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BizReport : Email Marketing : September 19, 2012

Retailers: Expert advises what to do now for the holiday rush

The calendar may still read September, but savvy online marketers are already preparing for the 2012 holiday season - which will kick off Thanksgiving Weekend in the US. Based on the summer months, Christmas will come early for some; according to data from Responsys July email volume was up 18% YoY - which holiday messaging already appearing. Read on for our expert's tips on what to do now to get ready for the rush.

by Kristina Knight

Responsys has released their 2012 Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season and among their tips are for brands to prepare for the holidays now and begin holiday geared messaging early. In 2011 most (75%) major retailers sent at least one promotional email on Black Friday in the US with email rates on Thanksgiving Day up 60%. Even though the holiday shopping season was extended - retailers can now take Christmas orders online as late as December 21 and still deliver for Christmas Morning - marketers were still contacting their customers early.

That early/late trend is likely to continue in the 2012 holiday season. What can you do now to prepare?

Responsys offers these tips for online brands:

• Mobile changes the game. As consumers increasingly view their email on mobile devices and tablets, new opportunities emerge for retailers throughout the holiday season. Mobile access allows people to check their email for holiday deals on days that are traditionally sluggish for sales--like travel days (e.g. the day before Thanksgiving) and family oriented days (Thanksgiving and Christmas). It also allows shoppers to access email deals while they are on the move, shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.

• Free shipping for all! Free shipping is now the norm for the holiday season. Last year, 55% of major online retailers offered free shipping all holiday season long. Expect that number to climb this year as shoppers come to expect nothing less than free shipping around the holidays.

Tags: 2012 holiday shopping, ecommerce email, ecommerce trends, email tips, Responsys, retail email trends

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