Christmas is, without doubt, one of the best times of year for countless retailers around the world.
You may be skeptical about Valentine’s Day, hate Halloween costumes or forget your wedding anniversary, but you can’t ignore Christmas.
No wonder it is the time when the most personal spending is taking place. In some cases, the festive season can make a difference between success and failure for a small business owner.
What part does email marketing play in Christmas? Well, 43% of marketing experts say that email is very important channel to generate additional sales during the Christmas period. Email affects at least 10% of the total holiday sales.
Do you have email marketing strategy for Christmas?
Don’t worry. I will help you to work it out.
First of all, let’s get back to your Christmas marketing in 2014. See what worked and what didn’t.
Collect and analyse all the information about your past experience, customers and competitors.
There are 5 stages of the email marketing in the Christmas period.
Here is our Holiday Email Marketing Calendar that covers all the holiday period.
If you are interested in one particular stage, click on the name link below and jump to your desired chapter.
Some companies start to promote Christmas very early. You may get emails “Christmas in July”. I suggest reminding your customers about the Christmas from November.
Gift guides or Christmas catalogs are a major selling tool during the holiday season.
To my mind, there are two kinds of presents that we search for:
#1. Presents for our family & close friends that we know very well and want to surprise.
#2. Presents for people that we don’t care much about, but we MUST buy something. Anything. The cheaper the better.
#3. Decoration for my house.
Save your customers time in solving the issues and they will be grateful.
How can you do that?
Suggest Christmas ideas for different price ranges, especially the cheapest:
CB2 turns the gift guide into a fun decision tree that all starts with rating the gift-recipient on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s hard to resist following every path to its recommended gift (see the newsletter here).
J.Crew encourages to make a wishlist showing their own example (see the full newsletter). That’s a great way to interact with your customers.
Take a look at funny J. Crew email:
The weekend is when people buy the most in response to the email. It is an official kick-off of the holiday shopping season.
And it’s all about the SALES!
Email themes for Shopping Weekend:
Be creative in expressing the message. Forever 21 sent a winning email that requested to click to reveal the discount:
DearMissModern changes Black Friday to Pink Friday Sale (because black just sounds so dark). This is simple yet genius, right?
Paradigm chooses no pitch on Thanksgiving. Instead they thank the customers.
Being personal and showing your company’s values is always a great idea to engage with your customers. You don’t have to sale in every single email. You really don’t.
From the beginning of December, it is all about the Christmas. You have an excuse to send emails daily. But be aware how your customers react about that. Don’t forget to segment the customers according to the results and provide useful content.
How to be useful?
Remember, how you feel about the Christmas just before the Christmas. I struggle with three gifts every year.
#1. What gifts to buy for all my male relatives and friends?
#2. What gift to buy for the 2nd cousin you haven’t seen since the ’90s?
#3. Oh I’ve forgotten to buy a present for that friend! And the Christmas is tomorrow.
I am sure I am not the only one facing the issues. Here are few examples of emails that would be very very welcome at the time.
Modcloth suggests Christmas presents for different types of guys:
J. Crew email includes gift ideas even for that 2nd cousin:
“Perfect Last Minute Gift”. Just before Christmas offer to buy eGift card that will be delivered via email within hours or minutes of being purchased.
Here is example of email by Zady:
This is the time when we send greetings or Thank you letters to your customers. It might be just a greeting card or Christmas photo of your team.
Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to make a connection with the customer.
Here are some ideas for the Christmas newsletter:
I believe that there are three main issues after Christmas that your customers would love you to solve.
#1. New Year’s Eve: where to go & how to dress
#2. What to do with the presents that you hate
#3. How to deal after Christmas depression?
Email themes for After Christmas period:
Don’t forget to include links to Facebook or Pinterest (it is perfect place to show your products). And vice versa. Share the newsletter on your Facebook and Twitter.
Remember, people are on the move during the holidays. Design the email for finger-pointing with short text, big photos and clear call – to – action.
People love coupons, sales, prices reduction, especially when they shop for the presents. You may use emoji to squeeze a lot of information in a single character and stand out in inboxes:
Here’s how Product Hunt use emojis to help readers visualize the topic in subject line:
Use more than just “Buy it now” message. How about: Get Giving, Get Inspired, Make wishes come true, etc. Best subject-line keywords for Christmas: perfect gift, gift under, gift list, and gift guide.
Surprisingly, the least popular themes are: Santa, Christmas, celebration; perhaps they sound a bit cliché.
J. Crew says Grab Your Mouse and Shop Now:
Send them gift ideas, home decoration tips, photos of fashionable holiday outfits and make them smile. Give and then ask!
For example, Shop Terrain gives ideas how to decorate house with lights instead just selling the lights:
If you have international customers, keep in mind that not every country is celebrating Christmas. Also, not everyone has Christmas on the same day – take Russia for example, they have Christmas on January 7th in 2016.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to re-mail for the less active subscribers. They might wake up for Christmas.
For example, consider sending email on less-heavy days such as weekends.The click-through rate is the biggest on weekend.
You should never forget that your business is not the only one undertaking a Christmas email marketing campaign. Your rivals are doing it as well, meaning that inboxes are more crowded than ever.
Therefore, effective targeting could give a real advantage over less well-thought-out campaigns. Mention each customer by their name and reference their purchase history, such as giving them a “Christmas bonus” for being such good customers or a “We miss you”, if it’s been a while since their last purchase.
The main point of any marketing is to actually close the sale. Limited-time offers are easy to roll out but can be super effective. Use autoresponders to automatically inform customers about the limited time they have to cash in on a Christmas discount. Make it clear that this offer will expire soon and watch the purchases roll in.
Remember you can use A/B split tests with MailerLite to check which header, emoticon or content is enabling your campaign to perform better. Give at least 4-5 hours for the results to decide on winning A/B version. Make the most of this powerful feature!
Visit our Holiday Newsletters Pinterest board to get more inspiration.