The holidays are just over the horizon. This means that a flurry of email marketing holiday shopping campaigns are as well.
With consumers getting ready to fly into a shopping frenzy, retailers need to start preparing their, lest they underperform for the massive season ahead.
However, in order to prosper and make the most out of the sales season, merchants must take the time to establish the necessary email marketing holiday shopping strategies to grab the attention of recipients, drive them to action and generate sales.
That is what this piece will help retailers to accomplish.
Today, we are going to explore 10 email marketing tactics sellers can deploy on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the rest of the holiday season to and ensure a plentiful, profitable Q4.
Let’s get started.
10 Email Marketing Holiday Shopping Strategies
While there are tons of great ways to shape seasonal email marketing campaigns, most will not be as effective as they could be if retailers fail to listen to what their consumers actually want.
This leads us to our first point:
1. Listen to Consumer Demands Beforehand
In light of, 2021 will likely see a departure in consumption patterns from the majority of years preceding 2020.
After all, the store closures forced by the onset of, potentially forever.
Therefore, when considering email marketing holiday shopping tactics, it is critical for retailers to take people’s changing behaviors into consideration and listen to them about what they want from brands.
This means that it is highly advisable for sellers to take a look at last year’s data and determine which strategies worked and which ones were a flop.
During this process, merchants should ask questions such as:
- Which email tactics worked and which ones failed?
- What did competitors do, and what can be learned from their efforts?
- Which items were the most popular?
- How can audiences be segmented more effectively to holiday shopping campaigns further?
2. Conduct a Brief Competitive Analysis
Firstly, it is worth noting that retailers should absolutely analyze their own program and performance prior to looking at that of the competition (hence, the order of these tactics) as another merchant’s audience will not be identical to that of the researcher’s.
That said, it is important to keep a pulse on the program by and obtaining some quick insights and opportunities is a critical component to optimize email holiday campaigns.
Some things that sellers can learn from when it comes to the competition’s efforts include:
- Email frequency: Determine how often they emailed consumers over significant holiday periods. Doing this will give sellers a decent understanding of how to match other merchants in terms of exposure.
- Timing: Analyze emails to ascertain the time of day that rivals found most appropriate to send messages. Obtaining this information can help merchants to beat their competition to the inbox and potentially steal away sales.
- Offers: Figure out the types of offers coming from competitors and how steep the discounts were that they instituted for various shopping events. This one is incredibly important as consumers will certainly be looking for significant savings this holiday season.
3. Send BFCM Teaser Emails
(BFCM) is critical for retailers. That said, it is also essential to prime customers as well.
Therefore, it is wise for merchants to tease these promotional events with a sneak peek or preview emails sent in the days leading up to the big sale.
However, don’t let the cat out of the bag completely. Instead, send something like a 12-hour countdown email to build anticipation.
This is an excellent email marketing holiday shopping strategy as it is effective in piquing consumers’ curiosity and can be used across various events.
4. Give Shoppers Multiple Opportunities to Take Advantage of a Sale
During the holidays and the lead-up to them, shoppers tend to have extremely crowded inboxes, receiving a ton of email marketing holiday shopping messages from various brands.
As a result, messages tend to get buried.
Therefore, to increase the odds of subscribers seeing a brand’s emails, it is necessary to send out multiple emails about a promotion.
The idea here is to give consumers multiple opportunities to take advantage of a sale without annoying or overwhelming them. Of course, the number of emails that retailers send in a given week will vary based on what the audience expects from the brand. If consumers are used to receiving an email daily, then go ahead and send daily Black Friday or Cyber Monday emails. However, if subscribers are only used to hearing from the company once a week, this kind of frequency will likely annoy potential buyers.
In short, sellers should base the number of emails they send on subscriber expectations. The important thing to ensure is that shoppers have enough opportunities to take advantage of a sale.
5. Choose the Right Templates
Implementing is critical to a successful email marketing holiday shopping campaign.
The fact is that it doesn’t matter how enticing a seller’s prices are if their messages are sloppy, poorly produced and structurally confusing.
Therefore, retailers are advised to either obtain some or to abide by the following rules:
- Stick to a simple structure with columns
- Ensure images are more plentiful than text
- Keep messaging simple
- Make CTAs clear, alluring and contrasting in color from the rest of the email
6. Create a Sense of Urgency
While this strategy might seem basic to some, the fact is that is a tried-and-true psychological tactic for merchants to drive results successfully.
When it comes to events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, these are each all about time-sensitive deals. Therefore, these sales dates are ideal for using urgency to drive sales via email marketing holiday shopping campaigns.
