywords to add more long-tail. Search inquiries are getting more detailed as people start to search similar to how they talk to Siri, using a natural language. Advertisers must mimic this natural language in their keywords and bid accordingly.

Social Media Content Will Get a Makeover

​Every social media channel is unique. It’s time us marketers start giving social channels the individual attention they deserve. This means you have to stop sharing the same blog posts across all of your social networks on the same day, same time, using the same copy and image.
Posts on Instagram need to be drastically different than posts on Facebook because Instagram’s platform is made to be drastically different than Facebook’s.

Get back to basics with your social media efforts in 2016 and focus on posting valuable content, like videos and how-tos, based on a channel’s style and demographics. Remember to give followers a reason to follow you on every channel by providing unique content that actually relates to the social channel.

Facebook Will Continue to Improve Advertising

Facebook is consistently working to improve a better experience for advertisers and users. If ads are going to appear on Facebook, users want them to be relevant and advertisers want them to have the lowest cost per conversion with the biggest results. Here’s a few new Facebook ads that should help satisfy both the user and advertiser in 2016:

  • Mobile Ads
    Change up your regularly scheduled advertisements by offering them strictly to mobile audiences. Redefine an advertisement’s demographic to only show the Facebook ad to a mobile audience. Test the ad to see if the conversion rate improves and how competitive the cost is compared to your desktop ads.
  • Lead Ads
    These types of ads do exactly what the name suggests: give you leads! Instead of sending Facebook fans to a landing page from an ad to gather leads, you can use Lead Ads on Facebook to collect accurate lead information. The idea is the same as an offer ad where users sign up for more information or request something from a business and then users have to fill in their info.Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.37.25 PM
  • ​Local Awareness Ads
    This type of Facebook ad is going to be the most useful for smaller, local businesses and corporations that have multiple locations. One of the biggest struggles with Facebook for businesses is pinpointing the exact return on investment. With certain advertisements it’s easy to see how many clicks were made or how many Ugly Christmas sweaters were purchased from a Facebook ad, but other types of ads are much harder to measure. For example, measuring foot traffic in a store that came from Facebook used to be nearly impossible to track. Now, with Local Awareness ads, businesses can find new customers by displaying ads to groups of people who are near their business and/or neighborhood and actually track the results.
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Blab and Live Streaming Become a Real Marketing Tool

Periscope, Blab, and Meerkat aren’t just three weird names. They are live streaming and video networks that have drawn the attention from brands big and small. As we move into 2016, live stream marketing will become more of a thing and be yet another outlet that marketers need to be a part of. Video has already surpassed imagery engagement on social networks, and even for Google. Imagine what live streaming webinars, talk shows, interviews, and how-tos on a regular basis can do for your brand in 2016.

Oculus Rift Will Be Released

When Facebook makes an effort to be a part of a company, let alone own a company, you can usually expect big and great changes to come from the transition. That’s exactly what happened when Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Zuckerberg made his announcement post on Facebook about the company purchase and gave users a detailed forecast of what’s to come with Oculus:

“But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”

​Over a year later and now people are drooling over the new Rift technology and what virtual reality will eventually do for everyday life. Think a few steps ahead on this one and imagine how you can eventually incorporate virtual reality into your products.

What are your big plans for 2016? Comment below with the types of changes you see coming for 2016.

18 Ways to Improve Your Holiday Email Marketing

holiday-emailThere is such thing as too many emails, especially around the holiday season. That’s why we’ve developed these 18 ways to improve your holiday email newsletter opens, conversions, and subscriber experience. Afterall, the last thing you want to receive from Santa is unsubscribers!

1. Use a Mobile-Friendly Template Last year retailers reported 50% more traffic coming from mobile during the holiday season and over half of all emails are opened yearly on smartphones and tablets.

Ensure your email will be opened on mobile by designing a mobile-friendly layout for each email newsletter. If you’re not the best with designing HTML, Mailchimp and Constant Contact have mobile-friendly template options to choose from that will fit perfectly with any holiday theme.

2. Embrace Each and Every Holiday From Halloween to New Year’s Eve, there are several holidays to take part in during the winter season. Schedule your email newsletters using a content calendar around each holiday. This way you’re able to include promotions and celebrations for everyone.

3. Create Black Friday Discounts Consumers start thinking about Black Friday as soon as November 1st appears on the calendar. Schedule emails throughout November to give sneak peeks of what kind of deals to expect on Black Friday. Keep in mind, you don’t have to give away all of your Black Friday secrets, but do give subscribers a tease of what’s to come and why they should make an effort to shop at your business on Black Friday.

