Fall is finally here and if you’ve stepped foot into any retail store lately, you’ll notice rows of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even holiday items lining the shelves. When it comes to getting ready for the holidays, it’s not uncommon for people to start shopping early.

In this post, we’ll share actionable tips to get your holiday email marketing ready for the busiest time of the year, right now.

How to prep now for the holidays

Look back to look forward

One of the most important steps to take before creating your holiday email campaigns is to look at data you’ve gathered from previous years. Looking at your data is a good idea for many reasons. Data shows you revenue from previous years, what worked and what didn’t, and what your customers responded to in the past.

To help get you started, here are some questions you may want to ask when looking at your previous year’s holiday data:

  • Where did the majority of traffic come from that lead to conversions last year?
  • Which holiday emails received the highest conversions and why?
  • What days did holiday emails receive the highest open and conversion rates? (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.)
  • How did traffic and conversions from emails compare to paid search, social media, and SEO campaigns if applicable?

The more you’re able to use data from previous years, the better you’ll be able to fine-tune your holiday email marketing campaigns for this year.

Not only is it important to understand your data, but it’s also vital to have your fingers on the pulse of current trends and predictions.

On Black Friday, email marketing generated the most sales with 25.1% of the share. Organic search drove 21.1% while CPC (paid search) came in third with 16.6% of sales. Social media was only responsible for a mere 1.6% of sales on Black Friday. Cyber Monday was no different where they generated 1.5% of sales according to Paymill.

This type of information can help you decide where to dedicate your time and marketing efforts, as in this case, you’re likely to see better returns from email marketing over social media.

Get on the mobile hustle bus

To get your email marketing campaigns ready now, you should understand how many consumers are turning to mobile devices as their primary method for holiday shopping.

76 percent of Black Friday emails and 63 percent of Cyber Monday emails were opened on a mobile device in 2015 according to Moveable Ink.

Additionally, this year mobile promotions are expected to have an impact on 87% of all holiday purchases, according to Mobile Marketing Association.

Campaign Monitor customers can understand how subscribers are interacting with your email campaigns by taking a look at your reporting. Your reporting will show which email clients your subscribers are using to consume your campaigns, as well as which devices they’re viewing your emails on. For example, Gmail is the most popular email client our subscribers use to consume our newsletter, followed closely by Apple Mail, and the most popular device is iPhones, followed by iPads.

Email client usage reporting

Templates make every email mobile-friendly

Have you ever clicked on an interesting email message from a brand only to find that you can’t see the content on your phone or tablet unless you use your fingers to scroll and maneuver around the message? That’s lame. Your subscribers must be able interact with your message on any device if you’re going to keep their interest, let alone drive revenue.

To ensure your emails are mobile-friendly, consider using an email template from Campaign Monitor. As you browse through each of the templates you’ll notice they are fully optimized for mobile, so they’ll look great no matter what device they are viewed on.

Plan now and reap the benefits all season long

Now that you know how important it is to consider previous year’s holiday data and to make sure your content is mobile-friendly, it’s time to start planning.

According to data from RJ Metrics, the days from Black Friday to Christmas generate 50–100% more revenue than other shopping days throughout the rest of the year.

Since holiday sales account for 19.2% of the year’s total sales, it’s never too early to get the ball rolling. In fact, 42% of retailers report starting their holiday promotions in September.

Here are some quick and important guidelines to help you plan your holiday content:

Create and communicate your goals

After you’ve looked your data, you’ll want to set goals. What do you hope to accomplish this year? How much growth in terms of holiday sales would you like your company to see from last year? Once you have determined your goals, make sure everyone on your team is in the loop and on-board. As you work together on your holiday email promotion goals, you can track your progress.

Promote early and often

It’s easy to let holidays come and go if you are not aware of them or prepared for them. As you plan your email promotions, make sure your holiday content is ready at least 2 to 3 weeks before each holiday you are targeting. This will give you enough time to fine-tune your content, segment your email lists and allow for multiple touch points.

Check out this example from Legacybox:

Legacy box holiday email example

 

And this example from Birchbox:

BirchBox holiday email example

And one more from De Beers:

De Beers holiday email example

Send the right email at the right time

The holidays are different in terms of how much and what people buy, which means your subscribers will most likely respond to more of your email promotions. However, it’s also important to remember that your subscribers will have different purchasing goals.

In order to capture the attention of subscribers with different buying objectives, you will want to consider segmenting your email lists. Before you start your email campaign, make sure you’re targeting the right customers with proper follow-up emails.

Segmenting your emails will make the job of matching the right subscribers with the right promotions much easier, and you can do this easily right in your Campaign Monitor account.

Use automation to be more effective

Using marketing automation can also allow you make your email marketing much more effective and efficient as you can create an email once, then send it automatically based on certain triggers your subscribers meet. You can base the triggers on things like joining a list, or even a date, or an action a subscriber takes or doesn’t take like doesn’t open an email, or click a link. You can imagine how powerful this could be during the holiday season and all year long.

Wrap up

This holiday season promises to be huge in terms of both retail and online shopping. To get the most out of your email campaigns, go the extra mile to look at your data, make your emails mobile-friendly, segment your email lists, and use automation. By preparing now, you can make the most of the holiday season.

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