Start Planning Holiday Email Campaigns Now!

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Sep 9, 2022

The time is here to start your retail clients’ holiday promotions. And a big part of that is planning holiday email campaigns.

In this post, we are going to cover preparation you should do before you even start writing the email.

Future posts are going to cover holiday email content and schedules.

Why Email is Important to Holiday Marketing

You should be planning to use several channels to promote your clients’ retail businesses over the holidays. That might include holiday-related advertising, social media, local business listing updates, drumming up more online reviews and so forth. And you absolutely should take this integrated marketing approach.

But email needs to be a critical part of every client’s holiday marketing initiative. Here’s why:

  • Those in your client’s email database have chosen to be there whether they have bought from before or subscribe to their newsletter. They are lower hanging fruit than prospects with no connection to your client’s company.
  • Email is very effective. It is one of the highest ROI generating digital communication channels, generating over $42 for every $1 spent.
  • You can personalize email to include products they have viewed or bought to make a bigger impact with your client’s customers.

Start Now Planning Holiday Email

Holiday shopping can make up to 30 percent of a retailer’s annual sales. So, this is no time to procrastinate. That means everyone and their dog is going to be emailing holiday messages your target audience. There will be a lot more clutter to break through, but the prize is a lot bigger also. You are not going to stand out without advance planning to get the attention of your customers and motivate them to convert.

You need to start working on this immediately. Sure, people shop up until Christmas Eve. But 43% of people start their holiday shopping before the end of October! Make sure your clients don’t miss those sales.  And pay particular attention to Black Friday/Cyber Monday planning!

If you are not prepared to do all this on your own, you may want to resell email marketing services to take advantage of holiday opportunities.

Run Some Tests

You may want to run some test campaigns around Halloween to see what response you are getting to each of your offers before you begin your full-on onslaught before Black Friday. Test messaging, subject lines and offers.

Attract as Many Subscribers as You Can

Consider if you are bringing in as many interested prospects as you can for your database. Examine all your lead generation activities and see if you can amp them up for the holidays. For example, in your website’s newsletter sign-up, tell people you will be offering great deals in your Black Friday newsletter they surely don’t want to miss!

Target Your Customers

When planning holiday email campaigns, take a hard look at your email database. Is it property segmented for your target audiences? Are your personas up to date to help you develop offers that will appeal to each audience? How can you further segment your target audience so you can show them products that will capture their attention?

Pay particular attention that your best customers are properly segmented. You will want to send them some exclusive offers. You sure want to retain these loyal customers through the holidays.

You will want to have your database in shape to target clients for promotion of products similar to those they purchased previously, add-ons to those purchases and anything they need to restock. Keep in mind though, that these customers are likely to cast a wider net during holiday shopping.  They will be shopping for friends and family at the holidays even though they are also likely to also pick up a few things for themselves.

Check that Your Website is in Shape

Of course, you are going to want to create special landing pages for your targeted email campaigns. But you also need to plan your website overall.

Make sure your client’s website is working well. Is it fast enough? Check  the speed of your client’s website and individual pages. There are many tools you can use. Here is a good article on how to check website speed and tools you can use.

What are you planning for your home page to lead people to Black Friday deals and show them special Christmas buys? Get all those pages in shape right now. You want them ready when you start your email campaigns.

Double check navigation overall, and whether the customer journey is smoothe and logical. Can customers easily find what they are looking for? Are they being led to the right pages?

Address Abandoned Shopping Carts

If you have been meaning to analyze why your client has so many abandoned shopping carts, now’s the time to do it before the big push.

  • Is shipping information easily accessible at the shopping cart?
  • In the journey leading up to the shopping cart, has the client’s customer seen ample user reviews? Can they access them at the shopping cart?
  • Does your client have desirable payment options – and enough of them? Do they exceed what the competitors offer or at least match them?
  • Is information about returns easily accessible from the shopping cart?
  • Can the customer get more information they might need at the shopping cart in the form of FAQs or customer service access (or both)?

Now your client probably sends out email after a shopping cart is abandoned, maybe a day or two later. During the holiday season, but particularly during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday rush, you might want to shorten this to as little as an hour rather than a couple days. The Black Friday time period is do or die.

Analyze Last Year’s Email Campaign Results

Before you start writing your emails, take a look at what worked and what didn’t last year. Also consider what is different this year in the world at large or in your industry

Don’t just look at your own email campaigns. Consider what your competitors did and what you can learn from them.

Think about the products you want to focus on in your campaigns. If you try to focus on everything, your message will be lost. Consider what has been selling best recently.

Also give thought to your goals. Do you want immediate buys from your website? Do you want to drive customers to your brick and mortar stores?

Umbrella Can Help with Planning Holiday Email Campaigns

The holidays are critical to the success of many retail businesses. They are also important to other businesses such as restaurants. Great email campaigns can make all the difference.

If email campaigns are not your specialty or you need some extra help this year, consider Umbrella’s white label digital marketing services, particularly those for email marketing.

Contact Umbrella today for a free consultation.

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