The holiday season is a time of year most of us welcome with open arms. In our personal lives, we look forward to spending time and sharing special moments with our loved ones. As businesses, we embrace the wonderful marketing opportunities that accompany the season. However, trotting out a campaign just for the sake of it will not guarantee you the milk and cookies. If you want to go into the new year on a roll, you need to prepare and execute a strategy your audience will respond to. Lucky for you, we have put together a list of tips that will help you make the most of your holiday marketing efforts.

Add Some Holiday Spice

When it comes to looking the part for the season, brands tend to go all out with their designs. Not only is this something that is relatively easy to do, it is also an effective tactic that can add a nice personal touch to your brand message. Don’t hesitate to give your email campaigns and website a holiday makeover, and if the moment calls for it, incorporate a theme that matches the occasion. For example, if you are trying to sell a product or service, something along the lines of the “12 Days of Savings” could be an ideal theme to get people to pay attention. Adding a little holiday spice will give your message visual appeal and make you appear much more approachable to the consumer.

Prepare for Shipping Cart Abandonment

Not all consumers finish the purchase process they start on a website. It is very common for a visitor to place all the items they want in the merchant’s shopping cart, and then bail out for one reason or another before purchasing them. This act is known as shopping cart abandonment, and it happens even more during the holiday season when consumers are bustling to compare prices in their mission to get the best deal possible. A shopping cart abandonment strategy is needed to address this issue, and here is what a good one looks like:

Follow up fast – The timeliness of your abandonment strategy is crucial. Ideally, you want to follow up in anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the cart was abandoned. Anything longer than that and the sale typically becomes unsalvageable.

Personalize it – This is your chance to change the visitor’s mind and convince them to complete the purchase process. Don’t blow it. Personalize your follow-up message by including their name, and referencing the item they left behind.

Make it tasty – Personalizing your shopping cart abandonment emails may not be enough when approaching some people. Realizing this, you should consider incentivizing your strategy. Who knows? It could be a generous discount, exclusive offer or free shipping that re-engages the lost visitor and persuades them to follow through.

Don’t Forget Those Subject Lines

Many of us are in such a rush to put our holiday email campaigns out there that we wait until the very last minute before even considering our subject lines. Sadly, some are never able to get it right no matter when they start giving them attention. It pays to treat your subject lines like the important element they are, because your ability to succeed during the holiday rush will largely depend on your ability to stand out in an inbox that is much more crowded than usual. Your campaign could be gold on the inside, but without a compelling subject line that makes it attractive on the outside, it will never have a chance to work its magic.

Have you put together your holiday marketing strategy? If not, you better get on it right away. Time is winding fast, and pretty soon there will be no opportunities left for the latecomers.


by Francis Santos

Francis Santos is based in the LA area and is the Search Marketing Manager for Benchmark Email. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs.