By: Miles Williams - Multi-Channel Merchant
The holidays are just around the corner. For retailers, email is a tried and true channel for driving engagement and revenues for holiday campaigns. Here are 10 strategic and creative tips to spark ideas for your own holiday planning.
Use unique promotions to engage subscribers
Shoppers are constantly bombarded with advertisements in the months leading up to the holidays. What’s the best way to stand out? Have fun with email! For example, you could center a specific campaign around finding Santa. Within the email, serve Santa images randomly – or targeted by time and geography – across a wide variety of brand pages (in emails, behind products on-site, etc.). People who ‘find Santa’ and click on the image could be linked to a specific contest or promotion.
Boost engagement by letting voices be heard
Live polling in email lets you engage subscribers in a unique and impactful way. Give consumers a few different Cyber Monday promotions and let them vote for the one they’d most like to see on the big day. Then, on Cyber Monday, target the deals that users voted for. This tactic not only drives sales, but also lets subscribers feel like they are a part of your brand’s holiday celebrations.
Create a Personalized Experience to thank your customers
You can animate a fully personalized holiday card thanking customers for their purchases. Pull personal information from your subscriber list straight into images or animations. This could be something simple – like a first name – or a more dynamic piece of information (such as past purchase history). You can tailor the messaging of the email to fit in with the information you have on-hand – perhaps a letter from Santa would inspire conversions.
Showcase trending wish list items to drive more revenue
Registries and wish lists are a big part of retail; it gives consumers a chance to let family and friends know what they want. Take advantage of this by pulling popular wish list items into an email and encouraging consumers to treat themselves to something from the list. Include a second call to action to share the list with loved ones to increase cross-channel engagement.
Geo-target content to increase relevancy
Winter shoppers in New York have a very different idea of winter weather than shoppers in Florida. Using geo-targeting, you can swap the email’s content so that if they’re in a warmer climate, you show “warm holiday” promotions, and if they are in a colder climate you show “cold holiday” promotions. Take it a step further and change the call to action based on weather, too. If it’s raining or snowing, drive consumers to your website, but if it’s nice give them an in-store offer to cash in on.
Stream order information from website into post purchase email
Transactional messages are crucial to providing a positive post-purchase experience for your customers. Including an order status bar is an informative tool you can use during the holidays, and will draw the recipient into the message, enticing them to click and return to your site. Personalize the content of each message through a web crop or an API integration. You can display purchased products from the order and the order’s status from being placed, to processed, to actually being shipped.
Leverage social to get the word out
Videos are eye-catching in email; they add a level of fun and excitement that most emails lack (it also allows you to re-purpose videos you may be using on other channels). Once you have subscriber’s attention, get them to click through or to share on social media. To make it easy, you could include a call-to-action to “click to tweet” that would deep-link into their social media apps.
Take advantage of mobile traffic
According to our Q2 2015 Consumer Device Preference Report, over 67% of emails are read on mobile devices, with just over 47% of conversions occurring there as well. Make sure your emails are optimized for wherever your customers are reading. Responsive email content and device relevant calls to action that appear when the email is read on a smartphone are great strategies to encourage conversions.
Swap out content to keep messages fresh
Sometimes a simple and creative reminder goes a long way. Send a message before major retail holidays – like Black Friday and Cyber Monday – that teases promotions and events you’ve planned. It’s even better if the message updates with accurate time left counting down to the event. Make it more compelling by cropping in personalized recommendations from your site. Don’t forget to swap out content after the sale has ended so no one stumbles upon an out of date message.
Showcase live offers from your site
Savvy shoppers are always looking for the best deals. An easy way to ensure your emails are up-to-date is to integrate live deals straight from your site into the body of the email – that way as your site updates, so does the email. This tactic is particularly useful during flash sales and always ensures that the displayed inventory is in stock. Select content from your website and embed it right into the body of the message. The web cropped content will update as your site updates every time the email is opened, even if the email is refreshed or opened again.