It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
No, not the holiday season. The time just before the holiday season starts when you are putting your brain to good use and planning how to make this year the best one yet for your brand. So, we thought we’d help you out by giving you a few pointers to get ahead.
Your key to holiday email mastery is going to be multifaceted—and your strategy must be focused and personalized from opt-in all the way to the finish line.
Here are our 5 best tips to lay your foundations for great holiday email campaigns:
1. KNOW THY CUSTOMER
To win the holiday rush, you need to ensure that you understand everything that your customers are telling you onsite and in their inboxes. Instead, listen to what your customers want and give them value-exchanges that actually matter to them from the very first moment you can interact with them.
That process begins with offering email opt-ins that actually work. To do this, examine the behavioral data that your customers are willingly offering. Are they browsing a bunch of products without adding to cart? Offer to a small discount or free shipping in exchange for an email address. Did they click on an ad about your holiday gift guide and show a bit of engagement? Give them the chance to opt-in today to get even more exclusive deals from your holiday team.
Focusing on these intent-heavy moments in your actual funnel will immediately and automatically contextualize the relationship you have with your customers. This context is critical for making your emails stand out when their inboxes are bursting with untargeted hubbub.
2. CLEAN UP YOUR LIST, AND CHECK IT TWICE
The lead-in to the holidays is perhaps one of the best times to ensure that your email list and CRM are clean. One of the best ways to do this is by noticing the customers who aren’t engaging with your emails and reaching out with a re-engagement email, asking if they’d like to change their subscription options. So many brands are so afraid of unsubscribes that they’ll skip this entirely–a dangerous move.
What brands need to remember is that unsubscribes from disengaged consumers can be a good thing. It means you can focus your time and energy on your best customers, not to mention that with cleaner lists, you’ll see higher engagement, which typically correlates with better deliverability.
3. BE AGGRESSIVE, B-E AGGRESSIVE
During the holiday season, people are primed and prepped for a barrage of emails and discounts. While it may seem counterintuitive, your customers actually are excited to be engaged during this time of year, that’s why engagement numbers go through the roof because people are actively on the lookout for the best deals. For brands, this means you can actually increase the number of sends without worrying about stressing out or over-communicating with your customers. However, it’s important to remember that with an aggressive strategy comes great responsibility, so be sure to be organized and do a dry run of the most important send days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
4. A/B TEST LIKE YOUR CAMPAIGNS DEPEND ON IT…BECAUSE THEY DO
A major part of understanding your site visitors is knowing what they respond well to and what they absolutely hate. In the months leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday you need to examine every trend that instigates a spike in open rates or a decrease in conversion. A/B test subject lines, imagery, content, cadence and more so that, by the time you’ve hit the holiday peak, you know (without guessing) what will make your clients happy enough to click, engage and eventually purchase.
5. MAKE USE OF URGENCY AND SCARCITY
As you increase sends and look for ways to contextualize your messages beyond your initial handshake, try to plug in the natural scarcity and urgency that your product feed instills by building triggered email campaigns around those events:
Is something about to run out of stock?
Is a popular item back in stock?
Are your Black Friday sales slashing prices on an item that a customer viewed a couple weeks back?
If you know which customers have specifically shown intent for those products, you can send them messages for every kind of event that hits your product feed. Price drop, low stock and back-in-stock are the biggest game-changers we’ve seen, but you should be testing this to find what your audience jives with. This is all about giving your audience a value prop that naturally capitalizes on the organic urgency and scarcity in your feed, without forcing you to rain discounts down upon your customers.
SO, ARE YOU READY TO GET ON YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NICE LIST?
From ensuring your relationships are grounded in context from the start, to mastering your understanding of how the promotional landscape shifts in November—you have a lot of great opportunities this year to stand out in the chaos of this holiday season’s email marketing explosion. If you get your messaging right and follow these five foundational tips, you’re going to have way better footing than any of your competitors. If you’re looking for more advice on how to build out campaigns or how to carry that success all the way to January and beyond, reach out and we’ll hit you up with more holiday tips and tricks.