Posted: 23 Nov 2022 Contributor: Ghia Marnewick
Holiday Email Marketing Campaign Trends: How to Supercharge Your Sales with Personalization
Email marketing is a fantastic way to reach new and existing customers. Not only is the form of marketing suitable for both web and mobile, but it also gives you added creative freedom when it comes to adding elements to the communication being sent out.
Another great feature that can be integrated into your email marketing campaign is the use of digital assistant marketing to manage the process – you've got to love technology!
Let’s take a look at the following holiday email marketing stats:
- In 2019, nearly two-thirds (68%) of holiday shoppers said they paid more attention to marketing emails during the Christmas holidays.
- 37% of shoppers say they get inspiration for gift ideas by browsing the sites of their favorite brands.
- 69% of consumers aged 25-34 say that online influencers are the biggest source of inspiration for seasonal gifts.
- 85% of consumers choose free shipping and only 15% choose expedited shipping.
- 57% of US consumers intend to shop online during the holidays.
- On Black Friday 116.5 million emails were sent out.
- 106 million emails were sent out on Cyber Monday.
- 95 million emails were sent on Thanksgiving Day.
So, for a quick recap, email marketing is the practice of sending marketing communication to customers using email as the source of delivery. Given the digital nature of this, you can add as much or as little text as you like, as well as multimedia content to take it to the next level.
Something else worth mentioning is the ability to personalize this communication based on user data gathered. This means that you can tailor your communication per-database and even have it linked to user activity.
Why Go Through The Effort Of Personalizing Communication?
People want to feel valued and special. They don’t want to be seen as just another number, they want to see and know that you care about them and their wellbeing.
Personalization has been found to improve engagement and increase your return on investment. To support this, research has found that 71% of customers are more likely to open a personalised email – especially when it comes from a brand.
So, instead of trying to get away with the generic "Hi friend" or even just simply "Hello", invest a few extra minutes and set up a personalized email. In an age where automation is king, this will in most cases require some simple programming to set up.
Personalization is also about more than just slotting in a name, it can also be a matter of sending personalized discounts or account updates – everyone loves a good deal. You can even add tracking to links embedded into the email to see what people respond to.
It can also be linked to your customer's activity. For example, if they've abandoned a cart at your online store or if they have made a booking. Simple reminder or confirmation emails go a long way when it comes to building and maintaining customer relationships.
Is Email Marketing Dead?
With the greatest certainty, we can say that email marketing is not dead. If anything, it is thriving. Approximately 3.9 billion people across the globe make use of email services, a number expected to reach 4.48 billion in 2024.
This is because there's something more special, almost a novelty, that comes with going through your inbox and reading your email. It's an experience social media is yet to fully be able to replicate.
How Personalization Can Be Powerful During The Holidays
While personalized email marketing is a welcomed experience all year round, during the holiday season it is a rather pleasant surprise. Between shopping for gifts and hosting family and friends, it can become a time-consuming and often costly exercise.
Brands that reach out to their customers during this time, and that are able to provide a helping hand, will see their customer relationships grow well into the new year.
Holiday Email Marketing Trends 2023
Email marketing is not only great for building brand awareness, but it is also the most cost-effective way to increase sales.
A lot of online marketing – like PPC and paid social media – is involved. With email marketing, you are invited into the inbox of current and potential customers right away.
Think about it: many brands limit themselves to one-line ads designed to attract attention on social media and in search results. Email marketing, on the other hand, allows you to deliver longer, more interesting messages that are more impactful than standard advertising or social media. And, with the right strategy, you can build that link across different emails. When planning your holiday email marketing strategy, consider these factors as the basis for a successful campaign.
Now that you've set the stage for your campaign, it's time to get the word out with these holiday email marketing tips. We've added some emails to start your brainstorming process.
1. Start organizing emails now!
Like a perfect holiday dinner, different parts of an email campaign require more or less time to prepare. From now on, you can put all the pieces in one place to come together at the perfect time.
Some of this work can be quick, but some (especially the creative ones) take time if you want to do it right. But, if you want your campaign to be successful, you need to spend time on A/B testing holiday email subject lines and calls to action (CTA). Analyze them across segments of your audience to find the best ideas for promotion.
2. Emphasize discounts, sales, and promotions.
Consumers do a lot of shopping during the holiday season, which means they're looking for ways to stretch their budgets. Take the time now to determine your company's "sweet spot" for discounts. This is where discounting increases your income - increasing sales reduce returns significantly. Pro tip: Your sweet spot may not be a percentage or a dollar discount. It can be a coupon or a special offer like BOGO or "buy X, get Y".
3. Showcase your popular holiday products.
One of the biggest lessons of email marketing: you always want to start with what works. This includes items that always sell well during the holidays. You may ask: why should I spend money advertising something that I know will sell?
There are two good reasons. First, success builds itself up. It is possible to increase your sales significantly by focusing on what you do best. Second, using or embedding your success stories allows these products to wear success stories in their stations. People may open your email for the most popular items but end up buying other popular items as well. Win-win.
