There’s no doubt about it, holiday email volume is on the rise. Last year, online retailers sent an average of 210 emails during the holiday season – 19% more than in 2011 – and an average of 5.3 emails in the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday alone. Competition in the inbox is tough, so you have to have a sound holiday email marketing strategy in place to make sure your subscribers notice and engage with your messages throughout the busy season.
Here are 10 tips that have delivered in seasons past:
1. Re-engage – To have the best shot at getting lapsed customers to return, work to re-engage them before the holidays. Early fall promotions, perhaps with a hint of a holiday theme, will put you top-of-mind and give you an edge on the competition.
2. Offer a Gift Guide - Shoppers appreciate some help with the challenging task of finding the perfect gift. Early in the season, begin featuring a gift guide to get them into the mood and mindset to shop.
3. Include Ratings and Reviews – Give shoppers the gift of confidence in their present purchases by providing product ratings and reviews.
4. Offer Sale Previews – Holiday shoppers are trained to look for the onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Get a jump on the competition by giving a sneak peek into the great offers to come so they’ll be eager to receive your later emails.
5. Run a Contest – To build your list in preparation for the holidays, run a contest that encourages subscribers to invite friends and family to enter, too. Be sure to make the prize your own products so you get new subscribers who are truly interested in your brand. The added benefit of a sweepstakes is that on average 3-4% actually place an order from the registration confirmation email and we’ve seen up to 80% of sweepstakes entrants purchase within six months.
6. Send a Reminder – Send a reminder email to customers who purchased gifts from you last holiday that makes it convenient for them to purchase the same thing or something similar again this year.
7. Implement a “12 Days” Campaign – Engage subscribers and keep your brand top-of-mind with 12 consecutive days of savings or gift ideas. Be creative and build
anticipation each day for the next day’s email.
8. Have a Contingency Plan in Place – Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but have a message of apology ready in the event of a slow site, checkout issues, broken link or out of stock items.
9. Offer a Gift with Purchase – On average, only 15% of customers will purchase more than once from you. What easier way to get them to come back for a second purchase than with the gift of a nice discount or free shipping on an additional item? Suggest that they make the second purchase a gift to themselves.
10. Engage Procrastinators – Shoppers are buying holiday gifts until the very last moment. Alleviate stress for those who’ve waited until the eleventh hour by featuring a great gift that ships immediately.
To learn more and to see examples of engaging holiday emails, download Listrak’s Holiday Email Campaign Look Book. For additional holiday tips, whitepapers, webinars on demand and more, check out the Listrak Holiday Toolkit.