If the holidays are an important time for your small business, there’s a good chance holiday planning is already in the back of your mind.
While you may not have all your plans finalized, or even started at this point, you know that the next couple of months are going to go fast and the season will be here, and gone, before you know it.
When it comes to your holiday marketing, no tool will offer more opportunities to increase sales this season than email marketing.
If you’re looking to drive sales into the New Year, the right email marketing plan can make a world of difference.
Here are 6 tips to keep in mind as you prepare for the holiday season.
1. Get targeted
Consumers receive a lot of emails during the busy holiday months.
One of the best ways to stand out in a crowded inbox is to personalize the messages you send out. Rather than sending the same offer or information to your entire email list, look for opportunities to target your emails to the different groups of people on your email list.
Tip: If you don’t have separate lists to target, use click segmentation in your next email campaign, to have your contacts do it for you.
Here are a few targeted message ideas to consider:
- Exclusive offer to new subscribers: Create a special offer for new subscribers who joined your list since last holiday season. Let them know how you can help them during the holidays and include details about any of the special services you offer during these busy months.
- Special discount based on click-through activity: Use your click-through reports to see who is clicking on a particular link in a recent email. For example, if you recently sent an email announcing a new line of products and saw a lot of people clicking through to your website, you can target those people with a follow-up email with a special holiday offer on those items.
- Event invitation for VIPs: Reward your most loyal customers this holiday season by giving them early access to an upcoming sale or event.
Want another reason to target your emails? While working with their clients, our Marketing Advisors team has seen targeted emails more than double clients’ open rates, on average. With an average open rate of 16.33% increasing all the way up to an average of 39.2%. And some targeted email campaigns have reached an open rate as high as 82%
2. Focus on mobile
This year, 73% of shoppers plan to use their smartphone or tablet to research or make a purchase this holiday season. Combine this with the fact that more than half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, and it’s clear that mobile needs to be at the center of your holiday marketing plans.
One of the best ways to get your holiday emails mobile-ready is to choose a mobile responsive email template.
In addition to the template you choose, make sure you’re keeping your message as focused as possible this holiday season. The most effective holiday emails will include your branding, 1-3 images, less than 20 lines of text, and one strong action for readers to take.
3. Add a coupon
Coupons are a proven way to increase revenue and improve engagement in the emails you send out. Emails that include coupons see a lift in unique opens, unique clicks, and revenue generated per email.
If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you can easily add a coupon to any email you send out and track how many people claimed and redeemed your coupon, either in-store or online.
4. Invest in your subject line
Your subject line is one of the most important lines of your entire email. It’s the first thing people see when your email lands in their inbox, and for a lot of people, it will have the biggest impact on whether they click to open.
Make sure that your subject line piques interest or draws attention. Think about using alliteration, or rhyme. There as many creative ways to write a subject line as there are ideas.
5. Incorporate social media
Bringing your email marketing and social media marketing together is proven to help boost business results throughout the year.
In fact, small businesses that use multiple channels, like social media, in conjunction with email, report; more customer engagement, more new customers, more website traffic, more revenue, and more referrals.
Bringing your email and social media marketing together can have an even bigger impact during the holiday season.
If you’re on Pinterest, you can use emails to drive traffic to your boards with gift ideas for the holiday season. If you have an e-commerce business, make sure to set up the Pinterest “Buy Button” so that people can shop online.
Not convinced? 3 billion Pinterest users save holiday pins each year. That’s some serious online research and shopping going on during the season. And that’s just one social media platform!
6. Schedule your messages ahead of time
As things get busy during the holiday season, it’s easy to let marketing tasks get pushed off to the side. One of the best ways to avoid this setback is to create and schedule email campaigns in advance.
- Create a series for big shopping days: Set up a series of emails reminding people to shop small on major shopping days. Include a special offer that can be redeemed in-store or online and follow up with an email thanking everyone for the great year you had, thanks to them.
- Send deadline reminders: Remind people of important dates and deadlines throughout the holiday season. This can be effective when promoting limited-time offers or letting people know about shipping deadlines for online orders.
- Send daily or weekly offers: Keep customers coming back to their inbox by promoting a series of daily or weekly offers throughout the holiday season. This is a great way to expose all of the different products and services your business has to offer during the holiday season.
Tip: If you really want to get your customers into the holiday spirit, create and schedule an email for each of the 12 Days of Christmas…Think: “twelve days of special offers.” Start with announcing the campaign and end with a thank you email. It’s sure to get your customers’ attention.
Put your holiday email marketing strategy into action
While you may not be ready to start designing emails or writing subject lines, you should start thinking about how email will fit into your holiday marketing plans.
For more holiday marketing inspiration, check out 28 Ideas for Your Holiday Email Marketing.