- Send a thank you email: Use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to give thanks to your customers for supporting your business. You don’t even have to include an offer (but you can if you want to) – it’s been proven that a simple “thanks” goes a long way toward increasing customer loyalty. Your customers will thank you in return by giving you their patronage this holiday season.
- In-store only promotions: Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is famous for being the biggest shopping day of the year. Send an email telling people to come into your shop for a one-day only offer or early doorbuster promotions.
- Online only promotions: Create an online only promotion in honor of Cyber Monday, which is said to be the busiest day for online shopping. Send out a promotion code in an email and direct people to your website where they can redeem their discount.
- Email campaign series: Create an email series for Hanukkah or the 12 Days of Christmas, and present a new gift idea each day.
Last-Minute Shopping Phase
We all know that many holiday shoppers wait until the last minute to make purchases. This period, aka the “last-minute frenzy,” starts mid-December. Schedule a few emails in December that will speak to this audience.
- Be helpful: Offers such as “guaranteed delivery by X,” “extended shopping hours” and/or “free upgraded shipping” help reassure those rushing to make deadlines.
- Provide last-minute gift ideas: Late shoppers often procrastinate because they can’t decide what to get. (Or they just hate shopping!) Help them with the decision-making and ease their shopping stress by providing gift ideas for certain types of people or at certain price points.
- Attract last-minute shoppers to your store or website: Consider these offers: Most popular items of 2011; gift cards/gift certificates; extra percentage off their purchase; gift with purchase; or complementary wrapping.
Bargain Hunting Phase
Late December through the New Year is a bargain hunter’s dream come true. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the spending and shopping have stopped. Plan to send a few bargain-oriented email campaigns touting your end-of-year sales and discounts. A few ideas:
- Holiday clearance sale
- Post-holiday sale
- "Stock up for the new year and save" promotion
- An appeal to return that horrendous gift and get something you actually want
- "New year, new you" product promotion
Check out this holiday email marketing toolkit for more tips, ideas and seasonal graphics to help make your emails shine. Start your holiday marketing efforts on the right foot, and you’ll hear the sweet sound of ringing registers all season long!
Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a provider of email marketing, social media, online survey, event marketing and direct mail marketing solutions.