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Susan DeMatei
 
December 5, 2017 | Email Marketing | Susan DeMatei

HOLIDAY EMAIL BEST PRACTICES

We turned on the best Christmas album to get in the mood to write this post.

We just finished Thanksgiving, but Christmas ads are on the TV and displays are in the stores, and shipping deadlines will be here before you know it.

The National Retail Federation predicted this year that holiday sales expected to grow between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion.  So if you haven’t already, here are some tips for your promotions this holiday season.


Timing

Frequent readers are familiar with my rant that your LIST is the most important factor in any campaign, and this is true. But I will spare you from my segmentation lecture to discuss the highly important factor of TIMING for holiday campaigns. Of note:

  • Don’t send during peak travel times. AAA estimates that nearly 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from their home by car this holiday due to lower gas prices.
  • Make sure your shipping deadlines are very clear and you send emails with enough time for customers to react. Take a moment and think through your logistics to avoid customer service issues – your customers and your employees with thank you.
  • Don't worry if you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Research by the National Retail Federation suggests that 32% of holiday sales happen in December, and even 11% of us are still just researching - so get those messages out there.

Format

Do you have your website optimized for mobile and tablet yet?  What about your shopping cart?  If you’re not sure what we're talking about, look at your website on your phone or table, if it just looks tinier, call your web company….or your marketing person…or us. You’re missing out on crucial sales.  The Facebook 2016 Holiday Study found that 30% of holiday shopping is done via phone or tablet.  And that's on top of the 65% of us who use a phone in-store to research prices or reviews. There are different ways of typing and navigating in a tiny touch-screen world, and your buttons and cart need to be set up to easily help customers check out your wines on the go. 

Facebook Retail Research

Message

Shop.org has some advise for us on offers.  The deals this Holiday Season will vary, they say. 45% of retailers plan to dangle coupons or percent-off offers before shoppers, while nearly 38% will employ limited-time discounts. 30%, meanwhile, will offer free standard shipping, albeit with unspecified conditions, while 15% will trot out free gifts with purchases.

So what to do? Here is where your goals and creativity come into play. Are you sending a club shipment out in December? Perhaps an add-on offer to increase your AOV (Average Order Volume) will work. Or if you’re doing an email, provide upgraded shipping, or special gift ideas.

Don’t overlook the last minute gift idea. After your shipping deadline and right before Christmas is a great time to sneak in an email about giving a Wine Club subscription as a gift.

So pour a glass of eggnog and get ready. If you don’t have your holiday promotions organized yet, don’t panic. We are still sending some clients’ campaigns this week – there’s still time.

And, BTW, the best Christmas album will always be A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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