’Tis the Season to Prepare for Christmas

It may only be July, but it is never too early to hang your holiday stockings. While consumers are still spending time at the beach, it’s time for retailers to walk in the winter wonderland of holiday campaign preparations. In order to sleigh this holiday season, Seamas Egan shares these tips taken from recent Campaigner survey data to help boost your business to the nice list

Capitalize on Christmas: Start Early

Similar to St. Nick, 51 percent of business owners plan to start preparing for the upcoming season before September. Additionally, in 2016, one third of those who began preparation before September reported a very successful holiday season — 12 percent higher than those who started September and later.

In order to unwrap these holiday wins, it’s important to meet with your team early to brainstorm themes, identify your target audiences and plan out all promotions and coupons. By planning your entire campaign early, you can begin to give subscribers a sneak peek into novelty items or services to help stir up some new enthusiasm ahead of the holidays. This also allows time to check your subscriber list twice, ensuring no issues arise as your campaigns go out.

Put Your Subscribers On The Nice List: Treat Them To A Present

Last holiday season 62 percent of retailers found success in promotions and discounts. These offers can be effective not only for rewarding loyal customers, but also for winning back disengaged customers.

The key to a great marketing campaign begins with putting the subscriber first . After all, it is the holidays and consumers expect to be treated right during this season of giving. Start by offering promotions and free shipping to draw them into your online store. Additionally, remind customers what they purchased from you in the past, and offer promotions on similar or complementary items to encourage further conversions. By creating limited edition coupons on best-selling items, retailers can encourage even more engagement between the brand and consumer.

Wrap Email Marketing Campaigns Together With Social Media Channels

While respondents ranked email marketing more effective than social media marketing, social media integration is still near the top of retailers’ lists this year. When comparing channels, Facebook is projected to take the cake this year with 65 percent of retailers planning to invest in the social media giant.

Social icons built into your email campaigns will enable customers to view your pages while they check their email, saving time by allowing them to access your social channels in just a few clicks. Additionally, cross promoting your email marketing campaigns on social platforms can create larger visibility and more brand engagement with your audience.

Give the Gift of Personalization

Sending emails to users who are not interested in the content they are receiving is like delivering coal to a good boy or girl during the holidays. It can cause unhappiness and frustration with your brand, and will often lead to unsubscribes and disengagement. Last holiday season email marketers found great success in personalization, with 40 percent reporting it to be the most effective boost for their campaigns.

This holiday season avoid unhappy customers by personalizing emails to specific individuals . Utilize descriptors like purchase history, age and gender to customize message content, and remind customers of items they abandoned in their shopping carts. Be sure to take into account individual factors like geography and the weather as well. For example, during a winter storm, try highlighting how your products or services can help parents keep their kids busy during a school snow day or help families stay dry and warm this season.

While the holiday season is still months away, learning from last year’s successes can help turn this year’s season into your best one . By preparing early, retailers allow for a long runway ahead of the traditional November-December timeline, which in turn means solidifying a plan, promoting early offerings and ultimately more sales. Before you know it, Santa Claus will be coming to town and you’ll be ringing in a very merry holiday season.

Originally appeared: https://www.martechadvisor.com/articles/ecommerce/tis-the-season-to-prepare-for-christmas/

Like what you read? Give Seamas Egan a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.