123 Reg logo Blog

Nine holiday email marketing tips to boost your sales

By Alexandra Gavril - November 3, 2017

Is your holiday email marketing strategy in place? Don’t wait until the last minute to create your holiday email messages. Start now as the holiday period, running from early November to early January, is the biggest spending season of the year.

In fact, according to Mailchart’s Holiday Email Marketing Guide, email marketing is responsible for 20% of holiday sales. So, no matter what business you’re in, this is your chance to capitalise on this peak sales period and spike your revenue.

In this post you’ll find some effective holiday email marketing tips to help you get your piece of the holiday pie.

Let’s get started!

1. Study past campaigns

This should be your first step. So take a look at past campaigns and data and see which ideas worked, and which didn’t, and which segments best responded to your holiday offers.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make a list of ideas that you tried last year.
  • Gather data on how your email list responded to those ideas. You should find this data in your Google Analytics account as well as in your account with your email marketing provider. (If you’re just getting started and want to learn more about analysing email data, make sure you read our beginner’s guide to email analytics.)
  • Analyse the data and see which idea or offer was the most profitable.

When you’re done with your analysis, you should have a list of ideas that worked last year. Figuring out what worked can help you to craft better ideas for this holiday season.

2. Keep your list engaged and clean

Start the holiday season with some serious holiday cleaning. Scan your mailing list and make separate list with those subscribers who have never opened any of your emails. Send them a reactivation email with an incentive to make a purchase. For example, you can offer them a limited-time discount or a free trial.

Wait a few days and then remove those who didn’t open your email. Don’t feel bad about it as having a bigger list doesn’t matter if only half of your subscribers open your emails or take action.

So keep only the engaged subscribers in your list. That’ll not only increase your email marketing return on investment but it’ll also reduce the overall cost of your email marketing efforts.

For more tips and advice, read our article on why you should delete email subscribers and    the steps to do it the right way.

3. Come up with unique promotions for each holiday

Make a list with the holidays that matter to you and your customers – such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year – and then create different offers and promotions for each. Make sure to give customers different offers for each holiday.

A good way to determine what offers to employ is to look at your customer’s past purchases and website behaviour. Looking at this data can help you figure out what products, services or deals your customers like best, so you can then make them part of your holiday deals and promotions.

4. Create holiday-themed email campaigns

Take advantage of the holiday season and decorate not only your website but also your email theme by changing colours and themes to capture the holiday spirit.

So instead of sticking to the same email theme, try to switch things up to get your customers into the festive mood and entice them to buy from you.

Here are two examples from Birchbox and Godiva:

For more tips on how to add a little holiday spirit to your website and email marketing, read our article on seasonal design and how to use it to increase sales.

5. Help customers decide what to buy

There are over 36 million results for a single search term – “holiday gift ideas”.  This illustrates a crucial problem your customers face around the holidays: they’re not sure what to buy for their loved ones.

So, if inspiration is what your customers need – give it to them. If you can share ideas and help them make an inspired decision, you’ll not only boost sales, but also establish yourself as a helpful brand.

Here is an example of an email with buying guides that’s meant to help customers choose gifts around the holidays:

This is a very effective tactic and something your customers will enjoy seeing in their inboxes.

Feel free to send different gift guides throughout the season by breaking them into categories. For example, you can send guides with gifts for under £10, gifts for mums, dads, partners or best friends.

6. Give customers a good reason to buy

For your customers, the holiday season means discounts, offers and deals on the products or services they like.

So use email marketing to inform subscribers about your special deals, whether that’s a 50% discount, a “buy 3 for the price of 2” or “stuff that’s never on sale”.

Just make sure to use scarcity or time-limited deals to entice customers to act quickly. Using urgency encourages subscribers to take action now, because nobody likes to miss out.

Take a look at this example to get a better idea:

7. Reward your most loyal customers

Customer loyalty is important as it’s loyal customers who bring the most revenue and recommend you to others. A good way to ensure those loyal customers stick around for the long-term is to offer them fantastic deals around the holidays that are exclusive to them.

By doing this they’ll not only feel appreciated but you’ll also improve your bottom line.

Here are a few ideas you can try during the holidays to promote loyalty:

  • Give away free low-cost items or services with a big purchase.
  • Offer additional discounts to customers who reach a spending target. For example, you could offer an extra 10% off for spending over £150.

Check out this example of a brand offering discounts to loyal customers before the holidays:

8. Send last minute deals

Even if shoppers have the internet at their fingertips, many still wait until the last minute to do their shopping. Some wait because they’re not sure what to buy, while others want to make sure they get the best deals.

So, why not take advantage and send an email to market to last-minute shoppers. It’s an effective tactic to boost sales.

Check out this simple example from Netflix:

9. Write holiday subject lines your subscribers can’t resist

With everyone putting more demand on customers’ attention, the holiday season is when you need to put in an even greater effort if you want stand out in the inbox. That means getting creative and tapping into that holiday feeling with your subject lines.

Here are a few tips to help you create attention-grabbing subject lines:

  • Use power words like “hot deal”, “discount”, “free shipping”, “today-only”, “limited-time”
  • Personalise your emails and subject lines. This can be as simple as adding a subscriber’s first name to the subject line. Read our article to learn about other email personalisation tactics that can help boost open rates and revenue.
  • Consider adding emojis to your subject line to grab attention. There are lots of studies that revealed that subject lines containing emojis had a higher read rate than text-only subject lines. So why not try to add an eye-catching holiday snowman, a gift box or a tree to your subject line to entice subscribers to notice and open your email?
  • Ask a question. Questions are engaging so why not try something like “Need some last-minute gift ideas?”
  • Put your offer in your subject line. People are bombarded with emails during the holiday seasons so don’t make them hunt for your offer. Use your subject line to let them know exactly what you’re offering, whether it’s a 40% discount or free shipping on all orders.

Wrapping up

Apply these tips to your holiday email marketing campaigns and you’ll no doubt see a boost in your holiday revenue. And if you have other great tips on how to increase revenue from holiday email marketing, tweet us @123Reg.