Understanding this, merchants should focus their copy on introducing a sense of scarcity with phrases like:
- Time is running out
- Get it before it’s gone
- Sale ends tomorrow
- Last chance
- While supplies last
That said, it is vital for retailers not to use email subject lines that do not or cannot deliver what is promised. If consumers believe that a brand is purposely misleading them, they could potentially unsubscribe, thereby costing the brand sales.
7. Make Holiday Emails Stand Out
As was mentioned earlier, during the holidays, people’s inboxes are brimming with offers. What this means is that consumers are likely to only devote a few seconds to each email they receive.
It is the merchant’s job to overcome this and grab a recipient’s attention. Therefore, retailers must establish tactics for making their emails stand out from the panoply of other holiday messages.
Therefore, it is wise for sellers to try and go all out with some of their messages and aim to make them unforgettable using various elements such as:
- Countdown timers
- The ability to shop within an email
- Interactive product carousels
By utilizing elements such as these, sellers can create a memorable email experience that drives clicks and generates holiday sales.
8. Reward Subscribers with Exclusive Deals
During the holidays, it is inevitable that sellers will spread their efforts across a variety of marketing channels like, advertorial blogs, video marketing and the like.
However, given that email is a consent-based channel that consumers have chosen to be a part of, it is advisable for sellers to reward these consumers for being deeply engaged and faithful to the brand.
Some email marketing holiday shopping strategies merchants can use to this end include:
- Creating deals that are exclusive to email subscribers
- Offer giveaways on top of regular BFCM holiday deals
- Encourage and incentivize referrals in the body of the email to
These are just a few of the ways in which brands can reward email subscribers. No matter how merchants opt to go about it, the crucial thing is that sellers let these folks know that they are valued and essential to the company.
9. Personalize Messages Using Customer Data
Using has become an integral part of email marketing. Study after study has confirmed the effectiveness of personalized emails over batch-and-blast campaigns.
While many of a brand’s seasonal messages are likely targeted toward the broadest audience possible, it is still essential for retailers to consider personalization tactics for their email marketing holiday shopping campaigns as well.
Therefore, it is critical for merchants to to build custom email segments that speak to specific consumers and get them to engage.
Retailers can achieve this aim in a variety of different ways, tailoring content, offers and messaging based on:
- Email engagement rate
- Past purchases
- Website activity
- Date of last purchase
These are just a few of the sellers can utilize to elevate their seasonal campaign performance and increase customer satisfaction.
10. Keep Offers Simple
Generally speaking, the simplest and most effective email marketing holiday shopping campaigns are those that are easiest to understand.
This is important to remember as consumers are going to devote very little time to each email they receive. Therefore, the quicker a merchant can get their message across, the more likely they are to generate a sale.
This means that it is vital for sellers to ensure that their message can be digested at a glance, thereby compelling consumers to click-through and start shopping.
At the same time, retailers should also make their shipping and return policies abundantly plain and straightforward. For instance, merchants might consider offering consumers free shipping and returns up to a specific date. If so, utilize that exact language to get the point across quickly and concisely.
However, no matter what offers or policies retailers institute for the holiday season, it is critical to ensure that the brand can deliver on its commitments.
The worst thing sellers can do during the holiday season is to overpromise and underdeliver.
Bonus: Retain Customers with Post-Purchase Flows
While getting shoppers to convert during the sales season is the primary goal of email marketing holiday shopping campaigns, retailers should not neglect those who convert.
Instead, sellers should also plan out to help retain customers gained over the holiday season.
The fact is that a well-executed, post-purchase flow can help to drive excitement for impending delivery, boost the likelihood of repeat purchases, build customer loyalty and help turn average shoppers into brand advocates.
Retailers might even have a post-purchase email series that they are using for everyday activities. However, now is the ideal time to review it and see it through the eyes of an infamously disloyal holiday shopper.
When reviewing the email series, ensure that it contains all of the following elements:
- Thanks the customer for shopping with the brand
- Sends shipping and delivery updates automatically
- Provides care instructions and/or product info (if applicable)
- Asks for feedback via reviews or user-generated content on social media
- Sends an incentive (such as a small coupon) to incentivize a second purchase
Putting together and optimizing an email marketing holiday shopping campaign isn’t rocket science. However, it does require retailers to conduct a bit of research and to plan things out ahead of time.
By implementing the tactics listed above, retailers can elevate their current seasonal email strategy to drive more clicks and conversions this holiday season.
However, there is a lot that goes into a successful Q4 for eCommerce retailers. If your brand would rather focus its efforts on the big picture rather than spend the time optimizing specialized email campaigns, reach out to.
Our dedicated team of eCommerce email marketing pros can help your company to create the segments, messaging and email campaign structure necessary to grab the attention of subscribers and get them to act this holiday season.