4. Don’t Forget About Cyber Monday Cyber Monday is a holiday made just for you! If you have subscribers and are actively doing email marketing, a holiday made exclusively for online shopping is the perfect opportunity to give people an exclusive discount or promo. Follow up Black Friday emails with details about Cyber Monday’s exclusive discounts. Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are so close, make sure the discounts offered on each day are drastically different so subscribers are given a valuable promotion for each day.

5. Update Store Hours For the Holiday Season Most businesses either take time off during the holidays or extend their hours to stay open later. Use email newsletters as a way to inform customers of new holiday hours, what days you will be open, and what days the business will be closed.

6. Add a Little Holiday Flair Sugar, spice, and everything nice makes opening email newsletters a lot more exciting. Have your designers add bits and pieces of holiday decor throughout the email to give it more of a festive feel.
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7. Include Extra Spirit and Cheer to the Subject Line
Is your holiday email urgent and only valid during the holidays? Add a few snowflakes to the subject line and describe the urgency, making subscribers want to open the email. The subject line should always represent what the email is about, while also being relevant to the holidays.Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 7.53.38 PM

8. Design a Holiday Gift Guide Featuring your most popular products for men, women, children and teens, showcase an array of gifts. Get creative with the layout of the gifts, because how you layout the gifts will inspire gifters to purchase additional items. Create a collage of complimentary items by gender to show what items you most recommend for each member of the family.Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 7.51.31 PM

9. Create Holiday Themed Events and Invites Email newsletters can help increase your guestlist and inform customers of holiday events. Include all of the event details in the email with an RSVP button where people can automatically RSVP. If you don’t usually host seasonal events, your business can easily create a holiday event to invite customers into the store. Extend business hours for a day, host appetizers and beverages, and offer an exclusive discount for last-minute shoppers. Spread the word and increase RSVPs using your email newsletters.

10. Create Referral and “Bring a Friend” Incentives One way of increasing customers during the holidays is by sending out an email to offer an exclusive refer a friend discount. Encourage customers to bring a friend or family member in stores to purchase their holiday gifts and both will receive an extra percentage off or a special gift. The gift could be a gift bag full of sample-sized goodies and coupons, both that a regular and new customer can enjoy.

11. Provide an Insider’s Look of What’s to Come Send out an exclusive email to your loyal customers letting them know what to expect this holiday season. The early holiday shoppers will really appreciate a sneak peek of what you have to offer, especially if it’s an “Insider’s Discount”. Early holiday shoppers are already debating which store to make their gift purchases with, why not give them more incentive to shop at yours by giving a sneak peek of what sales and promotions to expect.

12. Include a Free Shipping Promo Code Shopping in person is chaotic around the main holidays. A free shipping promo code is just another glorious reason why shopping online is the way to go. Give subscribers a unique promo code to get free shipping on their holiday purchases in your emails. The unique promo code will help track purchases made from the email by analyzing how many and what types of purchases were made with that specific promo code.

13. Discount Your Gift Cards Gift cards are one of the most popular gifts to give. Offering a discount on a gift card, like $10 off of each $50 gift card, will encourage customers and gifters to purchase gift cards from your business. Regular customers will also purchase gift cards to use for themselves to take advantage of the $10 off.

14. Promote Holiday Specific Items Do you have products that are only offered during the holiday season? Flaunt them! Share the most popular holiday items with the exclusive “once-a-year” items in an email newsletter, linking each product to it’s product page.Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 7.53.10 PM

15. Countdown to the Holiday Sale Send out fun emails that count down to the holidays. Daily emails will overload inboxes, so limit the countdown by sending out every 5 days, or a countdown to the last 7 Days of Christmas. Countdown email newsletters, when done correctly, get people excited to open your emails as they’re counting down with you, and are more enticed to purchase last minute gifts from your gentle gift reminders in each email.

16. Happy Holidays Email Schedule a very personal email to wish subscribers a Happy “Insert Holiday” from the team at “Insert Business” on the day of each holiday. Customize the email so they are relevant to the holiday. For example, Thanksgiving is a great excuse to thank all of your loyal customers, just as New Year’s is a time to wish them success in 2016.

17. Provide an End of Year Recap It’s the end of the year. Let your customers know how your business did this past year and what they can expect for 2016. Any new locations opening up? Plan on expanding? New products coming this spring?

18. Last Chance Holiday Deal The holidays are such a chaotic time for most. Reminder emails including last minute holiday deals are vital and encourage customers to make their final holiday purchases from your business.

How do you celebrate the holidays with subscribers? Comment below with your favorite holiday email tactics.