Make the most of your Christmas emails...

30th October 2013 By Louise Stephens in Strategy

It’s that time of year again, the nights are drawing in and Christmas is only around the corner… 

Christmas is a great time of year for companies to scale up the volume of their email marketing to maximise on sales. In 2012 retailers increased the number of email they sent out by a whopping 19% in comparison to 2011. This blog post is a guide to making the most of your Christmas campaigns.

It’s all about timing…

If you get the timing right your Christmas sales can easily outperform that of your other campaigns run over the year, but get this wrong and you run the risk of your competitors cashing in. 

So how do you get this vital element right? 

Preparation is key to your success, some companies start preparing their Christmas campaigns months in advance, here are our top tips to help planning:

Set realistic and tangible objectives:

What do you actually want to achieve from your holiday campaigns? More sales? More enquiries? Attract more Twitter followers? Whatever your objectives make sure they are realistic and tangible, there is no point setting an objective that will never be achieved or you have no way of measuring.

Next you need to decide on a strategy to meet these objectives, the first place I suggest looking at is what you did last year. Looking back over previous campaigns is a must when constructing any strategy. It’s also worth running a SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and analysing what your competitors have done in the past. Being armed with this information means you can move on to the next step.

Key dates:

Identify any key dates that might help conversions for your campaigns and measure the traffic to your website to find out if there are any other seasonal peaks that you might be missing out on.

Cleanse your database:

As we all know data is key to successful email marketing campaigns, don’t be afraid to have a purge every now and again to ensure you are only communicating to people that are genuinely engaged with your business. We recommend what we call a ‘Cleanse email’ this comprises of a simple, branded email aimed to either re-engage those who are perhaps fatigued with your messages and clear out those who no longer wish to receive your emails by asking the subscriber to either ‘Update their preferences’ or ‘Unsubscribe.’ After all why waste time, and money on people who are never going to make a purchase? Let them go!

Content review:

‘Content marketing’ is the new ‘General Marketing,’ this tip is all about providing your audience with content that is useful to THEM not what YOU as a business THINKS they might be interested in. The best way to analyse this is by looking into your audience’s behaviour over your last campaigns and segmenting them into groups to ensure each group is getting the content they need in order to convert. You might find that some of your audience prefer to receive educational emails over offers or visa-versa, look into this and provide people with information they actually want.  

Test, test and test again:

If you are unsure about anything in email marketing the best thing to do is test, here are some tests you might like to consider:

Time & day to send
Subject lines

I could go on forever, but the important thing is to test as much as you can in order to give your campaign the best possible chance. Don’t forget, a poor result doesn’t mean a ‘bad’ campaign it just means that you now know what not to do!

Start as early as you can:

Don’t be afraid to jump on the Christmas band wagon early, most campaigns start at the end of October, give your audience a nice long lead time to get maximum conversions out of every campaign. There is also nothing wrong with offering ‘early bird’ discounts or only sending out part of the information in order to keep people engaged throughout the whole festive period, think about it like dangling a carrot.

Follow up campaigns:

Don’t let Christmas day be the end of your festive campaign, send follow up campaigns and a ‘final offer’ to really maximise those conversions. Quite often a case study or testimonial works well at this stage, no one like to feel like they have missed out on a great product or service.

So there you are, a quick round up to creating an objective led Christmas email campaign. This year don’t just send an e-card, make the most of this time by creating a strategy that really boosts your ROI. After all email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools you have access to, make sure your emails work hard for you this year.

If you would like to see how Little Green Plane can help you build a holiday campaign please contact Louise Stephens for more information.

Louise Stephens
About the Author

Louise Stephens

Louise is an email marketing consultant at little green plane. She advises and builds lasting relationships with our existing clients as well as handling all new business. Louise also conducts full demonstrations of our software and will advise on the right package for your business. Louise is passionate about email marketing and will happily train clients on a number of topics including; best practice, engaging your audience and getting the best return on your investment.