December 18, 2012

Email Marketing Tips for this Holiday Season

By now we're well into this year's holiday season, which is arguably our favorite time of year minus the chilly weather. We're sure that Santa Claus made his list and has checked it several times so sweet little Sally doesn't end up on the "naughty" list, and so on. However, he's not the only one that should be maintaining his list! If your business uses email marketing, then surely you've broken a slight sweat checking and re-checking your email marketing lists as you prepare to wrap up your (hopefully very profitable) holiday season.

If you haven't yet turned your attention to your list, fear not! Now is still a great time to do so, as many people wait until the week before Christmas (and sometimes after!) to get their holiday preparations started. Follow these tips to make the most of your business's holiday email program!

1. Social gifting: We're starting with our favorite tip, because we think it will work wonderfully for you and your brand. Send a virtual gift card or a coupon code to your email marketing list and encourage your subscriber to share it with their friends on social media channels. You can take this one step further by increasing the discount based on the number of people that use the subscriber's gift card link, or revealing the amount that the subscriber will save after he or she has shared it on his social media channels. This is a great way to get people talking about your brand, and is beneficial for both your brand and the now happy customer.

2. Review and repeat: What worked particularly well in your email marketing campaigns last year? By reviewing that went well and what did not last year, you'll be able to expand upon your previous successes and make sure that you don't repeat any marketing mistakes that cost you customers and revenue. Try to take your most successful campaign from last year and employ one additional tactic that worked well during one of your campaigns outside of the holiday season.

3. Hop on to trends: People tend to focus on days like Black Friday and the day after Christmas to unearth some truly great deals and finds. Make sure your business offers one of these! In particular, we'd pay close attention to the day after Christmas this year, as we've already been alerted to some great sales and other promotions.

4. Creativity is key: Get creative with your campaigns in the spirit of the holidays! What aspects of your favorite December holidays can you weave into your imagery and messaging in order to maximize the emotional effect that this joyful season can have on your customer base? You could even run a holiday-themed contest in which your customers have to submit a holiday-themed written piece, photo or video. Sidenote: see if you can make the prize relevant to the holidays as well as your company.

5. Give thanks: Last but not least, remember that the holidays are a time for reflecting on the great year you've had with your friends, family, coworkers and customers. Send an eCard or a quick newsletter thanking your customer base for all that they've done to help you and your company flourish over the year. While the gesture is small, they'll really appreciate it.

What holiday practices have you integrated into your email marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments, and we'll share our favorite suggestion on our Twitter page!