Whether we’re ready for them or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Before we know it, pumpkin spice lattes will be a thing of the past and gingerbread houses, carolers, snowflakes, snowmen – that whole holiday season – will be all up in our business.
By this time, you likely have your email strategy planned through the rest of the year – filled with cyber weekend promotions, re-engagement campaigns, end of year updates, etc. These fantastic ideas are all set and it’s almost time to start executing. If you’re eager to go the extra mile this season, follow these 5 holiday email hacks to get the most out of promotions, and cut back on customer service inquiries along the way. Ready, set, go!
1. Send a re-engagement campaign prior to cyber weekend
While quality is more important than quantity, think carefully about what your active email file will look like in the next few months. Consider setting up a re-engagement (or win-back) campaign to a sample of your inactive email audience ealy in the holiday season. The strategy behind this is to get email subscribers back into your active file before holiday sales.
How does this work? Say your active email file is currently comprised of subscribers who opened an email in the last 6 months. Create a segment based on people who purchased last holiday season, but have fallen out of your active email file. If they purchased gifts from your last holiday season, this will be a good reminder for them to do so again. To be even more precise, target people who spent over a certain amount last holiday season, so there’s a higher likelihood that they’d be interested in making a repeat purchase.
2. Treat your most valuable buyers to something special
We all have those subscribes who open every email and continue to purchase or engage with our content. Why can’t all our subscribers be like that? Make sure this group of Most Valuable Buyers (MVBs) know that they’re special.
If you’re having a promotion on your ecommerce site for Cyber Weekend, consider letting them know a few days before everyone else. Better yet, use this group to test out email creative and subject lines before a big sale goes live. These are your most loyal fans – let them pick the creative and messaging that works best for one of the biggest weekends of the year.
3. Utilize subject lines & banners in existing flows
Some of the most valuable email real estate lives in abandoned cart and browse abandonment automated flows (autoresponder emails) – especially during the holidays. There are two ways you can use this real estate to help communicate sales, gift guides, product bundles, shipping deadlines, or other important information.
First, make sure you update subject lines and preheaders to reflect current promotions. For instance, alter a standard abandoned cart subject line like “Your cart is about to expire…” to something including messaging about a promotion like, “Quick, Our Cyber Sale is Still Going On!” If there is a coupon code associated with your sale, most definitely include it in both of these triggers, along with expiration date and terms and conditions.
Another valuable space is within the body of these email flows, just above your footer. Typically, abandoned cart and browse flows will show recommended product, along with the item you abandoned. Utilize the last line of the email to insert a quick banner about gift guides, bundles, or relevant shipping information. Outside of holiday, this is also a great location to message an onsite Help Center for future customers to learn more. Find ways to use these emails for more than just cross selling, and add helpful seasonal messaging to make the holiday shopping experience easier.
4. Consider your other ecommerce channels
There’s one key date during the holidays that is especially important for customers to know – the last day to order to receive a shipment by December 25th.
Your ecommerce site shipping deadline is likely a week or so before the 25th, but if you sell on Amazon, your customers might have the opportunity to order with Amazon Prime. Consider pushing subscribers there for a “last chance” order. You’ll need to configure how to track the revenue associated with this email send, which can get a bit tricky, but also remember that you’re sending this for your customer’s own happiness and convenience.
For your campaign audience, consider sending to a segment of subscribers who have opened an email during November and December, but have not purchased yet. Maybe they need just an extra little push, and/or are last minute shoppers (aren’t we all?).
5. Take advantage of post-holiday opportunities
While pre-holiday is an important time for sales and driving revenue, don’t miss the opportunity to communicate with your customers at the end of the year or start of the new year. This is a great time to focus on customer relations and your brand marketing by thanking customers, sharing your company’s accomplishments, and letting purchasers know how they helped your company reach a goal.
For instance, if customers helped you donate X amount of money to a certain nonprofit, if they helped you reach your millionth customer, or if you update products based on customer feedback – thank them! Let them know they made a difference! And better yet, invite them to be part of your story and share what your plans are for the next year!
Turn holiday email tips into holiday email actions
With these five holiday email tips in mind, go forth and conquer the holiday season! Test out email subject lines as much as possible, and tighten up those terms and conditions for your big Cyber Weekend sales. As you make that final email push for 2018, take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve accomplished in the last year (with Auld Lang Syne playing in the background). Launching a welcome series of emails for new subscribers, creating a best buyers group, pulling off a profitable email promotion – celebrate what you’ve accomplished and be sure to bring that excitement into the new year ahead.
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