The holiday season is an incredibly important time for small businesses. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales make up 20% of all retail sales nationwide. In just November and December 2017 alone, those sales raked in close to $7 billion! We’re not talking about pocket change here. While the National Retail Federation provides statistics on retail establishments, businesses across the board see an increase in revenue during the holiday season. Email subscribers are a captive audience. A successful holiday email marketing campaign will stand out from the crowd and engage customers enough to keep them coming back even after the holidays are over.
Do I Need Holiday Email Marketing?
Even outside of the holidays, email marketing is key to lead generation and customer acquisition. Despite the numerous avenues for digital advertising, email marketing yields the highest return on investment. Adding a little spice to your holiday email campaign will keep customers interested and will be well worth your time.
Email list segmentation is an email marketing tool often overlooked by many businesses. By employing email list segmentation, or dividing up your list into small groups, in your holiday email campaign you recognize that you have customers in different demographics and with varying interests. Use the customer data you’ve collected to deliver timely and highly relevant messages to your audience. The possibilities of segmentation are almost endless, but here are a few effective tips to get you started:
- The holidays often bring new first-time customers. This is a perfect opportunity to target new subscribers by sending a welcome email or even a series of emails.
- Ask your subscribers how frequently they want to receive your emails and what kind of emails they want to see such as important updates, sale and discount notifications, blog post updates…etc. Allowing customers to have input on the frequency and topic of emails they receive will reduce their urge to click “unsubscribe”.
- Segment by location to let subscribers know about upcoming events in their city. If you are running a big holiday sale at your small-town brick and mortar location, you don’t need to notify the whole world. If you don’t ship to a certain location, avoid sending emails to subscribers in that particular market.
- Abandoned shopping carts are a frequent issue for eCommerce sites. Use targeted emails to re-engage shoppers who walked away from their carts. (Most e-commerce tools have this built in, or tools like MailChimp can help!)
Segmentation and personalization go hand in hand when it comes to your holiday email campaign. Personalization has the power to move some mountains, too. According to MarketingLand:
Personalized emails have an open rate of 30% higher than non-personalized emails and have more than a 40% higher click rate.
Almost any aspect of an email can be personalized from the subject line to the body of the email including things like a greeting, colors, location, and offers. Even transactional emails can be personalized. Use automation tools or a third-party collect data and manage personalization for you if you have a large client base. Don’t make the mistake of not personalizing your emails during the holiday season (and beyond) as it could literally cost you.
Dig Into Data
Loyal customers are the best customers, and they are your most important assets. That being said, it’s important to maintain a relationship through your email marketing campaign throughout the year. But, the holidays are a great time to remind your customers why they shopped with you in the first place. Did they love the gift they bought from you last year? Remind them just how great of a gift that was and suggest some products or services they might be interested in this holiday season.
Use shoppers’ purchase history to offer up-sells or cross-sells. If a customer recently purchased a gift, send them suggestions for add-ons that will complement their selection.
Your customer data is a gold mine! Tap into it for insights on your audience and their buying behavior. Once you’ve reviewed the data, set goals for the holiday season using benchmarks from the previous year or two.
Now that you have some practical ideas for a successful holiday email campaign, don’t forget to have a little fun creating your holiday-themed emails–the holidays are about finding joy and spreading cheer for all to hear!