The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for ecommerce stores. For many, it’s the last opportunity to generate maximum revenue and end the year with a bang.
With online channels like social media and ecommerce SEO more prominent than ever, some people ask: Is email marketing still relevant?
As of 2020, there are over 4 billion email users worldwide. That’s a massive demographic for marketers to reach. Not only that, one-third of digital marketers state that email marketing is their best tool for generating ROI. It returns roughly an ROI of 4400%.
Given these numbers, it’s apparent that email marketing remains a force to be reckoned with in the realm of digital marketing. The challenge now is coming up with strategies to improve your open rates and increase your conversions, especially during this holiday season.
Holidays – no matter what time of the year – are an excellent opportunity to reach out to subscribers and generate even more leads. If you want your holiday sales to shoot up, you need a lucrative email marketing plan.
15 Ecommerce Email Marketing Tips to Boost Your Holiday Sales
With all the competition and clutter of the holiday season, it’s not easy for email marketers to make their voices heard. Here’s how you can draw attention to your emails and drive maximum conversions this holiday season.
1. Segment your audience
Inboxes are overcrowded during the holidays so there’s no point in sending messages to those uninterested in your brand. Get your holiday emails opened by sending them to the right audience after you’ve segmented your list. This will let you send more relevant and targeted emails to users who are more likely to convert.
Create various segments based on your subscribers’ demographics, interests, and shopping behavior. Figure out if they are high spenders or if they’ll be convinced to buy your products with a discount code. By having a segmented list, you’ll send appropriate offers and deals that eventually boost sales.
2. Personalize your email
Don’t rely on generic email campaigns that don’t address your recipient. When you personalize your emails, you make customers feel special. It’s also a great way to grab their attention and stand out among the flood in their inbox.
You can start by using customers’ names on the subject line and copy but it shouldn’t stop there. Show customers their nearest store location or make product recommendations based on their interests. For instance, if you sell baking ingredients, you can start your email off with a subject line like “10 Cookies You Can Bake and Gift to Loved Ones This Christmas.” The recipient is already hooked wanting to know what they can bake. Your email can involve the ingredients they can use along with special offer discounts.
3. Timing is everything
Subscribers view and read emails at a certain time or day. According to HubSpot, the highest click-to-open rates are 10am at 21%, 1pm at 22%, and experience a huge spike at near 6pm. Send your emails at the right moment, especially during the time when your leads are most likely to convert.
Additionally, determine when to start sending holiday emails according to your buying cycle. If your typical buying cycle is 1-2 weeks, start sending emails two weeks before Christmas to target last-minute Christmas shoppers.
4. Create holiday-themed emails
Changing the themes, colors, and messaging of your email campaigns following various holidays is a surefire way to grab the attention of customers. Holiday-themed emails evoke anticipation and make recipients feel excited about purchasing.
Use fun, festive email designs through imagery that depicts the holiday season. This doesn’t mean completely abandoning your brand. It’s just a chance to play around with your standard format. For instance, adding a dash of red and green for a touch of festivity goes a long way in helping recipients feel the Christmas spirit.
5. Launch exclusive holiday sales
Offer a sneak-peek of the products you’re planning to list on sale for the holidays. This is a great way to encourage your subscribers to buy from you, especially if they’re browsing for gifts.
6. Create a holiday gift guide
Create your own holiday gift guide right in your email or by linking your subscribers to a page on your website that showcases relevant products.
Include different categories in your guide, so customers can easily find the items that interest them the most. For example, some gift guides divide their featured products by:
· Price (lowest to highest or vice-versa)
· Age (e.g. gifts for kids, teenagers, adults)
· Interests (e.g. gifts for gadget lovers or pop culture fans)
For best results, include a link to your gift guide in every email you send. This allows you to keep promoting your products all throughout the holiday season.
7. Give discounts and offers
The holiday season is a great opportunity to indulge your subscribers with emails that contain irresistible offers. Keep them engaged throughout the holiday season with tempting discounts and exciting deals. Providing your subscribers with early access to exclusive discounts and sales can persuade them to buy from you. You can also give incentives or discounts to new subscribers on their first order so they have reasons to purchase again.
8. Keep it simple and sweet
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by holiday marketing. You feel as if you want to promote all your products at once.
However, you don’t want to create decision fatigue. Simplify your messaging during the holidays. Each email should pitch one idea (e.g. one product category) and provide one clear call to action. What matters is you effectively convey the benefit of buying what you offer.
9. Don’t forget to cross-sell
Cross-selling involves recommending a complementary or recommended product. It’s why fast-food restaurants always ask, “Would you like fries with that?” and why ecommerce sites show you products often bought together.
Suggest items to buy based on a customer’s recent or past orders. If successfully executed, cross-selling emails can increase your average order value and generate awareness for other products you sell.
10. Send notification emails
When a certain product is out of stock, allow customers to sign up so they can be notified when the item becomes available again. You can also let customers set up wish lists and then send updates about those products.
Notification emails stand out in a user’s inbox because they know the content is relevant to them. That’s why notification emails have the highest open rate after welcome emails.
11. Retarget with abandoned cart emails
The average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. But just because customers abandon their carts doesn’t mean you’ve lost them forever. If someone gets distracted or navigates away from your site before making a purchase, you can still convince them to buy with an abandoned cart email.
Abandoned cart emails act as a friendly nudge to get customers to come back and complete their transactions. Include photos of the products in the email as well as a compelling call to action. You can even offer a discount they won’t be able to resist.
12. Optimize for mobile
Roughly half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. More and more sales also happen on mobile devices with each passing year. In the Philippines, half of online shoppers use mobile phones to make a purchase.
If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you lose out on a huge chunk of potential customers. For reference, optimizing for mobile means:
· Using responsive templates that resize on different screens while keeping important content visible.
· Optimizing images so they load quickly and look good.
· Writing short subject lines with all the key information at the start.
13. Don’t forget the footer
Your footer is a great place to woo holiday customers and make sales. In the footer, you can promote:
· Gift cards and other gift services
· Your holiday gift guide
· Last order and last shipping days
· Links to gifts at various price points
Having those kinds of information in the footer makes it handy for subscribers who need them.
14. Say a sincere thank you
Sometimes, brands don’t say thank you enough. And even if they do, they rarely mean it.
Take the time to thank your customers each time they make a purchase with a simple email. This will likely turn them into loyal brand advocates who will refer you to their friends and family. There’s also the chance they’ll come back for more transactions and continue to purchase from you long after the holidays are over.
15. Track your performance
Last but not the least, it’s crucial to monitor the performance of your upcoming campaign and focus on a measurable goal. For example, you might be aiming to beat last year’s sales or for higher conversion rates than average.
Tracking your efforts will be useful in understanding your campaign’s performance compared to previous years. It will also help inform your future strategy and help you quickly identify and address any issues as quickly as possible.
Wrap Up the Year With a Solid Email Marketing Campaign
Holidays are the best time for marketers. As customers are happy, light-hearted, and want to spend their hard-earned money, this is a great time to to attract more shoppers and increase your sales. Follow the tips above and capitalize on the massive opportunities that the holiday period offers. With email marketing done right, you can sit back and watch your conversions soar.