It’s that time of year again. As the holiday season fast approaches, the nights are beginning to draw in, the temperature is beginning to drop, and marketers are hard at work figuring out a winning strategy to entice customers into their sales funnels.
The winter period is an extremely busy period for online marketers as businesses ramp up their efforts to appeal to buyers in the run-up to Christmas.
(Image: Clicky Blog)
In fact, in the US, the busiest five days in the calendar year for email marketers all fall between Thanksgiving Day and mid-December. That’s a hectic schedule, so it’s vital that a plan is in place to make the most of your email marketing efforts.
Although marketing has evolved at a rapid pace in the 21st Century, email marketing has proven itself time and time again that it’s going nowhere when it comes to sales funnel optimization.
(Image: Software Advice)
In fact, despite the rise of increasingly advanced technology, only social media marketing is ranked higher in the minds of marketers when it comes to campaign effectiveness.
This means that your email marketing should be fully optimized as we head into the holiday period. However, if you feel like you’re not quite ready for entering battle with your competitors to make your voice heard and leverage sales in the tumultuous festive marketplace, don’t worry. Here’s a compilation of seven key tips to get your campaigns in good stead for the competitive landscape ahead:
Adapt Your Subject Lines for Festive Frivolity
If there’s one thing you can be certain of during the festive period, it’s that your marketing emails are going to have plenty of company in the inboxes of recipients.
It’s imperative that you exercise creativity with your email subject lines and use some seasonal triggers to enable you to stand out from your inbox. Whether your creative streak extends to festive puns, themed keywords or just a little bit of alliteration, these subtle boosts to your visibility can help you to stand out from the crowd and build more engagement.
One of the most effective ways of standing out is by including some themed emojis in your subject line. This can be a great attention-grabbing technique that may come across as tacky for your business during any other time of year – but as it’s a time of festive cheer, should strike a chord with your customers.
Furthermore, emojis have been proven to be effective when it comes to email open rates, with Mailjet finding that 63% of email subscribers in the UK were more likely to open emails with an emoji in its subject line.
Above, Enchant has created a compilation of eye-catching emoji-based seasonal email campaigns. As we can see, the cheery attitude is complimented by the emojis in a way that adds colour and frivolity to a recipient’s inbox.
Use Audience Segmentation Wisely
Sending targeted and personalized festive emails can carry significantly higher engagement rates than generic mass emails. Segmenting contacts is by far the most effective way of adapting your messages to the specific interests of your customers and purchasing habits.
There are plenty of ways in which segmentation can take place. One of the most effective options is through categorizing audience interests based on the types of products they’ve purchased or the sections of your website that they’ve browsed.
It’s also possible to segment your subscribers into year-round and more seasonal shopper groups. Shoppers who are more active during festive periods and less active throughout the year require different approaches to your loyal everyday shoppers – especially when it comes to mailing frequency and follow-ups.
Segmenting your subscribers into those who more frequently seek to utilise coupons can help you to develop campaigns tailor suited to your more bargain-conscious shoppers. This segment can be particularly useful in avoiding offering discounted products to loyal customers who are likely willing to buy at full price.
Above, Sendinblue highlights how Airbnb has segmented audiences based on their browsing habits to offer locations that they may be more interested in visiting.
There are plenty of tools available that can provide you with the insights and ability to segment your subscribers effectively, with Google Analytics and Kissmetrics among the market leaders.
Set Up Exclusive Holiday Offers
To help shoppers to get into the holiday spirit, it’s worth creating holiday offers that run alongside festive themes. For much of the year, your emails tend to look the same, so this is really an opportunity to create new layouts and build eye-catching deals.
Switch your approach up and build some holiday-themed offers alongside some fitting templates. According to OptinMonster, one client, Cloudways, achieved a 120% boost in free trial signups by creating a holiday marketing campaign that’s fitted with a suitable offer.
Holiday-themed offers help to develop a natural sense of urgency among your subscribers. The natural time constraints on building a campaign to match a specific holiday or festive period gives customers a clear understanding of how long they have to act on their interest.
Be Sure to Optimize for Mobile
Did you know that TechCrunch recently announced that Cyber Monday sales had topped almost $8 billion? Significantly, $2.2 billion of this figure stemmed from sales on smartphone devices.
With this in mind, it’s essential to craft email marketing campaigns that consider the fact that users will be browsing on their smartphones. If your emails during the festive period aren’t mobile-friendly, your business risks losing out on a significant portion of its market.
To ensure that your email campaigns can be viewed by readers wherever they’re choosing to access their inbox, it’s important to integrate a responsive design that can adapt to all screen sizes. Responsive design relies on media queries to make your emails mobile-friendly. Media queries can trim your email’s designs and hide text on mobile while scaling images to fit various different screen sizes among many other useful applications.
Always Test Your Emails
No matter what campaign you create, there’s always time for A/B testing. It’s vital as a marketer to figure out which products and services work best in driving more conversions for subscribers.
There’s never an inconvenient time to test your products ahead of the winter festive period. Even if you’re in the middle of June, it can be useful to run some campaigns to see what’s generating more interest early on. This can give you a credible idea of what your subscribers are looking for and where conversions are most likely to take place.
Split testing and A/B tests can help you to identify possible errors and shortcomings before the busy season, giving you plenty of time to act in advance.
Once again, Google Analytics can be a great way of measuring the performance of your test campaigns. The platform can offer comprehensive insights into exactly where your visitors are coming from and how willing they are to act on their interest by making a conversion. Platforms like Finteza can be useful for gaining visualizations into the quality of incoming traffic.
The tool automatically identifies the quality of traffic, for example, “Clean Traffic”, “Spam”, “Cookie Manipulation”, and more.
Entice Customers With Seasonal Freebies
Everyone loves a freebie, especially during the festive period. Christmas, in particular, is a great time to build brand loyalty with giveaways and free goods.
While some freebies can be met with scepticism among customers at various other times across the year, holidays that champion giving like Christmas can really work wonders in creating more receptive audiences for offers.
Additionally, with how many competitors you’ll be battling with to win the interest of your customers, a free prize draw, competition or giveaway can work wonders in driving more traffic to your website. With an alluring array of deals and call to actions in sight, there could be significant profits on offer for brands brave enough to give valuable products or services away for free.
Create an Intuitive Emailing Schedule
To get the most out of the lucrative holiday season, it’s important to begin planning your email marketing campaigns in advance, leaving nothing to chance.
Since the emergence of Covid-19, the digital marketing landscape has gone into overdrive as businesses attempt to adapt to a brand new world of remote work and self-isolation. Some retailers may attempt to get in early on the chaos of festive email campaigns, but the best approach is to develop an emailing schedule that you trust.
It’s important to resist the temptation of bombarding customers with emails as this could bring on fatigue with your campaign while sending too early can run the risk of subscribers ignoring your content.
Utilize your analytics accordingly and schedule emails to be sent at what you believe to be the most opportune time for your specific audience. With the right blend of engaging content, the appeal of offers, and a tried-and-tested formula, you’ll likely win the attention and trust of your subscribers.
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