Holiday Email Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

Holiday Email Marketing Automation

As a small business owner, you need to keep up with the big guys and get a jump on your holiday marketing now.

The start of autumn doesn’t only mean leaves are beginning to change, it also means the stores are filling up with reminders that the holiday season is soon approaching.

40% of consumers begin shopping before Halloween

Let email automation do the work for you, while you focus on filling orders and dealing with customer inquiries. Email automation is a series of emails sent automatically to subscribers based on their actions and your promotional schedule. 67% of best-in-class companies are more likely to use an automation platform for marketing.

Email is one of the most powerful marketing channels to use during the holidays because it gets you direct to your customer. This is the time the customer really wants to hear from you, because let’s face it, they’re in a buying mode and looking for deals. That’s why email marketing automation is an effective tool during a busy season, because it can prevent errors, nurture leads and save you time to focus on other areas of your business.

Follow these 3 easy steps to a successful email automation marketing campaign and you’re sure to have a smooth, productive and lucrative holiday season.

1. STRATEGIZE

It’s not just about sending the right campaign at the right time, but also making sure you’re fully prepared prior to sending your first email.

  • Make sure inventory is ready. Forecast what products and services will be on demand and when. Allow yourself sufficient lead time to get your ducks in a row.
  • Have additional staff on hand. You don’t want to fall behind when something you don’t expect arises. Someone should always be available to respond to customer questions and issues.
  • Create a promotional calendar. Figure out what you want to accomplish and the messages you want to send during the months of October through January. Figure out your target audience for each message.
  • Evaluate what other channels to use. Whether it’s social media, blogging, advertising, etc, an overall strategy using multi-channels alongside your email marketing will only make your message that much stronger and wider.
  • Develop a landing or lead page. Landing pages convert better than a mere product page. Use a landing page to promote your product or service and include a call-to-action and opt-in box for lead generation and to build your email list.

2. IMPLEMENT

Here’s where your content counts. There’s an abundance of content you can relay to your customers during the holiday season, so plan accordingly.

  • Announce upcoming events and sales. Let your customers know in advance when you have in-store holiday events, promotions and seasonal sales. You can even include a calendar reminder link where subscribers can easily add the event or promotion directly from the email into their calendars.
  • Communicate important policies. For instance, if you have a shipping policy, “no international shipping,” let your buyers know ahead of time so problems don’t arise because your customers were not informed.
  • Highlight discounts. “I hate discounts!” said no one ever.  Grab attention with those discounts by putting your call-to-action first and foremost and even use it in your subject line. Motivate customers to take action by using urgency copy such as, “while supplies last!”
  • Recommend popular products/services. Help your customers decide what to look for and purchase. Use positive testimonials associated to those products and services.
  • Reward loyal customers. Customer retention is best when your loyal customers are rewarded. Offer them a little something special and exclusive for being such a great supporter of your business.
  • Welcome new subscribers. With all the great things to offer during the holiday season, word can spread quickly. Therefore, you may see an increase in subscribers. Make sure you acknowledge them with a welcome email. That welcome email can include a special offer for being a new subscriber/customer.
  • Just spread holiday cheer. We don’t have to make everything about pushing product. After all, this is a time for family and friends as well. Short notes wishing everyone a joyous holiday season will show your human side and put a personal touch to your business. Use holiday themed templates and colors, as long as your brand does not get lost.

 3. OPTIMIZE:

Get the best out of your email marketing campaign by making sure it’s working properly for you.

  • Send test emails. Use different subject lines, images, copy and calls-to-action. Analyze the reports by your ROI, then choose the best combination of all.
  • Take notice of subscriber behavior. You may see patterned behavior from your customers. This is a great way to know when to target them based on when they open, read and click on your emails.
  • Engage using social media. Be sure to also have your social sharing buttons front and center. People tend to share more during the holiday season, because they know their friends and family are looking for the same deals. Encourage social engagement by developing a holiday contest exclusive to followers and fans across your social media channels.

It’s important to know that it all doesn’t stop at the end of the holiday season. There’s a huge benefit to email campaigns after the holidays are over. Stay on top of your customers’ minds and let them know you’re here to assist them further if needed. Send useful tidbits about the products/services they already purchased and always keep the offers coming. Lastly, be sure to thank them for their patronage and wish them well for the new year.

You may have no idea where to start when it comes to email marketing automation, nor have the time to institute it during your busy holiday season, so that’s where we come in. At Exceller Marketing, we’ll outline your company goals for the holiday season, create a promotional schedule, and implement and automate your email marketing campaigns, so that you can focus on everything else.

Although it’s best to start early, it’s never too late to get the help you need. Please feel free to contact us for more information, as well as a FREE consultation on email automation.

And for more great information on how to help your business get an edge up this holiday season, be sure to also visit our blog on how to “Increase Your Holiday Sales.”

Best regards, until next time!

Kathy Argyros
Founder and Chief Consultant
Exceller Marketing, Inc.
914-450-9149
kathy@excellermarketing.com
excellermarketing.com

Exceller Marketing is a full-service marketing firm and website design agency servicing small and medium businesses, as well as entrepreneurs in Westchester County, NY and the tri-state area. With powerful traditional and digital marketing communications, coupled with business development, we keep our clients ahead of their competition.

Sources: MailchimpBig Commerce
Photo: Google+

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