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Holiday Email Marketing Strategies

Sep 08 2009, 06:58 PM

The holiday season is a great time to step up your email marketing efforts and tighten the loyalty strings of all your subscribers. So make sure you don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your subscribers - follow our great holiday email marketing tips and leave your competitors holding onto their empty stockings!



Tip 1: The early bird gets the worm
The prelude to the holiday season marks the start of festive excitement. With chilly weather comes the desire to make wish lists and buy presents. It is no coincidence that the start of holiday weather also marks the start of decorations, flyers and other prequels to the approaching holiday season. By promoting your goods for the upcoming holiday in advance, you get the chance to reach out to customers when they have the time, money and motivation to buy from you. This is the period where you can get the most out of shoppers, so be sure to cash in on this early bird opportunity.
Tip 2: Avoid the urge to overmail
In today’s age of extreme competition it is easy to see why you would want to send constant and frequent holiday emails. After all, you don’t want to chance getting left behind. However, it would be wise to remember that it is human tendency to shy away from anything that seems too eager and goes in for a hard sell. Frequent holiday emails will most likely be followed by a quick unsubscribe and an even quicker spam complaint. So if you want to keep your subscribers, make sure you don’t irritate them with too many emails.
Tip 3: Cash in on vouchers, gift cards and certificates
Offering vouchers and gift cards may seem like small sales but they add up to a good tenth of all holiday expenditure. Also, purchases of gift cards and certificates tend to be exchanged and returned much less frequently than actual products. Another good thing about such gifts is that they appeal to a whole segment of subscribers - your last minute shoppers! Vouchers are the perfect gift for those who have waited till the last second to buy something; with a gift certificate these shoppers are able to hand something to their loved ones even at the last moment.
Tip 4: Contribute to a charity
Tap into the holiday spirit and contribute towards a charity. You can inform your subscribers that a percentage of your sales will go towards this charitable organization and provide them with details regarding this donation in your emails. Donating towards a good cause has a two fold effect; it lets you contribute towards a worthy cause and also draws in consumers as it appeals to their holiday spirit.
Tip 5: Analyze your previous results and plan accordingly
Take a look at your strategies and results for the previous years. It would also be helpful to make a note of your competitors’ past strategies and how these worked for them. You can then plan out your strategy and goals for the upcoming festive season, based on the successes and failures of the past. Factors that you can focus on here would be the type and frequency of communication, the success of your template design and ways to ensure that your campaign is ready to be launched in time.
Tip 6: Send surveys to discover preferences
Surveys are a great way to discover consumer preferences and interests. Once you discover where their interests lie you will be able to target your subscribers with effective email messages that are sure to get you great results. You can even request your subscribers to provide you with customer reviews and feedback. Surveys and feedback provide you with answers to important questions such as what your subscribers are most keen to hear about, do they want to carry out their holiday shopping with you and how often do they expect you to send them holiday email marketing messages. This helps to draw a framework on which your marketing strategy can be built.
Tip 7: Plan your email marketing strategy
Planning your strategy would include profiling your subscribers and coming up with marketing messages that would appeal best to each segment group. Once you decide what to say, you should come up with a plan on when to say it and how frequently. Make time for messages of appreciation and decide the optimum time to introduce new gifts, upcoming sales and important countdowns. A good idea would be to get hold of a calendar and plot the dates on which you plan to send introductory and follow up emails.

Tip 8: Test till you know what works best
Testing your holiday email messages is an important way to realize what works best for you. By testing your emails you can fine tune your campaign and hit upon a winning formula for success. Testing allows you to tweak your messages so each delivery makes the maximum impact. It also gives you keen insight into how you can make an impression on your subscribers. It allows you to come up with the most impressive template design and discover the optimum time to start your campaign. Testing lets you reach out to your subscribers in unique yet extremely effective ways that appeal to them (one great way to reach them is through contests and free gifts). Testing also provides you with important statistics such as your bounce and conversion rate. This allows you to keep track of your progress and helps you adjust your deliveries to maximize your results.
Tip 9: Continue with your campaign post holiday season
The end of the holiday season doesn’t mean the end of your email marketing. On the contrary, this is the best time to tie up your holiday loose ends and draw customers back into your shop for post holiday shopping! This period is perfect for pushing voucher redemptions, cross selling goods and even marketing product upgrades. You can also use this time to make a note of the highs and lows of your overall performance and learn from your experience. The holiday season is a time of festivity, goodwill and joyous shopping! Everyone has something they would like to buy - it is YOUR job to sell it to them!

Can you think of any more simple tips to boost holiday profits? Do let us know!

In the meantime , check out our new holiday email templates

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