As November comes into full swing, we say goodbye to pumpkins and ghouls and hello to massive sales and marketing frenzies. Before you even blink, Black Friday will be here before you know it, followed by Christmas and Boxing Day (For those Canadians out there). Your clientele’s purchasing power is a vehicle that takes finesse in steering. If you haven’t started laying down the foundation for your marketing plan, then you’ve already lost ground for what is known as one of the most lucrative times of the year.
The holiday rush is upon us and we want to ensure that your business is taking the necessary steps toward a great fourth quarter. As per the National Retail Federation, online shopping outperformed in-store sales in 2016, and 2020 has added a few caveats that will most likely propel those sales figures through the roof. Keep in mind, we’re in a time where online sales will be sure to skyrocket because of the economic shift caused by the pandemic. By now, you should already have an actionable marketing plan already in progress. We’re here to assist you with a few actionable tips and reminders to use when creating a holiday email marketing strategy to keep your business in the green throughout the holiday hysteria.
Marketing plan reminders to help you be strategic about your goals
There are a few fundamentals to consider this year before you put your plan into action. Merchants are taking a different path to balance out all of the new changes taking place. Keep the following in mind:
Advertising: More than likely, big-box stores will not be opening (or with limited capacity) for Black Friday, and even though nothing has been said about Boxing Day as yet, we wouldn’t be surprised if it suffers the same demise this year. A good portion of big-box store advertising dollars will be spent driving customers to their websites. In turn, this will increase price per click costs for everyone across the board. While your online advertising budget may already be allocated, remember that this year you may need a little extra boost in your financial plan.
Shipping woes: Everyone is using outside resources more than ever to get their product in customer hands. Right now, shipping companies are working at capacity. With the increase of deliveries occurring, you can be sure to expect shipping delays when it comes to your inventory and distribution. Take heed that in some way or form, your shipments will not go out or be received according to what you’re used to. Be prepared for delays.
Be upfront with customers: If you’re having issues with your shipping situation, make sure to be transparent with your customers. Whether it’s by using a prominently positioned banner on your website or via your email marketing; keeping your customer abreast of what’s going on will give you a better leg to stand on. Remember, it’s always better customer service to keep customers informed rather than frustrated and in the dark.
Promote, promote, promote: One of the many things you can do is start your holiday marketing early. Prior to your big sales, give your long-standing customers a preview of what’s to come with special access. Maybe with Black Friday here, you can give your Christmas sales a push. Or, around Christmas, give a glimpse into what you have coming up for Boxing Day. Use email marketing prompts to entice customers to click on special offers. Use your promotions strategically. The key here is engagement—you need to make everyone believe the hype.
Communicate through your channels: Put your business-owned networks to work. Use your email lists, organic social media, push notifications etc. Share links to your sales, give sneak peeks or even share coupons—whatever you choose to share, garner your customer’s interest in what you have to offer. Any viable channel that you have where you can communicate with your customers is a persuasive and critical tool that shouldn’t be left to the wayside.
Focus on your holiday email marketing design, content and subject lines
People tend to think that having a snazzy, colorful and font-varied email campaign is what customers want to see. While yes, there is something to be said about presentation, it doesn’t always have to be flashy. Sometimes, less is more. Keep it simple and choose a template without too much fuss. Focus more on the message you want to convey and how you will entice your customers. Regardless of the template or swankiness, the vital element to understand here is that you want to make sure your email loads without any glitches on both mobile and desktop.
Also, you want to be concise, succinct and engaging with your content. Put a personal touch on it by sharing a personal story or offering a high value discount. If discounts are not for your brand, there are other ways to go. Offer special holiday guides or a product bundle by using a “free gift with purchase.” Ideally, your goal is to engage!
Writing a catchy subject line for your email marketing campaign makes all the difference between it being opened or simply ignored. If your email list is extensive, yet you have a low open rate, you have a larger problem at hand. What’s the point? According to Mailchimp, it is suggested that a 20% open rate is typical for retailers. In a previous post, we discussed the importance and brilliance of using A/B testing. By using this method, you can see what works best for your campaign. A few things you should try that may help are:
Emojis: explore using different emojis that will catch your customer’s attention (especially in the subject line!).
Personalization: use your customer’s first name so it feels like your speaking to them directly.
Clarity: no need for tongue twisters here. Get straight to the point and be clear about your deal.
Be concise: short and sweet is the name of the game here. Stick to truncated lines about three to five words, so your subject line isn’t cut off.
Whatever action you decide to take, know that holiday email marketing doesn’t simply start during the holidays. These tips above can be used to tweak what you should already have in the queue. We hope that we’ve equipped you with a few actionable tips to help you prep for what’s to come during this unusual 2020 holiday season.