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Christmas and holiday email marketing 2013

Author's avatar By Mark Brownlow 09 Oct, 2013
Essential Essential topic

Slides, videos, white papers, design galleries, articles and more (+ five quick tips)

Plan To Succeed campaign

Q4...one number and a letter that has heart racing at retailers everywhere... There are lot of great sources to help you with your Christmas and year-end email efforts. In this post I have summarised what I see as the best of the bunch to help your planning & preparation, strategies & tactics, and email design.

(Be sure to read through to the end for some quick bonus tips, too.)

Preparation and planning:

Useful articles and white papers:

Email marketing holiday planning calendar from ExactTarget and a checklist from Silverpop:

[slideshare id=24996872&doc=emailmarketingholidaycalendar-130806132952-phpapp02&w=500]

[slideshare id=5390145&doc=holidayemailmarketingchecklist-101008004627-phpapp01&w=500]

Strategies and tactics:

A selection of ideas, examples and screenshots:

Ideas for those who are not retailers:

The nine types of holiday emails (from Slide 9) from AWeber:

[slideshare id=10399458&doc=nov11meetuppres-111130090011-phpapp02&w=500&startSlide=9]

Design:

Christmas and holiday email design collections and galleries:

Enhancing existing templates with seasonal and gift-giving elements:

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4 quick bonus tips

1. Be careful with test and data insights from Q4

Customer data and test results obtained in the gift-giving season might not be applicable to the rest of the year. I am more likely to be shopping based on other people's preferences and interests (i.e. for gifts), rather than my own. So beware of simply feeding my Q4 data into your analyses, campaign planning and personalisation engines.

2. But keep note of those insights

Most advice on Christmas and holiday email marketing includes reviewing last year's efforts for actionable insight. So take notes as the season progresses and use the New Year to evaluate your campaigns while everything is still fresh in your mind. For example:

  • What were the winning subject lines?
  • Which offers and content pulled the best response?
  • What approaches failed to move the needle?

3. Keep going to the last minute

UK Internet users, for example, made 84 million visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve in 2012, highlighting the role online continues to play even when shipping deadlines have passed. As Christmas nears:

  • Reduce gift-buying friction with clear and easy gift choices/guides
  • Communicate the urgency of shopping deadlines, for example with a countdown of shipping days left
  • Feature accelerated delivery options, like express shipping or in-store pick up
  • Promote last-minute alternatives, like gift cards, but also in-store offers and opportunities

4. Exploit the added-value of seasonality in your other email elements

Christmas and holiday email isn't just about sending dedicated seasonal promotions. Add festive design elements and promotions to those "set and forget" email messages, too. For example:

  • Welcome messages
  • Transactional and other behavioural mails
  • Sign-up forms and messaging

But don't forget to switch them back again once the holiday season is over!

Author's avatar

By Mark Brownlow

Mark Brownlow is a former email copywriter and publisher of the retired Email Marketing Reports site. He now works as a lecturer and writer. Connect with him via Lost Opinions.

This blog post has been tagged with:

Christmas marketing for brandsHoliday marketing

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