Post-Holiday Email Marketing Tips and TricksJanuary 8, 2013 By Rick Faulk
The decorations were hung, the sleigh was packed with goodies and e-commerce carts jingled with joy, but now the frenzied holiday shopping season has come to an end. As you pack up the tinsel and sing Auld Lang Syne, there are a few things you can do to leverage the post-holiday sales cycle and get 2013 off to a solid start.
The strong push of the holiday season beginning in October can leave consumers with an email marketing hangover by January, so it's important to ensure that list fatigue doesn't derail your hard work. With a few smart strategies you and your customers can enjoy repeat business and great deals all year long.
- Emily Post would approve. Holiday marketing campaigns tend to be tailored to the masses. Use the post-holiday season to add a personal touch to your campaigns. Send your customers thank-you letters for their purchase. You can even customize a special offer to reward them for buying from you.
- Roll out the welcome mat. Your holiday hustle has dramatically expanded your list. Roll out the welcome mat with a reward program. This is an effective way to build on initial purchases and create repeat buyers. It's also a great time to run friends-and-family deals, and viral promotions within that expanded base. Provide incentives to these new customers to keep them engaged and buying.
- The gift that keeps on giving. Following the busy holiday season, customers may want to opt out or opt down. Let your customers know they have the ability to choose the frequency and types of emails they receive. Some may opt to receive only emails about sales or special offers, while others may want to control the frequency. Segmenting your list in this way will significantly increase your customer interaction and retention.
- Lighten up. The holiday season is a time of indulgence and excess. Come January, it's time to lighten the load. The holidays were all about direct conversion, so use the post-holiday season to employ soft selling techniques. Send a note from the editor or a tip of the day. Engage your subscribers with surveys or discussion groups. Adjusting the focus from direct conversion to content will help you prevent list attrition.
- Know your competition. You'll be able to design more effective email campaigns by knowing what your competition is doing. If your competitors are continuing with a hard push, you may want to send a contrary message to stand out in your marketplace. You can even use humor to nod to competitive tactics and illuminate your distinction.
- Build on the basics. Executing the basics well is a tactic that works in every season. In your post-holiday campaigns, focus on strong subject lines that are personalized. Don't simply send "January Newsletter"; create strong, applicable subject lines that will drive subscribers to open your email. Be relevant with your subject lines and content. Now is the time when less is more. You're sending fewer but more relevant, targeted messages.
- Extend the celebration. Keep the joy of the holidays alive by creating your own celebration. You don't have to tie into a national trend, but can innovate to create a special branded shopping day, category or theme.
- Keep, fix or trash. Now is the time to take inventory of your campaigns and programs. Re-examine your campaigns in detail based on what happened during the holiday season. This includes all of your workflow and trigger programs. Does a visit from a search engine trigger a pop-up offer? Does a purchase of a certain product trigger an add-on offer? Now is the time to look at every action to evaluate whether you should keep, enhance or simply do away with it.
Incorporating these tips and tricks into post-holiday email campaigns that are already in the works will not only help create a solid base of sales to start the new year with, but they should help you engage on a new level with your customers, making them feel valued and appreciated.
Treat your mailing list like a fruit-bearing tree. Speak to it kindly and reward it regularly, and it will bear fruits to harvest throughout 2013.