‘Tis the season for shopping, and as a small business, a well-designed holiday email marketing campaign is critical for maximizing sales. First, we’ll look at why email marketing is so important. Then we will give you ideas you can implement in your own holiday email marketing plan.

The Value of Your Email List

During the holidays, your email list is the gift that keeps on giving. You have your customers’ email addresses because they gave them to you. You didn’t put your hard-earned cash on the line to try and get their attention, like with pay-per-click advertising or paid social. Your email list is a cost-effective open invitation to your customer’s inbox. You already have a connection with them. The key to success during the holidays is capitalizing on that connection.

When it comes to deepening the connection with your customer’s email is more effective than social because of its longer form. Most social marketing is one photo and a line or two of copy. Email gives you the best opportunity to tell your whole story. Presenting your message with a thoughtful combination of graphics, photos, and copy engages the customer and makes a lasting impression that leads to sales conversions.

There are many digital marketing platforms and avenues today, and social media is constantly evolving. Even with all the innovations in social, email still leads to more sales conversions than any other form of digital marketing. That’s right! Good old reliable email drives the most online sales, according to Hubspot. It also generates the highest revenue.

If email marketing gives you the best return on your investment, why wouldn’t you make it a major component of your holiday marketing plan?

Actionable Email Marketing Tips

Now that we have discussed why having an email marketing plan for the holiday season is so important, here are some tips to help you implement an effective campaign.

Optimize Your Email for Mobile

Most people read their emails on their phones. Your email design needs to be easy to read on a mobile device. Start by making sure any email templates you use are optimized for mobile. This ensures everything is sized correctly for a small screen. Choose a short subject line, so it doesn’t get cut off in their email client. Use photos that are resized to load quickly. You also want to ensure the website you send them to is optimized for mobile.

Write Clickable Subject Lines

Speaking of subject lines, they should be short, but they also need to catch shoppers’ attention and entice them to read your email. Try to incorporate trigger words like free shipping, limited time, discount, and exclusive.

“Decorate” for Christmas

It’s the holiday season, so it’s OK to give your emails a festive look. Don’t be afraid to use holiday-themed graphics and emojis or appeal to customers’ nostalgia about the season with sentimental copy. Just try to stay on brand. 

Start an Awareness Campaign

You need your customers to be aware of your products and upcoming promotions. Early in the holiday season, start sending emails focusing on your product’s benefits and features. Announce upcoming sales and special offers one to two weeks in advance so they’re ready to buy when the offers go live.

Send a Welcome Email

When you collect a new email address, send a welcome email with an offer exclusively for new customers. That special offer may be the nudge they need to click buy, and it keeps you at the top of their mind. (You should do this all year, not just during the holidays.)

Create a Gift Guide

Some shoppers know exactly what to buy for everyone on their list. Others may need a little inspiration. Create a gift guide using your products. It could be Gifts for Dads or Gifts for Gamers. Focus on whatever niche fits your products.

Offers, Offers, Offers

Nothing gets people to open their wallets like a great discount. Use your emails to send coupon codes or promote a percent-off sale. You can also offer gift bundles, BOGO, or other bonus buys. 

Create a Sense of Urgency

When you send an email with a special offer, make it a limited-time deal. Try adding a countdown timer to your email to show customers exactly how much time they have left to check out if they want the discount.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Many people like to window shop online, add to their cart, and never check out. Send out abandoned cart emails to remind them how much they want it. You should be able to use your eCommerce platform to automate these.

Send Out Shipping Updates

Especially during the holiday season, shoppers want to know when their purchases will arrive. Sending out shipping updates lets them know you care about their packages arriving on time. They also might see your email and decide to take another look at your products.

Ask a Question, Then Answer It

If you’re wondering what you can put in your emails besides promotions and offers, try asking a question and then answering it. For example, “What does mom want for Christmas this year?” Then show shoppers the products you offer that moms love.

Have a Clear Call to Action

A shopper is reading your email and looking at your products. They even clicked through to your website. You assume they will make a purchase, but it’s not a given. A clear call to action in your email will help them click buy. It can be simple as “Buy Now” or “Order now for Christmas.”

Give Shoppers a Schedule

Give shoppers the dates for special days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Also, let them know the cut-off dates for shipping if they want their items to arrive in time to make it under the Christmas tree.

After Purchase Campaign

Don’t forget your customers when the holidays are over. Set up an after-purchase campaign to tell them about after-Christmas sales.

Email Marketing isn’t just important during the holiday season. It’s an effective tool all year long. Check out our other Keep It Real Social articles about Email Marketing and learn more about how you can increase awareness and sales for your small business.

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