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10 Places to Promote Your Email Program During the Holidays

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by: Loren McDonald (@LorenMcDonald)
07 July 2011

The weather outside may not yet be frightful, but it’s time to start thinking about the delightful marketing initiatives you’ll put into action this holiday season.

Most retailers gear up for the holidays with an eye on maximizing revenue during the busiest shopping season of the year. But the savviest marketers also look at the long view, thinking about how they can build relationships with these buyers that can lead to all kinds of good things like word-of-mouth, testimonials and, yep, repeat purchases.

Step one in that process is building your email list. With more visitors to your website, social media pages and physical stores (if applicable), this is an ideal time to turn those extra eyeballs and increased foot traffic onto your email program, which you can then use to inform, entertain and educate these new subscribers.

Here are 10 places to promote your email program during the holidays:

1) Website: Sure, you already promote your email program on your website—but is it buried at the bottom of the home page in cryptic language (“register here”)? Your email program likely has the highest ROI of any activity in your marketing program, so it deserves a prime piece of real estate. Place your email subscription link in a prominent position above the fold and make the call-out language strong—something like “get exclusive email-only offers” that immediately tells visitors why they should sign up. Also, consider tying the opt-in to a promotion (“sign up and get 10% off your first order”).  And finally, don’t stop at your home page: You should have a sign-up on every page on the site, since many visitors may be arriving via search engines to different areas of your site.

2) Shopping cart checkout: As shoppers are finalizing their purchases, add a slot on your online checkout form inviting them to enroll in your email program—using a similarly strong call-to-action and incentive as featured on your website.

3) Transactional emails: You’ll likely be sending thousands of transactional email receipts during the holidays, so don’t miss this opportunity to invite customers to opt in to your email program. One caveat: Instead of annoying customers who have already subscribed to your email program, use dynamic content to insert opt-in promotions so they only appear in transactional receipts for customers who haven’t yet enrolled in your email program.

4) Facebook: You don’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg to know that Facebook is huge, invading every space of our lives. Yet according to Silverpop’s mocial survey, only 10 percent of marketers are using the corporate Facebook page to capture email opt-ins. It should take you less than an hour to add an email sign-up to your Facebook page, so make sure to take advantage of this opportunity to drive new fans to your email channel.

5) Twitter: During the holidays, as you’re tweeting away about all the hot deals and cool stuff you’ve got going on, make sure to drop an occasional 140-character message teasing your email program into your Twitter stream. Bonus tip: Make sure to cross-reference your holiday promotions on other channels and mediums (SMS, Foursquare, etc.) as well.

6) Local check-ins: Deal-hungry shoppers will likely be “checking in” regularly this holiday season to see what special savings they can unwrap. If you’re using Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, etc. to deliver holiday sales and offerings to customers, consider utilizing it to plug your email program as well.

7) Package inserts: Include a note when you ship orders inviting recipients to sign up for your email program—as well as liking you on Facebook, following you on Twitter, etc.

8.) Call center: During the holidays, call volumes increase as shoppers place orders and seek out assistance. If applicable, instruct your call center employees to ask customers if they’d like to subscribe to your email program.

9) Direct mail and catalogs: If print is part of your holiday messaging arsenal, make sure to include a teaser to your email program on your print pieces.

10) Physical stores: Foot traffic is higher than ever, but leaving the email sign-up process in the hands of store clerks can lead to neglect or errors when employees type in an email. This year, try putting up signs encouraging shoppers to text you their email address to opt in to your email program and enjoy great savings. What better way to pass the time while they’re waiting in long checkout lines?

Want more tips on holiday marketing? Try these resources:

Holiday Email Marketing Checklist
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