Best Practices for Your Holiday Email Marketing

Best Practices for Your Holiday Email Marketing

In case you didn’t know the origin of the term Black Friday, it has nothing to do with how unpleasant you feel about humanity after waiting in line at dawn with thousands of others for a chance at a cheap TV.

Black Friday is when retailers kick off their Christmas sales, with the hopes that even if the rest of the year has been a struggle, they can still have a profitable business year – in the black — thanks to customers opening their wallets and making purchases.

Black Friday has also come to symbolize the kick-off of the major holiday campaign season, whether retail, digital or deals. Smart B2B or B2C marketers can use the opportunity to roll out their own campaigns or help clients organize and execute theirs.

Here are some helpful ways to get started.

Look at the past year’s data. This does require some prep by aggregating and analyzing the data from any past holiday campaigns.  Take a look at your planning and production process:

  • Were there any obstacles?
  • Did you give yourself and your team enough time to get things complete, or did sections have to be rushed out at the last minute?
  • Was there any relevant feedback from customers/clients?

Begin early

You may have seen retailers start to sneak in their Christmas stuff as early as mid-summer. Though it’s odd to see Christmas trees next to back-to-school items, it’s becoming more common in business.

Rather than relying on the Thanksgiving-Christmas period to make or break their holiday push, starting early gives additional time for revenue. There are people Christmas shopping in September now!

It can provide extra time to prepare and design a marketing campaign, get everyone on board, try out different concepts, give it a few additional proofs, and be ready to roll out when prime-time comes.

Even if your campaign doesn’t officially launch until fall, you can still preview parts of it in your summer communications – a monthly “coming soon” or “sneak peek” message can grow anticipation.

People like deals anytime

The mob scenes of Black Friday have created more opportunities for deals on other days, such as Cyber Monday or early-bird Thanksgiving specials.

Customers eager for savings this time of year won’t care what day a special offer is attached to, as long as it’s what’s promised.

Go for the heartstrings

For most of the year, it’s not necessarily a good practice to pile on the sentiment. But during the “season of giving,” you can work a little harder on finding ways to create emotional connections with your services or products.

Apple, for instance, did this memorably in 2014 with the commercial of the young man secretly making a video while his family thought he was playing on his phone.

But be cautious of people’s religious sensitivities, and those who already feel overwhelmed by the stresses of the holidays.

Go for frequency

With so many other marketers actively running campaigns, and so many deals out there, you don’t want your messages to get missed.

So it makes sense to increase your amount of touchpoints, even if it’s just a shorter greeting than usual, a reminder to take some particular action, or a quick deal. You can also increase the urgency, and the appeal of your offers, with a countdown.  

By taking stock of your holiday email campaigns earlier and mapping out your plan well in advance, you can have a more profitable, and less stressful, holiday shopping season!  May you plan now and be “in the black” at the end of the year!