November 12, 2022

How To Improve Your Email Campaigns This Holiday Season


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During the rest of the year, people aren't exactly thrilled to receive marketing messages you share about a new product or blog. Around the festive season, however, things change.

It is actually consumers who rely on promotional emails during November and December as a source of holiday shopping inspiration. According to research by Magnetic, 70 percent of people who are searching for holiday deals get their information through email.

Use the holiday season to your advantage, and make sure you position yourself correctly among your target audience to generate increased traffic, conversions, and ROI. For this to work, you need an effective strategy and possibly some revisions to your previous campaigns.

Make this holiday season merry with a winning email marketing strategy. Using email as a marketing channel is a great idea for holiday campaigns. It can help you improve conversion rates and get more of those holiday sales.

It's time to craft and share holiday emails that get subscribers excited about your business. By the time you’re done with this blog post, you’ll be equipped with five short-but-useful tips on email marketing for the holidays.

But before learning about all the ways you can use to improve your email marketing campaign before the holidays, let's review some basics, shall we?

Why Are Holidays a Great Time to Hone Email Campaigns?

The holiday season is the perfect time to use email marketing. 

Did you know that since 2002, holiday sales have risen continuously — apart from 2008, when the Great Recession hit? As a result of the pandemic in 2020, marketers feared that it would negatively affect holiday sales, just as it did in 2008. 

It was, however, the opposite that happened. Though there was a worldwide pandemic, the yearly growth of holiday sales from 2019 to 2020 was twice as high as the average annual growth from previous years, well above the National Retail Federation's (NFR) predictions.  

Both eCommerce giants and small businesses reap the benefits of the holiday shopping season. In fact, retailers generate 20-30% of their annual sales during the holiday season. 

There is no denying that the holiday shopping season brings some of the best sales of the year, making holiday emails an excellent marketing tool to engage consumers in multiple ways. Moreover, the holidays are a great time to enjoy the following benefits.

Make your brand more visible: Make your brand stand out during the holidays. In today's busy world, sending emails is often the best way to stand out at this busy time of year.

Bring in new customers: Give your audience a reason to visit your website with special offers unique to the season. Following the holidays, launch campaigns to convert new customers into loyal ones.

But Aren’t Email Campaigns a Thing of the Past?

With so many technological advancements, it may seem as if email is dead - but no. Today, email marketing is by far the most effective method for reaching customers. Email marketing is the go-to channel for marketers, and with good reason: email marketing has the highest ROI compared to all other channels, particularly if it is done correctly. 

Business Insider reports that nearly one-third of Americans regularly check their email throughout the day (even in the toilet). And HubSpot's survey found that 59% of respondents believe emails affect their purchasing decisions.

It's no wonder that even though it's considered the oldest form of digital communication, its power over customers remains strong. Communication platforms like social media and live chat attract a lot of users, but it all boils down to sending customized messages that set clear goals for the user - in their inbox.

But unless your marketing email strategy is strong, you can never expect to achieve a high return on investment. Hence, it’s time that you take a good look at your current strategy and identify its shortcomings. It is essential to have a plan that nurtures the lead, enabling brands to reach their target audiences.

So Why Are My Email Campaigns Not Effective?

Let's say you're an eCommerce marketer trying to increase sales. As a business owner, you've already worked hard to grow your business. You set up social media channels, gather an email list, and start sending regular emails, but there seems to be a problem.

The click-through rates are not changing, conversions are low, and there hardly seem to be any returns on your investment (ROI). 

What are you doing wrong?

The following statistic may shock you: there are about 270 billion emails sent each day, which means many things are fighting for the average person’s attention. And there’s a good chance that your potential client is the average person.

When you've been doing email marketing for a long time, you'll notice that over time, you'll have a harder time keeping your subscribers engaged and conversion rates high. The average consumer is overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive every day, most of which are generic and of little value.

If you are looking to enhance your email marketing campaigns, perhaps you need to make some changes. 

Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that getting the most out of holiday email marketing isn’t as simple as it may seem. Analyzing consumer behavior and categorizing them, optimizing CTAs and Subject Lines, and starting early will help you refine your marketing campaign strategy. 

Improving Your Email Campaign Strategy 

So, what is the most effective way to boost your email marketing performance before the holidays to make the most of this effective online marketing tool?

Email marketing during the holiday season isn't just about promoting your Christmas sale with a red-and-green email blast. Even though that may work, there are so many other ways to boost revenue through email campaigns during the holiday season. Best of all, you don't need to wait until Christmas to enjoy these deals.

Here are five ways to get more out of your email marketing efforts based on the advice of successful entrepreneurs and data-driven research.

Behavioral Customer Segmentation 

As a first step, you have to ensure your emails are highly targeted, relevant, and useful to your subscribers. The Salesforce survey found that 57% of consumers would be willing to share their personal information in exchange for individualized information and deals.

In other words, if you aren't segmenting consumers yet, you may be overlooking opportunities.

There may be subscribers who prefer certain types of emails, including coupons, special offers, or updates, but not all three at the same time. It is, therefore, important to know to whom you are sending your emails.

You can also use your internal categories to reward certain customers by sending them personalized offers.

For example, imagine you are working on your 2022 holiday email campaign. You already know that year-round shoppers require different services compared to holiday shoppers. Give the first group a loyalty reward system as an incentive and offer special offers and promotions to the second group. 

You need to remember that even if someone reads your email, they will probably delete it before they reach the bottom unless you catch their attention right away. An introduction that begins with a simple ‘Hello [recipient's first name]' will likely engage them enough to get them to at least take a look at what you have to offer.

