Jingle Into Christmas Prep Early
The holiday season is still months away; however, it's never too early to think of dashing into consumers’ inboxes. While most are spending their summer in the pool, it's time for retailers to wrap up their tanning lotion and towels, and begin preparing their holiday campaigns for the most wonderful time of the year. To get ahead of the year-end frenzy and ensure your customers are on your nice list, follow these tips based on recent Campaigner survey data.
Start Hanging Your Stockings and Lights: Prepare Early
Santa’s elves work year-round to ensure toys are ready in time for his voyage across the globe. Similarly, retailers must spend ample time preparing for the holiday season. Get your team together early and establish a holiday strategy with creative themes and seasonal merchandise and services. The holiday shopping season doesn't have to begin on Black Friday. By planning out all coupons and promotions early, you can give subscribers a peak into the deals and savings of the season and even help them plan their wish lists.
Starting holiday preparation early has proven successful time after time. In fact, one-third of those brands that began preparing before September 2016 reported a very successful holiday season — higher than the 21 percent that began preparation in September or later. Moving forward to this holiday season, 51 percent of business owners plan to start preparation before September.
Reward Subscribers: Give Them a Sweet Treat
The heart of a good campaign starts with putting current subscribers first. In the season of giving, treat your customers to promotions, free shipping, and insight into upcoming sales and events. Be sure to remind them of their previous purchases and offer special deals on complementary items to help encourage further purchases. Don’t forget that email marketing can be a key tool to winning back customers who abandon their shopping carts.
By offering promotions and discounts, you can join the 62 percent of retailers that found success using them last holiday season. These offers can help win back disengaged customers and come as a gift to loyal customers.
Spread Christmas Cheer Across Social Media Channels
Social media is a huge part of today’s society. Taking advantage of this platform can help extend visibility into your email marketing campaigns and encourage further brand engagement. To do this, cross-promote campaigns and build social icons into your emails. Doing so lets customers access pages with just a few clicks while checking email. Remember, social media can help create conversations among your followers and allow them to share personal anecdotes and reviews of your products and services.
While respondents ranked email marketing more effective than social media marketing, the two channels are connecting more and more underneath the mistletoe. This season, 42 percent of email marketers are planning to prioritize social media integration. Additionally, Facebook is the social media giant that continues to prove most popular, with 65 percent of retailers planning to spend marketing dollars on the social network this year.
Avoid the Email Naughty List: Give Subscribers Exactly What They Want
Personalized emails help make customers feel special and reduce the risk of inundating subscribers with irrelevant content. Descriptors like purchase history, location, age and gender can help you customize content and get on the nice list. For example, personalize messaging to subscribers in areas expecting heavy snow to highlight how your products and services can help families survive a snowstorm, build a snowman, or bundle up and stay warm and dry this season.
With many different email marketing features available, personalization played a key role in helping retailers with their campaigns — 40 percent of retailers reported it as the most effective tool. Utilizing personalization will ensure subscribers are receiving content they want to receive.
Moving forward, it's important to look at last year’s successes and evaluate which strategies and tactics were most efficient to ensure this holiday season is a success. By starting early and highlighting promotions and coupons to customers to help drive sales, you can effectively get ahead of the competition to maximize seasonal success. Incorporating social media is on retailers’ radars this year, so be sure to integrate your campaigns for maximum reach. Before you know it, a yuletide log will be in the fire and Christmas time will be here.
Seamas Egan is the associate director of revenue operations at Campaigner, an email marketing services provider.