by Larry Kilroy Oct 15, 2018
For many businesses, the holiday season (November to January) is one of the most profitable times of the year. It can be especially important for eCommerce sites to have their marketing right for the holidays for just this reason. Poor planning or execution of holiday marketing can result in lost sales income. October is the time to get your holiday marketing planned and organized. Today, we will focus on one of the most important tools any eCommerce retailer needs in their toolbox, email marketing. Studies show that 20% of holiday eCommerce sales are driven by specific email marketing campaigns.
Knowing which holidays you want to send email marketing for is the first step of any plan. Thanksgiving? Black Friday? Hanukah? Christmas? New Years? Winter Solstice? There are many dates that can support sales and offers. Planning which ones you want to take advantage of will help you focus on creating your strongest offering for each and keep you from wasting time competing with the holiday noise.
According to GoDaddy, customers begin opening holiday themed email promotions the first two weeks in November. Creating a buzz with an email promotion about an upcoming sale can help make sure your store is in the shoppers plan as they map out their own holiday shopping plans.
If you keep different email promotions lists (wine club, special deals) the holidays are a great time to try individualized marketing messages to each group. Reward your Wine Club list with a once a year special, or promote free shipping only to customers on your Special Deals email list. Any efforts to stand out from your competitors by rewarding loyalty of small groups of customers can result in sales and repeat business.
Using holiday themes creates a sense of urgency. An email promoting "Free Shipping This Weekend" will not perform as well as an email promoting "Celebrate Black Friday With Free Shipping For The Weekend". By adding a sense of the season, your customers will feel like these are deals that will only come around once a year and will be eager to take advantage of them.
This is where your own knowledge of your products helps you separate from the competition. Create a holiday gift guide email. Make suggestions what products should be bought as gifts for whom. Gift guides are a great way to increase impulse purchases that otherwise may not have happened.
Customers need to open an email in order to take advantage of the offers linked inside. Your email promotion will be competing with all of the customers email for their attention. A subject line that catches the eye will improve your sales in the long run. Don't be afraid to get a little playful or clever with your subject lines. Use holiday themes and words that evoke the season to get more clicks.
When featuring a product in a campaign, enable the customer to immediately purchase by including the Buy button. Research shows that up to 80% of buys - depending on the generation - are impulsive. These purchases often happen via a “buy now” button or some equivalent thereof. Impulse buys are much more likely to occur if the customer can easily and quickly purchase. Adding a Buy Now button accomplishes this.
Keep track of which emails performed the best. Make sure your email marketing system is capable of reporting on basic performance metrics like Opens, Click Throughs, and Sales. By recording what worked and what did not work this year, you are already taking a first step at a successful holiday sales season next year.
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