Email Marketing Guide to Rule the Holiday Season Sales
Everyone knows that the holiday season is always a great time to cash in on sales. Not to mention it’s also the perfect time to start thinking of ways to increase sales margins.
But, is it really possible to rule the holiday season sales?
The simple answer, yes. Researchers have tried to determine whether there is a correlation between holidays and increased sales and found out that there are exponentially more sales during the holiday season than at any other time. In fact, one study by the National Retail Federation found that holiday sales account for 20% of all retail sales. Why is that? Consumers generally tend to spend more during the holiday season.
But even with the increased affinity for making purchases, it can be difficult to make sales. Or at least sales you’d ideally expect to make. To help you out, we have outlined a few vital practices that will help you rule the holiday season sales.
Let’s get started.
Know Your Holidays
From a logical standpoint, this almost sounds too obvious of a step. Of course, you already know what holidays there are. However, knowing them is one thing, but identifying which holidays bring in peak sales is a totally different thing altogether. Luckily, there are not a lot of holidays in the US. In fact, most times, you’ll only have like one important holiday that runs from early November to early January. But then there are other events like 4th of July, Back-to-school period, also some unusual ones that you could also take advantage of such as:
● An eclipse
● The first day of fall
● Midsummer Fests
As long as you have these integrated into your email marketing calendar, you’ll be able to roll out holiday messages easily.
You’ve seen me and thousands of other marketers talk about how important it is to integrate holidays into your email marketing calendar. But if you don’t start sending email marketing messages early enough, you’ll lose your edge to your competitors.
The holiday rush is a stressful time for many, and over the years we’ve seen holiday shopping come as early as late October. Now is the time to launch your promotions if you want your customers’ attention.
So if you are targeting the November to January holiday, GoDaddy recommends that you start your email marketing campaigns between 1st and 15th November when people are more likely to open your emails. Anything after that, and you’ll start seeing open rates spiraling downwards.
Automate Your Emails
Get ready for the holiday season and set up automated workflows. Your holiday automation workflows will be your best allies in generating revenue this holiday season.
Set up your most revenue-driving workflows: welcome, browse, and cart abandonment.
- Set up a series of welcome emails to onboard and nurture your new subscribers.
- Browse abandonment emails help pull your customer a little further down the sales funnel.
- Abandoned cart emails work great as reminders to come back to the store and accomplish the checkout.
These three automations will help you better drive subscribers back to your site and convert.
Don’t forget the post-purchase automation workflows either! Customer reactivation messages are extremely useful after the holiday season ends. They can help you re-engage with your customers and transform them from “shoppers for a season” to “shoppers for a reason.”
Segment Your List
Most business owners focus more on the sleek stuff. A mobile-optimized website, a sleek looking website, and ease of navigation. But once you nab those customers, then what?
The obvious answer, you need to start nurturing those subscribers. And the secret to nurturing leads lies in segmenting your email list.
The truth is the ecommerce environment is extremely competitive. It’s just too difficult to compete if you’re simply sending customers down the same journey. You will need to separate your customers into different segments so that you can send them relevant offerings depending on the segment they fall under. The more value you give your subscribers, the more likely they are to be responsive.
In fact, according to Neil Patel, email segmentation increases open rates by 203%. In addition, based on research done by Hubspot, 39% of email marketers who segment their email lists see better open rates.
Launch Exclusive Holiday Sales Promotions
It’s an industry standard to discount around the holidays, so give your customers what they want! And what better way to lure customers and increase conversions than by offering discounts and incentives?
It’s also a great idea to understand the psychology behind pricing. Compare your prices with those of your competitors and come up with a strategy to make your prices more attractive to potential customers.
Think about your discount strategy, and run them throughout the month of November. Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday as peak days for your best discounts, but don’t be shy about offering great deals earlier. Customers shop earlier and earlier each year.
Create a Sense of Urgency
I know it sounds a bit manipulative but adding a sense of urgency actually works pretty well. The truth is buyers instinctively go into panic mode when there’s a limited supply of goods. And since they want the perfect gift, they don’t want to risk it being sold out. Which then means that they’ll be more inclined to make a purchase as opposed to if they didn’t have a timeline.
Here are a few ways to create a sense of urgency in your holiday emails:
- Start from your subject line: Nothing grabs a subscriber’s attention like a deadline. Put your added value or promotion in the subject line, and tell customers how long they have left to get it:
- “These favorites are going fast!”
- “50% off store-wide for the next 24 hours only!”
- “Flash Sale: Take an extra 20% off for the next hour”
- Use it in your visuals: If you have a popular product, use your visuals to convey a limited stock of that product. This might help convert someone that’s on the fence.
- Add in a countdown: Engaging and eye-popping, a countdown graphic in your customer’s inbox will help create the FOMO (fear of missing out) you’re looking for.
- Don’t forget your key automation workflows: Especially in browse and cart abandonment, product scarcity can be particularly powerful. Try language in your emails like “Only 3 left in your size!” or “Check availability” to get the customer to click back through to your site.
Creating a sense of urgency in your holiday emails is an impactful way to bring customers back to your store. The holiday season is a rush-period no matter how early customers start, so make sure you’re using that to your advantage.
Invest in Having Catchy Subject Lines
Are you familiar with email marketing?
Are you having any success with it? Well, it probably has something to do with your subject lines.
For most of us, the subject line often comes as an afterthought. Unfortunately, getting your customers to open your email all comes down to the subject line you have used.
In fact, based on statistics, about 70% of customers mark an email as spam based on the subject line alone. And 33% of your audience decide whether or not they’ll open your emails based on the subject line alone. So it’s pretty evident that the stakes are fairly high when it comes to developing a subject line for your email marketing.
Two factors you should consider when coming up with a subject line for your email campaign
● A clear objective
● A unique selling point
Optimize Your Emails for Mobile
Based on research, about 63% of all emails are accessed via mobile phone. However, out of the 63%, only about 40% are optimized for email. This means that 23% still have to be accessed via desktop. Now, this is not entirely bad. However, knowing that mobile accounts for 71% of the total online time in the US alone, it makes sense to make sure that your email marketing campaigns are optimized for mobile.
Optimizing your email marketing for mobile involves:
- Writing short but interesting subject lines
- Thinking about image size
- Using buttons adapted to fat thumbs
- Limiting text and using formatting to avoid walls-of-text
- Using responsive design that looks great on every screen
Luckily, many ESP (email service providers) offer responsive design by default, so your emails will be beautiful no matter the screen size.
Holiday emails don’t have to be complicated. By building a great foundation, adapting for the holidays will be a snap. Your customers are already looking for the best deals this holiday season, it’s only up to you to deliver it.
Start your holiday email campaigns now, target the customers that will find them the most relevant, create that fear of missing out, and optimize. From there, it’s testing and tweaking until you find your own perfect mix.
These tips are far from exhaustive, but they’ll help create the holiday email strategy you need to be successful.