In this third and final installment of SharpSpring’s Holiday Sending Preparation series, we’re focused on design, testing, sending, and monitoring the results of your holiday email sends!

You’re so close to enjoying Bubbe’s famous noodle kugel and sufganiyot, you can taste them!

If you’ve followed the advice in part 1 and part 2 of our series, you’ve done a great job in tidying up your mailing lists to focus on opted-in and engaged contacts. You’ve grown your volume over time to support the positive sender reputation needed to get your holiday emails to the inbox. Don’t settle in with your hot chocolate and cookies by the fire just yet, though.

Once you’re in the final stages of holiday email sending preparation, your focus needs to turn to design and testing of holiday emails likely to convince your recipients to open and click on your content. Think about the email you get over the holidays and what types of language, offerings, and features entice you to engage.

You know DKIM and DMARC
And Opt-in and Reputation,
Personalization and Segmentation,
And Deliverability and Delivery.
But do you recall
The most helpful holiday preparation step of all?
TESTING. It’s testing, Karen.

Test your email

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than designing a killer email only to have it go out with broken images, grammar mistakes, or broken links. You haven’t come all this way to skip testing and let these simple mistakes hurt the success of your holiday campaigns.

Once you’ve followed the steps in our first and second blog posts on holiday email sending, and you’ve tested your holiday email, it’s go time. But with your email sends scheduled and automations set up, don’t look away just yet. As your holiday sends start going out be sure to monitor the results. See any red flags? Take a moment to look at the issue to identify the cause and adjust appropriately.

Unsure how to solve the problem? Reach out to SharpSpring experts for help!

We hope that with the last few holiday preparation steps in place you will be prepared to fully enjoy the holiday season:


Plan out the types of emails you’ll send over the holidays. Research your favorite holiday emails for inspiration and don’t be afraid to spruce your usual holiday favorites up a bit!

Consider the types of holiday emails you are most likely to open over the hustle and bustle of the holidays rather than deleting, ignoring or waiting until after the holidays are over to quickly skim.


Make sure your holiday email sends are ready and operating properly ahead of crunch time ― test, test, test!


Schedule sends in advance using your new segmentation skills and understanding of your recipient’s levels of engagement. Avoid the temptation to send multiple emails in a short period of time if that is not the frequency your recipients expected when they signed up for emails.

Think about when you and your family are best able to read mail over the holidays and schedule for days and times likely to have your email seen at the top of their inbox.

Monitor your results and make adjustments accordingly. Keep a close eye on your email stats to identify any issues with hard bounces, spam complaints, low opens, etc.

  • Spam Complaint: Should not exceed 0.08%
  • Bounce: Should be below 1%
  • Unsubscribe: Should be below 1%

Don’t forget to look at your unsubscribe reasons for any hints on why recipients may be unsubscribing

  • Opens: Over 10%
  • Spam Traps: 0

We can’t control the traffic at the mall or political talk around the Thanksgiving table, but with these steps in place, your holiday email campaign should be the last thing on your mind when it comes time for celebrating.  Just think—you’ll be giving yourself the gift of a successful email send this year!

Check out the other posts in our holiday preparation series…

1. Authentication and Delivery

2. Recipients, Volume, and Personalization

  • Reengagement & Reconfirmation Campaigns
  • Growing Volume
  • Segmenting Lists
  • Personalization
Jessica Kaplan