Guest blog by Megan de Graaf
The holidays are the high season for retailers and online retailers. With Sinterklaas, online spending this year passed the magical limit of 1 billion euros for the first time. And now with Christmas on the doorstep, many are getting ready for the real storm sale. The question that retailers often ask themselves is: how can you best respond to this bustle in order to achieve maximum sales figures?
With e-mail marketing you ensure great results with a small investment. This marketing channel is the only means that can personally and directly respond to the interests of the recipients. The sent e-mails arrive directly in the inbox of the recipient, where the message can enjoy full attention. More accurate than social media, for example, and E-mail marketing is therefore indispensable in the run-up to the holidays.
The problem is, many companies think exactly the same about this. The trick is therefore to set up a strategic Christmas e-mail marketing campaign so that the recipient chooses your e-mail about that of another newsletter sender.
1. Strategy and planning
The more accurate the orientation and planning in advance, the greater the chance of success. First think about the goal that you want to achieve with the e-mail campaign. For example, do you hope for increased income or are more website visitors sufficient? Then delve into the receiver. Who is the recipient, what challenges does this person face and what is the person looking for?
For planning and strategy, it helps to evaluate the results of previous email marketing campaigns. For which sent emails were the open, click and conversion ratios best? Which content was most interesting for the recipients? Sometimes e-mails have a good open ratio, while with other e-mails the conversion rate is much higher. By including all of these factors in the new strategy, you are creating an even more successful email marketing campaign this year.
The campaign must be as detailed and specific as possible. At a time when inboxes stand out as standard and information is constantly coming our way, relevant, personal information is the only way to stand out among the crowd.
Therefore, alternate the types of mailings. Not only send gift tips and indispensable deals, but also think of newsletters about product updates, competitions or organized events. You can also help the recipient by sending a reminder when the Christmas gifts must be ordered at the latest to have them delivered on time. To offer an even more relevant e-mail, you can send a voucher for free express shipping.
2. Design and presentation
Of course, exuberant decoration is a big part of the Christmas atmosphere. However, when creating the newsletter, make sure that the design is festive but recognizable. The associated methods are also more ideal landing pages designed in the same style as your e-mail and website. This ensures a seamless transition between the various marketing channels and recognition for the customer.
For the design of the e-mail you can do research into the style preferences of the customer. Are there special decorative elements with which the recipient could have an emotional connection? Does the target group feel more attracted to Christmas clichés, or is their motto "less is more"?
To assemble the design quickly and time-saving, you can use ready-made Christmas templates. Pre-programmed templates are not only dressed in Christmas, but also tested for correct representation in various e-mail clients and fully responsive.
A confidential relationship with the recipient can be established by personalizing the e-mail. To do this, you first divide the receivers into segments in order to create receiver groups that are as accurate as possible. With a personal salutation, customized images, individual product recommendations and real customer reviews you address the recipient personally and create trust. Start this already during the first contact, for example in the welcome mailing.
Finally, with the help of automatic follow-up emails, such as a shopping cart reminder, you can stay in contact with the customer.
3. Testing and optimization
It is always a good idea to compile different versions of the e-mail and compare them using A / B tests. For example, test the sender name (only your company name versus an employee's name and your company name), subject line (short versus long, various CTAs and the use of symbols) and content (different products).
Once you have selected the winning e-mail, it must also be tested for correct representation in different e-mail clients and end devices. With a responsive design, the e-mail is displayed legibly not only on desktop, but also on mobile and tablet.
Finally, plan how the email campaigns will be evaluated. After each transmission, create a real-time report that displays the most important KPIs. With this you can easily optimize the next newsletter based on the previous open, click and conversion ratio, the visual click folder and the geotracking results.
4. Targeting and shipment
In step 2 we already briefly mentioned receiver segmentation. Recipient groups can thus be composed on the basis of similar characteristics such as gender, place of residence, age category and purchasing behavior. When sufficient data is available about the activity of recipients, you can also send targeted emails to active and inactive recipients.
When planning the shipping time, also note the location and culture of the recipient. Is the recipient in the Netherlands or in a different time zone? Are there special Christmas traditions that can be anticipated? These small details ensure that you stand out among the mass emails of the competition.
Before sending, it is recommended to send emails regularly. This prevents an absurdly high bouncer ratio. When an e-mail campaign only goes out at Christmas, chances are that many e-mail addresses are incorrect or the inbox is full. This results in a high bouncer ratio, which strongly influences newsletter success. You then better choose to send relevant e-mails regularly and keep the bouncer ratio consistent and low.