When the holiday season rolls around, consumers tend to shift their daily routines and temporarily disconnect from their phones, posing a yearly challenge for marketers. How can enterprises get back in touch during the holiday break, enticing sales without overwhelming customers completely?
1. Seasonal Themes: Shakun Bansal, head of marketing at Mercer | Mettl, said that during the busy holiday season, an email campaign highlighting seasonal motifs is the best way to get noticed.
“The complete email campaign should be created around the season in which you are sending the emails — the design, subject line, color and theme,” he said.
If it’s Independence Day, the mail could focus on common themes like “The freedom to express yourself,” or if it’s Christmas, “The jolly season isn’t complete without…” Whatever the time of year, the goal is to make your brand a part of their tradition or overall experience.
2. The Name Game: Founder & owner of Premium Joy, Hassan Alnassir, believes an effective trick for making marketing emails stand out in the inbox is to greet customers using their first name in the subject line, not just the message body.
“Most of the marketing messages I personally receive from businesses don’t include my name in the email subject, even though this is a very simple way to get my attention as a customer and entice me to open the message,” he said. “Customers like receiving personal messages that call them by name, but some of them will only check the email’s subject. Hence, having their first name included there will improve the chance of your message being opened.
3. Be Different: Senior digital marketing manager at English Blinds, Polly Kay, said that in order to stand out during the holiday season — or any other time of the year — your email content needs to offer something that is both different from the rest of the spam avalanche, and that incentivizes the desired action.
“The vast majority of marketing emails that are delivered successfully don’t even get opened or read — even by prospects that proactively signed up to receive them in the first place,” she said. “This means that your sender name and the email’s title are the most important things to consider when sending promotional emails over the holiday season, and yet this is all too commonly overlooked by businesses.”
4. Match Customers’ Opening Schedule: Everyone takes a break from checking work-related emails during the holiday season, so it’s crucial to catch the customer’s eye when they take a peek at their inbox.
“Most customers also understand that there are relatively no important mails around the time of the holiday season and give only a cursory look at their inbox,” Bansal said. “You would want to make the most of your customer’s email scanning during the holiday season with the right timing of your messaging and communication.”
For email campaigns, Bansal recommends sending emails one week in advance and every day after that leading up to one or two days prior to the actual holiday.
5. Think Data Clustering: Mariona Prat, director of global marketing at Zeotap, said companies must have differentiated marketing strategies for different consumer cohorts, and that starts with the right CRM data clustering.
6. Offer Incentives: Prat prescribed a standard ‘we miss you, here’s an X% discount’ message to entice sales. “If the customer experience is satisfactory, chances are you’ll move them from the ‘likely to churn’ category to average consumers,” she said.
7. Change it Up: If your company sends out frequent promotional emails, many of your recipients will develop a form of blindness to your content and automatically hit “delete” when they see your sender name (if they haven’t already delegated your content to the junk folder). Kay believes brands should use a new sender name or designation for their holiday promotions to make a positive impression and generate interest.
8. Keep Your Prospects Guessing: Polly Kay of English Blinds said that using a potentially high-value reward as bait (even if only a few prospects win the “top prize”) incentivizes click-throughs and moves prospects into the holiday spirit and primed to buy.
9. Include Social Share Buttons: Clickable share buttons at the bottom of each email will encourage consumers to share the content and increase your followers.
10. Be Creative: Give your holiday campaign a name that is interesting, informative, and full of seasonal promise — and use this as inspiration for your sender name.
11. Don’t Forget Loyalty: Loyal customers need the least amount of effort, but Prat emphasized that as the biggest source of revenue, they mustn’t be forgotten. A simple ‘great to have you back, we’ve missed you’ campaign across channels (direct emailing and/or paid social media) should be perfect for them.
12. A Catchy Subject Line with Discounts: Since days like Christmas Day usually result in low sales, a good way to attract consumers is by highlighting extra sales leading up to the season. Offering discounts in the subject line is a great place to start.