Contrary to social media and other marketing channels, email offers plenty of room for personalization, resulting in a click-through rate that is eight times higher. 

Get Attention With Optimized Subject Lines & Preview Text

Your subject line makes or breaks your email, so be sure to create one that grabs readers’ attention.

You can either offer something that your customers would love, such as ’12 Deals of Christmas,’ or let them know about something special in the works, like ‘Free Shipping on Tuesday!’ You can do this even more effectively if you have a customized mailing list designed to suit your customers' preferences and shopping habits.

You must make your subject lines intriguing enough to entice recipients to open them yet inviting enough not to turn them away. The first thing to remember is to keep them short. There is a higher open rate for lines shorter than 50 characters, but anything over 50 is at risk of being cut off by the system.

You will also see the first couple of lines of text from your email's body next to the subject line in email clients like the iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook. In other words, the preview shows the inside of the email. Depending on the email client and their specific user settings, different amounts of text may be displayed.

For best results, ensure that the preview text does not duplicate the subject line and does not include phrases such as “Can't open the email?” or “unsubscribe.” You can make use of it as a clever way to draw attention to your message or include a direct call to action.

You should use it to provide a brief, succinct description of what you offer – and remember that the maximum character limit is 50.

Have A Clear CTA

Like it or not, a large number of recipients will read your email quickly without reading it in its entirety. That's why you need an obvious call-to-action (CTA) button readily visible for even the fastest of email readers.

It doesn't make a difference whether you're sending traffic to a page, soliciting phone calls, or getting forms filled out. Readers who cannot figure out what they are expected to do within the first few seconds of opening your message are likely to delete your email.

Your CTA should be placed where it is clearly visible to the user and where it makes sense for them to tap on it. There is a wide range of ways to use CTAs for marketers, including QR codes, coupon codes, and phone ads. A clear call to action is essential, no matter what the response platform is.

Another way to increase click-through rates? It's a good idea to include at least one clickable item -- for example, a CTA button, an anchor text, or a hyperlinked image -- at the beginning of your message. This will prevent readers from having to scroll through a lengthy content block to reach the CTA.

Also, if you want to include more content, you might want to add a teaser at the start of each section, followed by a link to the full article.

Promote Holiday Offers Early

Of course, timing your emails right will depend on your type of business and target audience. But it’s generally recommended to start early so your campaigns wouldn’t slip through the cracks.

Be sure to let your subscribers know in advance so they don’t miss out on your holiday offers. You can build anticipation by using countdowns. Offer limited-time discounts and exclusive early bird offers. And don't forget: plan your holiday email campaigns ahead of time.

It might interest you to know that some businesses are offering door-to-door delivery from December 16-24, delivery for free on Christmas Eve, together with 15% off online items that were purchased in-store to motivate customers to spend more.

Using this strategy, you can ensure that your business is the one that customers choose early in the Christmas shopping season.

Don't forget to include "buy now" buttons in email campaigns with limited-time promotions and send customers directly to landing pages and sales pages.

Simplify Sharing

Share-with-your-network (SWYN) buttons make it easy for subscribers to share content with their friends straight from emails. It doesn't matter if you want them to pass along the whole newsletter or selected content only; SWYN links take subscribers directly to the social media interface quickly and easily.

For those email recipients who don't have time to share the awesome content they received by email on Twitter, assist them with pre-written tweets. Depending on how you have segmented your list and whether there are criteria like "has Twitter" or not in there, it's even possible to include premade posts in your email body. 

Moreover, you can use the "Send to a Friend" button to determine how popular the content is. Besides tracking the number of people who shared your content, it will also track its total forwarded counts.

Staying Ahead of The Competition 

In the US alone, e-commerce sales during the holiday season rose to over $123 billion last year.

There is no doubt that opportunities are plentiful, but the competition is also fierce.

Try as you may, you will find that sometimes your emails get buried beneath your recipients' junk mail -- or dreadfully, in spam folders. And then, there are those recipients who actually view your email, but they don't click on the link.

It's just a few weeks until the most popular shopping season of the year begins. If you want to have effective holiday email marketing campaigns, now’s the time to lay the groundwork for the new year and holiday shopping season.

By taking action today, you won't have to worry about making changes at the last moment while potential revenue slips by. This is especially true for small businesses trying to maximize their limited resources.

With our digital marketing experts on your side, we'll make sure your eCommerce email campaigns are fully optimized in time for the holiday sales. In our role as a marketing company responsible for building its own businesses, we can test risky strategies ourselves first in order to design targeted and data-driven campaigns that deliver results.

If you need help with email marketing, contact us, and we will be happy to assist you.

A Final Word About Festive Email Campaigns

Although many years have passed since people predicted email marketing would disappear or become obsolete, the day has not yet come. In fact, email marketing continues to be an effective method for reaching potential customers as well as existing ones.

In the wake of COVID-19 grinding in-person marketing to a halt, companies are relying more heavily on their original marketing tool: emails. It is important, however, to ensure you are following best practices when executing your strategy.

By following our holiday email marketing tips, you will be able to design and send messages that resonate with your audience and increase revenue during the holidays.

JM&Co. is a full-service digital marketing and growth agency that serves clients across the marketing spectrum. Great companies come to us for help as they launch, expand, and grow, and our results speak for themselves.

The combination of our technical knowledge, creative capabilities, and comprehensive marketing expertise has led to a steady track record of success for a wide range of digital marketing campaigns. Visit our services page for more information.

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