5 Holiday Email Marketing Ideas

November 15, 2012

The holidays are coming, and with them comes the opportunity to increase holiday sales. The trick is to get your offers and promotions in front of the right audiences (those most likely to buy) at the right time. Retailers have proven that email marketing is one of the most effective tactics for achieving this; last year, more than 83% of major online retailers increased their email volume during November and December. Here are five sets of ideas for maximizing the ROI from your 2012 holiday campaigns:

1. Target early bird shoppers with time-limited deals.

Early bird shoppers are organized consumers who know what they want. This group is looking for deals and want to beat the avalanche of holiday shopping to come. They’re shopping now! Appeal to them with special offers:

  • Create urgency with a “Limited Time” offer
    (i.e., Save 20% before Dec. 10)
  • Offer a free gift with purchase while supplies last
  • Announce special pre-holiday hours
  • Invite them to beat the rush and sales

2. Make your emails stand-out for big-time shoppers. Holiday shopping enters the period of peak orders and revenue highs from November to mid December, as the big time shoppers start spending. Competition can be tough during this time, so make your emails stand out in the inbox with these ideas:

  • Send an offer with a “Hurry Before Offer Expires on December 5” – it’s been proven that a simple “Hurry get it before it expires offer” goes a long way toward increasing store sales.
  • Create a series for Hanukkah or the 12 Days of Christmas, and present a new offer/gift idea each day.
  • People like lists. Try “most popular products” or “top 10 gifts under $20.”
  • Remind shoppers that you offer gift cards and gift certificates for those hard-to-buy-for friends and relatives.

3. Make it easy for last-minute shoppers. Research and experience show that many holiday shoppers wait until the last minute to purchase their gifts. This period of holiday shopping is called the “Last Minute Frenzy,” and starts mid-December. Schedule a few emails in December that’ll speak to this audience by offering easy, last-minute gift suggestions and mentioning benefits:

  • Most popular products list
  • Top 10 gifts under  $20
  • Gift cards and gift certificates
  • guaranteed delivery by X
  • Last-minute gifts for under $50
  • extended hours for more holiday shopping
  • free gift-wrapping

4. Appeal to bargain shoppers from late December through the New Year. Just because the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean the spending and shopping have stopped. Plan to send a few bargain bounty emails touting your end-of-year sales and discounts:

  • holiday clearance sale
  • Post holiday sales
  • Stock up for the new year and save
  • Return that ugly sweater from grandma and get what you want

5. Use targeted email advertising to expand your reach and grow your house list. If you don’t have a large enough in-house email address list to make email marketing an effective addition to your holiday mix of tactics, hyper-targeted email advertising can provide you with a fresh, highly targetable opt-in email address list of over 70 million consumers.

Holiday email marketing should be relevant, timely, and valuable for your customers. Keeping important dates and holiday shopping patterns in mind will help you to target products, services, and offers to your new customers at the right time.

Still unsure about what your most effective Holiday campaign looks like? Along with our high-integrity, high-performance email list rental, we offer full-service consulting expertise, and a proven campaign optimization framework, making sure that it’s a happy holiday for everyone.

Contact us to discuss your holiday marketing plans.

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