Call it the end of the year rush, this period preceding the holidays is a great time for retail, since sales tend to be up and ecommerce has several opportunities to sales and engagement. And you don’t even have to wait until December to see the opportunities rising, because holidays such as Thanksgiving and the special selling days that come after it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, start bringing important returns to retail ventures. If your company is in for the Holidays, more than just participating in initiatives such as Black Friday, you need to be one step ahead of your competition and audience’s attention before the ton of emails and posts and the like comes.
So, you’ll need to do bit of planning. Even if you’re realizing it just now, you can still pull it off. You’ll need to be prepared and have a strategy of what you want to achieve within the Holidays, and work toward these goals in your company’s main channels. This is where email marketing can shine as a marketing channel. Because email is an easy and versatile tool, is a good, solid ground in which to firm your sales step this season.
Starting now until the end of December you can invest in several types of email campaigns: from purely sales-y campaigns which are all about the products, to special content created specially for the season. But before getting started, there’s a few points you need to define internally:
- Your marketing/content team’s availability to create the emails – this will define how many emails you’ll be able to send and how often
- Integration with other campaigns – social media, physical locations (you’ll see more about this topic right below)
- List quality – before starting an email program, check the state of your mailing lists: have they been contacted recently? How did they respond to your last sendings? Knowing what is the engagement level of you lists is very important, since it will give you a clue as to how you should start your email program and how you can segment your contact base.
Here are some Mailee.me resources to helo you with this par
- Download a Free Email marketing Campaign Checklist
Holiday email marketing: types of campaigns you can send
As we’ve briefly discussed above, there are a lot of opportunities to send email marketing campaigns and depending on your strategy you can mix them to provide an enjoyable experience to your audience, whether your focus is to sell or to keep in touch and improve engagement with your brand. When you’ll start the program is also a decision directly related to your strategy. It is advised to start sending promotional messages a few days before the big commercial dates such as Christmas or Black Friday, blasting people in the day may be risky, since people may already have made up their minds. Let’s take a look at the several kinds of campaigns you can send:
This are probably campaigns most sent this time of the year. In these campaigns, the most important thing is letting your offer speak and to show what benefit you’ll provide very clearly. Think about it, is is already a season of shopping and offers will appear in every inbox, mailbox and newsfeed, so if you send the same email you’ve been sending all year long there’s a big chance you’ll be forgotten in all that email.
Use your email campaign as a way to maximize a good ofert, maybe with free shipping or a gift to specific purchases. This email marketing must have a strong subject, that can get people’s attention as soon as it is first seen in the inbox. Check out this example from Netflix, is a very simple email that is focused on the offer and the benefit that is being able to buy a gift without leaving home.
This type of email usually wouldn’t be associated with campaigns focused on selling, but it can be a good way to be remembered and to be close to your customers. Even if these emails don’t provide a clear offer thet are marketing your brand. You can use these messages to send unique content that will be useful to your contacts: shopping guides, printable paper ornaments, recipes, Secret Santa gift tips, the idea here is to offer something people will use, like, maybe share with their friends and remember your brand.
This is also a good opportunity to bring your social media and email marketing strategies closer together: you can create posts about a subject and then send the whole content to those who subscribed for your newsletter.
And this type of message works really well for B2B too, just take a look at how Facebook for Business is sending an email that help other brands solve a problem: how to be ready for the holiday season.
Win Back Clients
Re engagement campaigns can be tricky, the same way as contacts who aren’t engaged are a puzzle to many brands. These contacts, who aren’t in contact with your brand – they aren’t opening or clicking on your messages – but haven’t unsubscribed yet, may need a little push to come back. And the holiday season is a great time to do it. The reengagement campaign is all about making them an offer they can’t refuse. This can be a discount, free shipping, the possibility to choose colors or to customize a piece of clothing, a free gift, you name it. Just think about something really awesome you would want to receive and is possible to provide. People are most likely to respond to a strong encouragement like this.
Check out this example of re engagement campaign, although it is not related to the holiday season. It is a simple “we miss you” email that is offering a good discount.
This is the good ol’ Happy Holidays card, just one you send by email. Even though it sounds simple, this is a powerful branding tool, that must be well thought and extremely well written, since it translates your company’s values. It is a good opportunity to thank your audience for another good year and send a really nice message. You can encourage people to forward this email or share it on social media, and that can even give you more subscribers/fans. This is a really cute example from Email on Acid. Simple, yet lovely.
You can send an email campaign to make announcements to your clients and contacts: if your company will work different hours on the holiday season or in case your company will close for a few days for the holidays. It is a very useful way to keep everyone informed. This campaign can also be combined with promotional sendings: you can use it to send announcements about shipping dates and “Last Chance Deals”, such as this example from Think Geek.
Combining email and other marketing channels
As we’ve discussed above, tis the season to do marketing, since there are so many opportunities to combine different channels. So, here are some useful tips to have in mind when combining your email marketing campaigns with other marketing efforts:
- You email marketing visual identity must have the same holiday style as other channels such as social media, blogs or even your website. Make sure the holiday spirit is available on all channels.
- Your messages are sending people to specific landing pages? Make sure the advice above applies here.
- Try to make all of your channels act “in sync”, so that a post can be continued in a blog article, and your newsletter has a picture from that Instagram contest you created.
- This is a very, very, very important: all of channels should me mobile optimized. If your content can’t be opened on a small screen, there’s a chance you efforts will be in vain