A high-performance holiday email program doesn't merely sell more to your customers. It’s made up of many customer-centered tactics that make shopping with you easier and more satisfactory than from your competitors.
Three key strategies lie at the heart of this kind of email structure. Before you wrap up planning for your holiday email program, do a quick audit to see how well it performs on these strategies.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Have I done everything I can do to make my emails, forms and web pages mobile friendly and to encourage smartphone and tablet shoppers to browse and buy?
2. What am I doing to make browsing and buying easier with me than my competitors?
3. How am I encouraging new customers to continue buying from me after the holiday seasons ends?
To gauge your potential for success, see how many of the tactics listed below are part of your email program.
1. Mobile optimization
Today, more than half of your customers are likely reading your email on their smartphones, but many don't continue on the browse or purchase path unless they move to a tablet or desktop. The tactics below are geared to make your email more mobile-friendly and help close the smartphone buying gap.
- Make email templates, forms and web pages touch-friendly with responsive design and larger buttons, clickable images and font sizes. Avoid tiny fonts on low-contrast backgrounds, heavy use of side-to-side scrolling and closely grouped clusters of links.
- Add mobile-focused content to existing messages, such as reminders to download and install a mobile app.
- Add a "Save for Later" function that triggers email or SMS reminders to return to a product page or shopping cart.
- Promote alternative or one-click pay services to speed up checkout.
- Incorporate holiday content to your mobile app or other mobile-specific services.
2. Holiday shopping optimization
Are your holiday emails "business as usual," or do you change up the content to make them as useful as possible to your customers? The tactics below can help.
- Add holiday-focused content and images to your email templates.
- Send a stand-alone holiday email to give your readers a heads-up about changes in:
- email frequency or cadence
- seasonal shipping schedules and deadlines
- store or customer-service hours
- gift-card purchase and redemption
- Streamline email message content and make the call to action more prominent, including an attention-getting CTA button.
- Change email navigation and footer information to highlight holiday shoppers' concerns (store locations, returns, gift cards, shipping, etc.)
- Add holiday images and content to process-abandonment messages including cart, browse, download and account creation.
- Devote several emails to provide educational information, such as buying or fitting guides, FAQs and links to product videos and demos, with links to website product pages.
- Add gift-card information (how to buy, deliver and redeem) and reminders in late-season emails, your mobile app and SMS messages.
- Promote wish or gift lists in stand-alone messages.
3. New customer retention
Email can help bring back your new customers to continue buying from you. The tactics below will build customer loyalty, engagement and repurchasing. Although we suggest them for new customers here, many also are appropriate to send to all customers who qualify.
- Change onboarding program to welcome customers who sign up in the holiday shopping season and add holiday information including shipping deadlines, customer-service hours and access, returns, etc.
- Promote email opt-in more prominently in transactional messages sent to nonsubscribers.
- Invite new customers or all nonmembers to join your loyalty/premium program.
- Email or text a bonus or premium redeemable after the holiday season to first-time buyers or new subscribers.
- Follow up holiday purchases with invitations to fill out or change preferences for gift-buyers.
- Send a survey to first-time buyers asking them to rate the products they bought or their shopping experience with your company.
The tactics outlined above can help you create high-value messages that will stand out for your subscribers and bring them back to shop with you time after time, in the holiday season and beyond.
1) Tip Sheet: “15 Holiday Email Tips to Make Your Customers’ Shopping Experience Easier, Faster and More Fun”
2) Blog: “Holiday Quick Tip: Do the Math in Discount Promotions”
3) Webinar Recording: “Email Tactics to Maximize Holiday Revenue”