Email Your Way to More Holiday Sales With These 5 Strategies
No matter what business you're in, you can't ignore the potential of the holidays to boost your annual income. Depending on your sector, the National Retail Federation says that holiday sales represent anywhere from 16% to 30% of annual sales. With U.S. sales forecast to exceed $717 billion this year, that's a big chunk of change.
So, how can you get your share of the holiday sales boom? One way is to send emails to your website visitors and customers. According to MailCharts, holiday email marketing brings in 20% of holiday sales income.
In this article, we're going to share some holiday email marketing tips to help you make your campaigns more successful — and maximize your income.
1. Start holiday email marketing early
It's never too early to start thinking about your holiday email marketing campaigns. In fact, some smart marketers pre-test their holiday marketing with mid-year campaigns. Whether you're talking Amazon Prime Day or Christmas in July, mid-year campaigns give you the chance to see how your audience responds to offers. That gives you plenty of time to make tweaks before the end-of-year holidays.
When should you run your actual holiday email marketing campaign? GoDaddy says you'll get the most email opens if your campaigns run in the first half of November. In other words, start now!
2. Target your campaigns
The more relevant your campaign is, the more likely recipients are to open, read and act on the information your emails. That's why it's crucial to think about targeting your holiday emails.
One of the most important ways to make this happen is email list segmentation. This means dividing your email list into groups so you can send specific emails to each group. You can segment according to preferences, like sending different emails to those interested in women's clothing and electronics. You can also segment according to behavior. For example, you can send different emails to people who purchase regularly and those who visit but don't buy anything.
Sometimes, you can get your subscribers to self-segment. For example, once they sign up initially, send a follow-up email asking about their interests. That will help you avoid turning them off by sending them information they considered irrelevant to them.
3. Make recipients want to open your email
Understanding the way people are wired can help you send more effective emails. There are certain tactics that are effective because of they tap into deeply ingrained feelings and behavior. These include:
- Create a sense of urgency: it makes us want to take action
- Play on the fear of missing out (FOMO): we don't want to lose out when there's a great offer
- Invoke scarcity: things look better if there are fewer of them
Some email subject lines use all three at once. For example, if you urge your subscribers to lock in this price while you can, you're using:
- Urgency (time is limited)
- FOMO (the discount might go away)
- Scarcity (availability is limited)
But careful, though, not to mislead your subscribers by faking urgency or scarcity. If you do, it'll have the opposite effect and could drive them away. Keep it real.
4. Create a holiday email marketing brand
Here's an innovative idea to consider for your email campaign: create a brand specifically for the holidays. Time tracking tool Freckle did this for a couple of years, launching Freelancember. The campaign consisted of an online advent calendar with tips and gifts for freelancers throughout December, which worked beautifully to get attention from the freelancers Freckle was targeting.
To support the campaign, Freckle bought a separate domain name for use in its holiday marketing.
5. Follow up with people who abandon a cart
There's one final way to improve holiday sales through email marketing. And that's to send cart abandonment emails. According to the Baymard Institute, almost 70% of the time people abandon their online shopping carts and fail to complete purchases. Persuade some of those people back with a cart abandonment email sequence, and you'll make more sales.
Here's the sequence that Jilt recommends:
- Send an email within a few hours of abandonment to check if there are technical or website issues getting in the way of the sale.
- Send a second email within a day to remind people of what's in the cart. Consider offering a discount as an incentive to complete the sale.
- Send a third email within 48 hours of abandonment; you'll definitely want to offer an incentive at that time.
According to Salesforce, 60% of people who get abandonment emails come back to finish their purchase, so this is well worth doing.
By optimizing your email marketing timing, targeting promotions, using psychology, branding your campaigns, and following up abandoned purchases, you will get better results and more revenue from email marketing campaigns this holiday season.