Preparing your Marketing Plan for the Holiday Season
If there’s one thing I can tell you about holiday marketing, know that it’s never too early to start, especially for retailers. When you acknowledge the fact that approximately 25% to 40% of annual retail sales can be attributed to the holidays, it has never been more important to rise against your competition and market your brand accordingly.
As we are fastly approaching the busiest shopping season of the year, consumers are on the lookout for good deals and online promotions. That’s why it’s so important to start gathering and planning your email marketing promotions now, to allow for last minute changes and time-sensitive deals.
Below is a holiday email marketing checklist to follow in order to optimize the performance of your campaign this season.
1. Clean your database – We all know that the success of email marketing is largely dependent on the deliverability of the database you are sending to. If you are marketing to a list of subscribers that you have gathered over the past few years, I can almost guarantee you that a good percentage of those email addresses are now dead and undeliverable. In addition, the high risk of damaging your sender reputation by mailing to undeliverable data can also be a big waste of money to market to a large number of individuals who aren’t even receiving your messages. As painful as it may be to cut out a seemingly large percentage of your database when you are trying to spread the word about your holiday promotions, I bet it’s not as painful as getting blocked or shut down completely by your ESP (Email Service Provider). Get your email list cleaned today.
2. Create Compelling, Creative Offers – The first question to ask yourself is, “What worked last year?” and “What creative offers performed best in terms of opens, click-throughs, and conversion rates?” The types of offers that were received well by your target audience last year will most likely generate the same response this upcoming holiday season. At the same time, you also want to be sure to analyze what past email offers performed poorly, in an effort to gain a solid understanding of what to avoid this year. Capitalizing on the good, eliminating the bad, and then adding an element of spice is your best bet to optimize your email campaign strategy this holiday season. Don’t forget to add a personal touch every now and then, perhaps a “thanks for being a valuable customer” reminder that will truly resonate with your target audience and break up the monotonous, promotional-driven messages.Designing an inviting, great email advertisement is not as easy as it sounds. Your creative design has to be thought provoking as well as be to the point and offer something different. If you need assistance with designing an email creative, Email Answers offers Email creative design services where we will create a customized HTML email advertisement that captures the essence of your product or service offering.
3. Start Sending – If you’ve now cleaned your database and streamlined your creative offers to deploy this year, it’s time to get moving. Remember, time isn’t on your side. The clock is continually clicking, and customers won’t wait for you to get your act together. Leading brands today are relying heavily on email traffic throughout the Winter Holidays, and have already solidified their email marketing campaign strategy. Survey results report that 70% of surveyed customers will spend at least the same amount in 2012 that they spent in 2011, and 80% of these consumers are heavily influenced by email promotions when making online purchases.
And final piece of advice. While sending frequent messages to your customers will likely remind them of your brand existence this holiday season, they will not appreciate being bombarded with emails on an hourly or daily basis. There is a fine line between being memorable and being downright annoying.
Have you thought about marketing to third-party email lists?
What better way to ring in the New Year with a host of new leads and customers in your database? Your existing customer base is certainly your lifeline and the biggest contributor to your bottom line, but what about those who have never heard of you, yet could benefit greatly by your products and services? It’s always a good idea to retain your existing customer database, but it’s equally important to apply effective outreach techniques to acquire new customers as well. Once you strip your existing email database of email addresses that are no longer deliverable, the efforts involved in replacing those customers becomes ever more important. Optin, third party email lists consist of those located either in the US or abroad, who have subscribed to receive offers related to their interests. You have the opportunity to target to consumers based on a variety of criteria. You can browse our Email Marketing Master File to get an idea of the extent of your targeting potential.
If you are marketing a general consumer or business product or service, our Guaranteed Opens Program would be a definite advantage in gaining new customers this holiday season.