Practical Ecommerce

4 Pointers for Holiday Email Marketing in 2017

It’s September, which means now is the time to start thinking about your upcoming holiday email marketing. In this article, I’ll share four tips to maximize email effectiveness for the upcoming holiday season.

Send Email During Low-volume Periods

One of the top questions I receive is when is the best time to send a marketing email. It always depends on multiple factors. Moreover, over the past few years the times in which consumers engage with email has shifted due to widespread mobile adoption. Try sending emails during the lower volume times, when other brands are not sending. This will help your emails stand out.

Recently Venngage, the infographics-creating platform, subscribed to 500 email campaigns and kept track of when they received them. The results, shown below, found that there was little email traffic before and after lunchtime. Test to see if some of the lower-volume sending times help to boost open and click rates.

This image shows the volume of emails received throughout the day. There is little email traffic before and after lunchtime. <em>Source: Venngage.</em>

This image shows the volume of emails received throughout the day. There is little email traffic before and after lunchtime. Source: Venngage.

Send to Lapsed Customers

The competitive holiday season is a good time to review your data for lapsed customers, those that have not purchased in a while, or those who you may not be sending emails to regularly. Reaching out to them via email — when they have not heard from your brand recently — will make your offers stand out.

Spend some time understanding these lapsed customers. Develop more relevant subject lines and creative offers. Perhaps these folks are purchasing gifts and they only shop during the holidays. Understanding why they may not be active customers will help you develop a more relevant email offer.

Go Beyond Sales

Sometime compelling offers and cheap products will only go so far. Your best customers and brand advocates will keep coming back, regardless, and fostering that relationship can pay off over the long term. Building this connection takes time, however.

Using the holiday season to convey appreciation can go a long way in fostering customer loyalty. For example, the email below from Williams-Sonoma extends a “Happy Holidays” greeting and shares a free recipe. Creating emails like this will break the cadence of sales-related offers. It will help your brand stand out.

Williams-Sonoma sends emails that go beyond pushing sales or new items.

Williams-Sonoma sends emails that go beyond pushing sales or new items.

Request Feedback from Subscribers

Using email to request content, votes, reviews, or other forms of constructive feedback can engage customers. Solicit help from customers in a major product or brand decision. A good example of this is when Starbucks asked customers to vote for a new logo back in 2011, or in 1995, when M&M’s asked people to vote on a new color to replace tan — blue won.

In 2011, Starbucks asked subscribers to vote for a new logo.

In 2011, Starbucks asked subscribers to vote for a new logo.

Subscribers typically want to offer opinions in a non-survey manner. This approach is similar to requesting product reviews. Ask for feedback from customers. This will engage them and keep them invested in your brand.

Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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