The Perfect Christmas Email Marketing Campaign – 31 Expert Tips
Guest blog by Megan de Graaf
The holidays are peak season for retailers and online retailers. With Sinterklaas, online spending passed the magical 1 billion euro mark for the first time this year. And now with Christmas just around the corner, many are getting ready for the real storm sale. The question that retailers often ask themselves is: how can you best respond to this busyness to achieve maximum sales figures?
With email marketing, you can get big results with a small investment. This marketing channel is the only means that can respond personally and directly to the interests of the recipients. The e-mails sent arrive directly in the recipient's inbox, 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 email marketing campaign that will make the recipient choose your email over 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 you want to achieve with the email campaign. For example, are you hoping for increased income or are more website visitors enough? Then immerse yourself in 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. Which emails sent had the best open, click, and conversion rates? What content was most interesting to the recipients? Sometimes emails have a good open rate, while other emails have a much higher conversion rate. By including all these factors in the new strategy, you will create an even more successful email marketing campaign this year.
The campaign should be as detailed and specific as possible. At a time when inboxes are overflowing by default and information is constantly coming our way, the only way to stand out from the crowd is relevant, personal information.
Therefore, alternate the types of mailings. Don't just 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 in order to have them on time. To provide an even more relevant email, you can enclose 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. Ideally, the corresponding 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 email, you can research the style preferences of the customer. Are there special decoration elements with which the recipient could have an emotional connection? Is the target audience more attracted to Christmas clichés, or is their motto “less is more”?
To assemble the design quickly and in a time-saving way, you can use ready-made Christmas templates. Pre-programmed templates have not only been given a Christmas look, but have also been tested for correct display in various email clients and are fully responsive.
A confidential relationship with the recipient can be built by personalizing the e-mail. To do this, you first divide the recipients into segments, in order to create recipient groups as accurate as possible. With a personal salutation, custom images, individual product recommendations and real customer reviews, you address the recipient personally and build trust. Start with 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 touch with the customer.
3. Testing and Optimization
It's always a good idea to compose different versions of the email and compare them with A/B testing. 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 email, it must also be tested for correct rendering in different email clients and end devices. With a responsive design, the email is not only displayed on desktop, but also on mobile and tablet.
Finally, plan how the email campaigns will be evaluated. After each shipment, create a real-time report that shows key KPIs. With this you can easily optimize the next newsletter based on the previous open, click and conversion ratio, the visual click map and the geotracking results.
4. Targeting and Shipping
In step 2 we already briefly discussed receiver segmentation. For example, recipient groups can be composed on the basis of similar characteristics such as gender, place of residence, age category and purchasing behaviour. When sufficient data is available about recipient activity, you can also send targeted emails to active and inactive recipients.
When scheduling the shipping time, also consider the recipient's location and culture. Is the receiver located in the Netherlands or in a different time zone? Are there any special Christmas traditions that you can capitalize on? These little details will make you stand out from the crowd of competitors' emails.
For the transmission itself, it is recommended to send emails regularly. This prevents an absurdly high bounce rate. When an e-mail campaign only goes out at Christmas, there is a good chance that many e-mail addresses are incorrect or the inbox is full. This results in a high bounce rate, which strongly influences newsletter success. It is better to choose to regularly send relevant emails and therefore keep the bounce rate consistent and low.
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