4. Use eye-catching designs, to score (and on vacation).
Sometimes it can be useful to get under the voice of your customers with images and text that challenge them.
But everyone gets a little stressed during the holidays, and they don't have time or energy for that right now. If you don't speak with your heart, you should probably speak with your hands.
5. Showcase your brand assets.
As you provide your customers with what they want, you also want to make sure that you demonstrate the power of your brand. Historical media data (again!) will help you understand what people like about your brand. You can also analyze social media posts and user-generated content to see which parts of your brand people find most engaging to share. Don't think that people have heard the message and are satisfied; you want to remind them what your brand means.
Add these strengths to your email campaigns as soon as possible.
6. Make it a holiday shopping spree.
If you don't sell during the holidays, you can ignore it. Your email will be buried under the social media that customers are always exposed to.
To close your sales now, emphasize that the holiday deals are for a limited time and must be used before they are gone forever. Some basic examples: "For today only!" or "Buy Now!"
You may also consider adding timers to product pages, depending on how your audience reacts to this type of pressure. This strategy works well when last-minute shoppers are under pressure to buy for their loved ones.
Examples of Holiday Email Campaigns
Sometimes when it comes to marketing trends, the best way to make your point clear is by using examples. So, let’s take a look at a few holiday email marketing examples.
Subject: "⌚ Order before 2pm EST for FREE overnight shipping."
Puma sent the morning before Christmas Day. It's a simple post that includes all the usual stuff - a few banners, a few links to two different offers, a navigation bar, and social media icons.
So why is it good?
It's good if you're behind Christmas schedules and doing last-minute gift shopping. And not because you are looking for a special gift, but because you haven't found the perfect gift, or you don't know that December has passed before you.
This email is designed for this type of audience.
It's not too complicated and it shouldn't be. It announces a quick way to save money if you haven't bought Christmas gifts for your loved ones yet - Free Next Day Delivery.
The offer is mentioned first in the subject line, again in the pre-header, and finally in the banner placed in the middle of the email fold.
Subject line: "That extra hour, though."
The campaign aims to celebrate the brand's favorite day of the year. Curious to know what day it is?
Daylight Savings Time. This is because you can sleep for an hour.
They also sell mattresses, pillows, and everything you need to sleep well. Isn't that cool?
So why is it good?
Besides the campaign concept, what stands out about this email is its design. As always with this brand, their message is excellent.
It's simple, with a clear name all scripts are really good - and a single call-to-action button that says, "Party on." A descriptive and humorous CTA button is placed next to a discount code and an animated GIF alarm clock that makes the 10% off message impossible to ignore.
Finally, below the main body of the email, there is another link that allows you to "Find a sleep shop near you". Yes, not a shop, a sleep shop.
Subject line: "20% Off Fall Decor – Wreaths, Plants & More"
From a design perspective, there isn't much to say about this. It is similar to other email campaigns sent by this brand. Well, consistency in design is a good thing.
Perhaps one thing that stands out in the design of this email is the unusual use of the pre-header section. You don't see links like "Buy Now" or "Find a Store" before the "View Email with Images" URL.
While there is nothing noteworthy about the design of this email, the idea behind the campaign is very interesting. So, if it's not design, what makes it good?
This approach has three clear advantages. This makes their cardholders feel appreciated and motivates them to make more purchases.
5 Tips for Holiday Email Marketing
Use these tips and best practices to put your holiday email marketing strategy on the hot list.
1. Write a subject line that reflects the event's context
When sending your holiday email, have a little fun and lean into the festive spirit to help your email stand out.
Here are some tips for your holiday email subject line:
- Create a subject line that will immediately let readers know what to expect from the email.
- Add special emojis to add your personal touch to the beautiful event.
- Keep your subject line short and sweet. If your subject lines are too long, they will be cut off in mobile view.
2. Send targeted messages with effective scope
Segment your email subscribers to create personalized email campaigns. This will be more effective for your holiday email marketing than sending a blanket email to your entire list.
3. Create a unique email plan that stands out
The holiday season is when all businesses reach out to their customers and prospects with emails. Therefore, your emails should stand out and leave a lasting impression on the reader, thereby convincing them to convert.
Send an eye-popping email at the same time as a vacation sent to them. Take it a step further and think of new ideas for holiday emails. You can try different types of animations to improve the engagement of your subscribers and get them to buy from you.
4. Send a holiday gift guide
Oftentimes, customers are looking for help deciding on gifts for their loved ones this holiday season. So how about sharing a holiday gift guide with your holiday email marketing campaign to help you out?
Share ideas for different types of gifts in your store for the holidays. This will motivate the readers and make them buy from you.
One of the most important goals of your holiday campaign (or any email campaign) should be to keep customers from switching to your competitors. Create a sense of immediacy by defining time-providing elements and interaction statistics.
Email marketing is far from dead, and during the holiday season, it can be a great way to build powerful relationships with your customers. With a bit of extra thought, personalization, and a bit of fun, you can leave a lasting impression that builds the foundation for another successful year.