With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror here in Canada and Halloween just around the corner, saying that the holiday season is in full swing is a bit of an understatement. Aside from the frantic rushing of families trying to keep up with all of the festivities, this time of year is also special for your brand’s email marketing campaign. To help ensure that you keep up with the holiday cheer, here’s a few simple tips that can help maximize your inbox presence from Halloween to Christmas and beyond.
Prepare for the “Creative Crunch”
Even if you’ve been around the block before during the holiday season, that doesn’t make the influx of increased sending, as well as the development of creative content, any easier. As Steve Dille of Marketing Land points out, adding in Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, and all of the other major shopping events that occur before the start of the New Year onto the standard holiday dates puts a strain unlike any other on brands looking to stay connected with consumers during this time.
To avoid a complete email marketing meltdown, spend some time with your team and make sure they understand the need for quality and expedience during this time. Also, connecting with your email service provider to ensure that there won’t be any technical hiccups when the time comes to ship out massive amounts of marketing messages can also save you some headaches during peak times of activity.
Optimize in Real-Time
Additionally, to help make the development and optimization of your email creative content operate smoothly, Dille suggests getting your team acclimated to working with consumer data and information in real-time, or working with professionals that embody this approach. By familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of deciphering customer trends, as well as maintaining easy access to this information, your brand can implement fast responses to any sudden changes to your ideal consumer profile. When compared to the sluggish reaction times and techniques utilized by your competition, it’s hard not to feel a little extra holiday cheer when enacting this approach.
Seasonal and Segmentation Go Hand-in-Hand
One of the biggest mistakes brands make when trying to capitalize on the holiday season is forgetting that, even though profiling helps describe the average customer, not all members of the target audience are alike. As Stephanie Zatkyo of HubSpot explains, failing to incorporate list segmentation with your seasonal offers can lead to some sticky situations with these readers. For instance, just because the majority of your contact list celebrates Christmas doesn’t mean that it’s okay to fire off emails filled with this type of content to the members of your list that identify with other religious orientations.
Again, this comes down to the amount of data you have on your target audience. However, the message still holds true; if you have the ability to segment your list and offer varied seasonal content, this endeavor is well worth your time and effort, especially when compared to potentially offending these valued customers.
Make the Holiday Season Interactive
Another smart tip that can really drum up some major interaction with the members of your email marketing list is to encourage user submissions as part of your holiday campaign. In his post for Marketing Sherpa, Adam T. Sutton explains that finding ways to promote an interactive experience, especially during Halloween, is one of the most engaging techniques brands can implement as the holiday spirit sweeps your target audience.
Even something as simple as requesting photos of your contact list members in their costumes for an on-site gallery is enough to add a little fun to your seasonal promotion. Of course, if your brand can find a fun and creative way to tie these submissions or acts to its products and services, you’ve struck pure email marketing gold. Regardless of how you decide to follow this tip, keeping things fun, lighthearted, and interactive is a recipe for success that’s hard to beat.
Branch off Into Uncharted Territory
For the last tip, Sutton goes on to suggest that leaving the beaten path behind and blazing your own trail in terms of holiday email marketing is a clever way to stand out from the competition that’s locked into standard offerings. Instead of sticking to the traditional spooky skeletons and red-nosed reindeer that come with this time of year, taking a more subtle approach and embodying other aspects of the holiday season, like rich red and gold autumnal colors in your templates, can help put a fresh spin on seasonal marketing. When combined with the rest of what you’ve learned about maximizing your impact in the inbox during this festive time of year, there’s nothing stopping your brand from sitting back and enjoying an extra-large helping of holiday cheer along with increased traffic and conversions.