‘Tis the season to be jolly! That’s right, the holidays are right here (well, almost)!
Marketers are all set to roll out competitive sales tactics to boost their revenue during the holiday season using a variety of marketing channels. Out of them all, email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to promote products or services and generate maximum holiday sales.
If you want to get in on the action, you need to plan out a logical holiday email marketing strategy to make sure that your emails entice customers to make purchases and help you drive business growth.
I have collated 5 different tips from leading industry professionals to make things easier for your holiday email campaigns.
Some of the experts who have shared their pearls of wisdom are:
- Christopher Donald, President of Operations and Managing Partner at InboxArmy
- Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy Officer at Return Path
- Tink Taylor, Founder and President at DotMailer
- Sam Hurley, Founder and Managing Director at OPTIM-EYEZ
- Ryan Phelan, VP of Marketing Insights at Adestra
Here are the most striking insights provided by them for holiday email marketing planning.
1. Christopher Donald
Christopher Donald believes you should plan your holiday email campaigns early. Create calendars for scheduled content creation, email campaigns and marketing collateral so that you can implement festive campaigns more effectively. You should be prepared to make changes to your existing plans depending on the anticipated conversion rates and other email metrics.
Using countdown timers along with a discount offer in your holiday emails is a great idea to add a sense of urgency and increase sales.
For a great example of this in action, look at Lee. The jeans-wear company has perfectly combined the use of countdown timers and holiday discount offers in the below ‘Cyber Monday’ email. It targets Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and encourages the subscribers to make a purchase before the countdown timer runs out.
2. Dennis Dayman
Dennis Dayman points out that more than half of your subscribers are accessing emails on mobile devices, which means that you must ensure a responsive design for your emails to read well across all devices.
Write a catchy subject line that matches the holiday mood. Make it unique as well as specific.
Your messages should be short but engaging. More often than not, your target audience will not check their email inbox as attentively during holiday season. To make sure your offerings get read and engaged with, promote them across social media channels as well, and include social sharing buttons in your emails to obtain greater engagement.
Have a look at the holiday email below by corporate gifting company Chocomize. It gives an impression of being a personalized email from the founders Eric, Nick, and Fabian, but in actual fact promotes a gift certificate. Chocomize have also highlighted their online presence on social media platforms and their behind-the-scenes blog.
Image Source: Get Elastic
3. Tink Taylor
Tink Taylor says data is a crucial component of email marketing throughout the year. However, it becomes even more essential during the holiday season. Hence, email marketers should segment their target audience into key customer groups, including frequent shoppers, recent shoppers, and VIP customers, and target them according to their behavior patterns.
Take into consideration the past holiday campaigns that clicked right with your subscribers and optimize them for holidays 2017.
‘Gift guide’ emails are a brilliant way to help steer indecisive customers into making a purchase. You can see how Uncommon Goods draws special attention to gift ideas in their holiday email below.
Image Source: Marketing Land
4. Sam Hurley
Sam Hurley emphasizes how important it is to execute personalization and machine learning strategies in your holiday email marketing.
Go beyond the ‘first name’ to make your subscribers feel special. Create a social contest that applies the principles of game-mechanics (gamification) and creates a brand buzz.
UK digital marketing agency Two sends out a fantastic gamification email wishing their subscribers a ‘Merry Christmas’. The email is super fun, highly interactive, and encourages reward-based engagement from the subscribers. The agency has also successfully combined the power of social media and word of mouth by adding ‘Share on Twitter’ and ‘Forward to a friend’ buttons respectively.
Check it out here!
It’s important to note that in 2018, it’s widely tipped that the email marketing world will see even more integrated shopping carts, GIFs, emojis, videos, games, and quizzes. As the worth of the Artificial Intelligence market is expected to reach more than USD 16 billion in 2022, AI-based email communications will also make it an exciting era for both subscribers and email marketers.
5. Ryan Phelan
Ryan Phelan believes that it would be ideal if you could control the message even after you have sent it. With real-time content, you can. It comes with an added advantage that in the current digital market, we have powerful technology as well as cost-effective services.
With real-time content, you can update the changes in your inventory and make the holiday emails more effective for the recipients.
Email marketers should always remember that email addresses are more important than Social Security Numbers. This is because an email address can convey more information about a customer than most other sources.
It is quite likely that email marketers who have started using email addresses as individual identification parameters for their subscribers and grouped their lists according to data will be able to drive more business during the holiday season of 2017.
Phelan suggests you should also make use of third-party information about customer behavior on various other sites and target the customers accordingly. However, don’t intrude too far on people’s privacy! Go the extra mile by expressing gratitude through your emails but don’t go over the top. Design a subtle email that says ‘thank you’ to the customers for their loyal patronage towards your brand without being creepy.
Check out the example from Whistlefish below for inspiration.They thank their subscribers while taking the opportunity to promote their Christmas sale and bestselling products in one winning holiday email.
This holiday season, subscribers are sure to witness a beautiful collection of marketing emails in their inbox. Use the above tips to make your email design and copy as creative, data-driven and engaging as possible.
As a bonus, here are some festive email marketing mistakes to avoid:
- Do not overuse trending hashtags just because everyone else is.
- Do not over-email and come off as a spammy marketer. Focus on quality, not quantity.
- Ensure your emails address a real person and are conversational in tone, rather than sounding like a sales pitch.
- Do not forget to adopt a fallback strategy like ‘View in Browser’ or use suitable Alt text in images for email servers that don’t support interactive elements like GIFs and CSS animations!
Have you planned your holiday email marketing yet?
Guest Author: Kevin George is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks – one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting beautiful email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free master email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’.