Just like that, we’re in the final stretches of 2015 and the holidays are quickly closing in.
As we know from the phenomenon of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most consumers do their holiday shopping weeks before the celebration – and that means now. So, in order to make sure you maximize your ROI this season, here are a few tips to get the most out of your holiday season email marketing.
If you don’t have a plan, make one
The holidays have a way of sneaking up on marketers, and those without a plan wind up hastily throwing together an email just to make sure one gets out.
Start preparing now, and think about what is going through the mind of your contacts over these next few weeks. People are already emotionally connected to the holiday advertising they’ve been immersed in for weeks, which makes them more susceptible to your message if you can break through the noise.
A well thought out plan consists of several emails leading up to (and after) the holidays, with varying offers and senses of urgency. Your early campaigns might be as simple as introducing your products and gently reminding readers that you have a good idea where they can spend their Christmas bonus. Once they’ve been primed to be on the lookout for you, your next campaign may offer some sort of teaser regarding what’s to come for your holiday sale. As you get closer to the holidays, email campaigns may have an increased sense of urgency with “last chance offers” and “final price cuts”. Perhaps even a free expedited shipping offer to bail out the gift-giving procrastinators who waited until the last minute.
Get in the spirit
Embrace it. This is the season of giving, and your customers and prospects expect you to be offering up something extra. Special offers are a time-tested way to boost business with email marketing during the holiday season, so get ready.
Discounts are a standard promotion, but don’t be afraid to get a bit more creative with your special offers. Like we mentioned before, free expedited shipping comes in handy for shoppers looking to grab a last minute gift.
Another creative – and effective – promotion is a BOGO (Buy One Get One). People aren’t just buying gifts for friends and family around this time, they’re also looking to spoil themselves a bit. Why not let your customers do both at the same time? After all, they do deserve it.
Make your list and check it twice
Contact list management is incredibly important during the holiday season. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns, you’ll want to make sure the right people are seeing the right offers. Normally, we would say that if you were selling clothes, you would want to make sure you aren’t sending emails about a sale on dresses to the guy who just purchased work boots. But, during the holiday season when everyone is buying gifts, things get a bit more complicated.
One strategy for making sure you are sending the right content to the right people during this season is essentially to ask them (without actually asking). Create a campaign with a featured offer (discount, etc) and then allow your customer to easily browse products for the type of person they are shopping for. For example, a section of your email with a few links to “Gifts for her”, “Gifts for him”, or “Gifts for kids” makes it easy for the reader to navigate, while giving you valuable insight into their shopping needs.
Your email marketing software should easily let you segment your recipients according to which links they clicked on – effectively giving you segmented databases that allow you to specifically target your offers according to what you’ve learned about their specific shopping needs!