Top 4 tips to improve email strategy before the holidays

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Get the timing right

“Holiday shopping tends to run in phases: pre-Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the weeks leading up to Christmas and then end of year. While it’s never really too early to begin holiday marketing, it is critical to get the message right for the timing. I received a catalog in the mail this week that said, “Still time for Christmas delivery!” in bold letters on the cover. I’d sure hope so! It’s only October,” said Jeff Kupietzky, CEO, PowerInbox. “The retailer was probably expecting the catalog to have some “shelf-life” and stick around in the home for a couple of weeks, but I can also count on getting other catalogs from the same retailer several times between now and the holidays. A better message might have been, “Start your shopping now and beat the rush!” Tailoring the message to emphasize different phases or elements of holiday shopping is important.”
 
Personalization is a must

“Plenty of research points to how effective personalization in the marketing message is for engaging and converting customers,” advises Kupietzky. “Make sure your site, emails and other communications are relevant for the individual customer, either with personalized product recommendations, geographically-appropriate suggestions (i.e. not suggesting snow boots and parkas to Florida residents) or other contextual offers. Customers today expect that you know what they want and hitting them with a just-right product or offer can build loyalty and trust.”

Use email advertising

“Email is extremely effective for driving click-thrus and conversions. Consider partnering with a publisher who sends out regular newsletters to their subscribers and place ads within those emails. Because of the rich subscriber data available, you can target ads specifically to individual subscribers for maximum relevancy, and with CPC-style tracking now available, it’s extremely cost effective to reach the most-likely-to-convert customers. Plus, email ads are impervious to web-based ad blockers, so you can be sure your ads will get through to the intended audience,” said Kupietzky.

Join an email ad network

“Take your email strategy up a notch by joining an email advertising network. Similar to CPC-based online ad networks, email ad networks let you upload creative to the platform and have it automatically delivered to relevant email subscribers across a broad range of newsletters,” said Kupietzky. “So, instead of managing buyer relationships with multiple publishers, you deal with one company, but see your ads delivered to your target audience based on subscriber data across multiple publishers.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, FaithandValues.com and with Threshold Media.