If you have a brand that experiences a surge in traffic during Q4, you know that the quickly approaching long Thanksgiving weekend signals the official kick-off of the shopping season. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday poised to drive even more holiday sales than ever before, is your email program ready?
If it is, fantastic! If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone. So many brands continue to sprint through late into the hours of the Wednesday before Turkey Day to tie up loose ends and prepare for the biggest shopping days of the year.
Good news! There’s still time to make the magic happen and set your brand up for a successful shopping season.
Make Sure Your Email Lists Are Ready
The foundation of your email marketing plan is, of course, your email list. Ask yourself:
1. How up-to-date are the email addresses on your marketing lists?
If your recent email metric reports show an increase in the number of bounced or undelivered messages, you may want to look into scrubbing your list using a third party list verification system, quick!
This will not only clean your list out so you aren’t sending to dormant addresses and diminishing ROI, but it will also help to prevent your email from landing in a SPAM trap and potentially causing wide-spread deliverability issues.
2. How much list growth have you recently experienced?
Take a look at the size of your list and your list’s recent growth. Not impressed? Here are 4 easy ways to boost your list size – fast:
Promote email sign-up in transactional emails. This is a perfect way to organically build your list. Adding an email list sign up call out in your transactional emails, especially around the holidays, will drive subscribes. This is a win-win. For you, an address to market to and for them, first dibs on promotions and new arrivals.
Promote your VIP Program. Membership is a fantastic way to gain new email subscribers. Marketed correctly, your messages will prompt customers into action and get them to sign up. Your core customers want exclusive early access to upcoming sales, as well as special VIP member-only perks and promotions, so give them access to it! They’ll return the favor with their purchases.
Think outside of the email channel. Run social campaigns. Social media ads can effectively target your buyer personas and encourage them to subscribe. You can even post on your pages to your followers for FREE and remind them to subscribe to receive messages about upcoming holiday offers.
Consider increasing your sign-up offer. This season is so valuable and customers are spending more in a single purchase than they normally would, so consider increasing your email sign-up offer temporarily. Be sure to update your site overlay, header, footer, and all social channels to reflect the new offer and take advantage of the increased traffic on your site.
Make A Marketing Calendar And Pre-Plan Your Offers
It used to be that the 4-day weekend including Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the main targets of holiday marketing campaigns during Q4. Not anymore (thank you, Amazon!). As each new holiday season comes along, the big deals start earlier and earlier.
Set up a calendar for the whole month. The goal will be to have a mix of promotions and sales throughout the month. Focus on ramping up the richness of the offer with the biggest and best around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Try changing offers weekly to keep things fresh help limit email fatigue.
Don’t forget to do something special for your VIPs. Surprise and delight your VIPs, even if you don’t have an official loyalty program. A little bit goes a long way with your best customers – think VIP-only shipping speed upgrades, deeper promotions, or even just first dibs on the sale. The trick here is to highlight the exclusivity and remind them that they are valuable to your brand.
Give them your best offer. As Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around, your offers have to be the best ones you’ve got. In other words, save the best for last, as those are the times that your customers will be expecting the deepest discounts.
Your Messages Should Be Holiday Related And Creative – But Keep It SIMPLE!
Remember, this is a very important season for your business. Because of this, you want to make sure that you have specific and special messages set up for these campaigns that make purchasing decisions easy.
Use the two-second rule. On average, during non-holiday time periods, subscribers only give an email a few seconds of their time before a click decision is made. It is even less during the height of holiday sale season. Maximize that time by using as few words as possible, easy to understand promotions, and a clear call-to-action. Give your email creative this simple test: look away, look back at your creative for two full seconds. What did you see? The answer should make you want to click through to the site and shop!
Educate. New subscribers you picked up during your list growing exercises may not know all of the ins and outs of your brand like your VIPs do. It’s important to educate them about what you do and how that translates into your unique value proposition. Keep it short in your email, but give them a place to land on your site to learn more about why they should purchase from you. This area can also feature FAQs, shipping timelines, and other relevant information.
Drive Urgency. Promotion expiration, shipping cut-offs, and low inventory will drive the season. Don’t be shy about reminding your subscribers that they need to act NOW to get the best deal or have their purchase arrive by a certain day.
Want More Last Minute Tips?
We recently partnered with Justuno to release an on-demand webinar that covers these few tips (and more) in-depth.
Abby Siciliano, Senior Strategist for Email & CRM at Elite SEM, and Mat Bingham, Director of Partnerships at Justuno, share their best strategies to drive email list growth and revenue throughout the holiday season with email marketing. Click below to access the webinar now.