10 Ideas for eCommerce Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns in 2021

We give you 10 creative ideas to up your eCommerce holiday email marketing campaigns in 2021.

To help your eCommerce business prep for the 2021 holiday season, we’re publishing a multi-part blog series with digital marketing tips you need to implement today. Today, we’re focusing on email marketing.

“It’s the most competitive time of the year…” 

I know: It’s too early for carols. But what it’s not too early for is your eCommerce holiday email marketing campaigns. 

We’re just a few months from the start of the busiest shopping period of the year. If you want successful holiday email marketing campaigns, now’s the time to get your strategy in motion for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year’s, and the rest of the shopping season. 

By planning today, you’ll avoid spending your energy making last-minute tweaks while other valuable sales opportunities slip by — especially if you’re a small business making the most of the limited staff you have.

Today’s guide will help you get your eCommerce email marketing campaigns ready with all the trimmings before the holiday season starts, by explaining:

  • Why holiday email marketing is crucial for your brand
  • What you should consider when designing your holiday email strategy
  • And 10 proven strategies for successful eCommerce holiday email campaigns

What are the Benefits of Holiday Email Marketing?

Email marketing is not only great at creating brand awareness, it’s also the most cost-effective way to increase sales.

Most online marketing — like PPC and paid social — is intrusive. With email marketing, you’ve been invited into current and future customers’ inboxes with express permission. These shoppers already want your brand to be a part of their lives. 

Take advantage of it by creating a powerful connection between your brand and the holiday experiences and rituals that are close to your customers’ lives. If you can make that connection, you’re locked in for higher holiday sales for years to come. 

Think about it: Most brands are limited to one-line ads designed to grab attention on social and in search engine results. (Are you sick of “It’s just not [holiday] without [brand]” yet?)

Email marketing, on the other hand, allows you to deliver a longer, more enticing message that packs a bigger punch than a banner ad or a social media post. And, with a well-designed flow, you can build that engagement over several emails. 

Finally, from a revenue standpoint, nothing beats email. 

The email inbox is your inside track to conversions. Conversion rates for email campaigns are nearly double that of social media campaigns, and customers spend more when reached via email. Combined, these factors give email marketing a huge ROI: around 3,800%, according to multiple studies.

That’s not a typo. Successful email marketing campaigns regularly bring in $38+ of revenue for every $1 spent advertising.

The point: If you’re not using email marketing, now’s the time to start.

How to Create an eCommerce Holiday Email Marketing Strategy 

When planning your holiday email marketing strategy, consider these factors as the foundation of successful campaigns.

Explore Brand Adherence

Start by determining which holidays align best with your brand’s presence and personality. Not all brands are Christmas brands. Some are Halloween brands. Some are Thanksgiving brands. Some are brands of a different season altogether. 

Here’s an example: Our client Vitrazza built a super-successful email campaign for Memorial Day. By using their “Made in the USA” tagline to appeal to patriotic feels, they brought in more than $90,000 in sales over the three-day holiday. 

Vitrazza Memorial Day email campaign, emphasizing American-made and American-owned connection.

Understand Customer Demographics

On the same line of thought, think about which holidays are most important to your customers, based on demographic trends.

You might not know which holidays they celebrate, but you can look at their historical purchase data to know when (and what) they tend to buy. Then, you can segment your email audience to hit those customers who are most likely to buy for one holiday or another. 

This can also help guide the language you use in your copy. Some customers might be turned off by the assumption that everyone is Christmas shopping, while others will respond favorably to Christmas-themed marketing. 

Dive into the data, run some audience focus groups, and collaborate with your audience marketing team to streamline your approach this season.

Hit Historical Data Hard

We brought up historical data already, but it bears repeating: Historical data can give you important insights into how to target your advertising dollars. Use it to learn which holidays customers identify with your brand, based on when they tend to buy. You can also discover which customers tend to do their shopping around Black Friday (or before) and which ones tend to be last-minute shoppers — and target them with marketing appropriately.

Remember that 2020 was a strange year for all of us. Make sure you look at several years of data for a more complete prediction, and don’t just rely on last year’s COVID trends to guide your strategy. 

Pro tip: With enough historical analysis, you’ll probably see what we’ve been seeing for years —  customers are starting the holiday shopping season earlier than ever. 

Build on Successes and Learn from Mistakes

Don’t forget to review data from previous campaigns when designing your new campaign. We’re not just talking email campaigns, either; look at how ad campaigns have performed on other platforms, especially social media. Identify the aspects of successful campaigns and incorporate them into your emails. 

You should also look at your failed campaigns in the past. Identify what went wrong, and avoid those issues in upcoming campaigns.

10 Strategies for Your eCommerce Holiday Email Campaigns

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork for your holiday email campaign, it’s time to start talking about strategy with these email marketing tips. 

1. Start scheduling emails now!

Like the perfect holiday dinner, different parts of the email campaign need longer or shorter periods of time to prepare. Starting now ensures you can get all the elements in place to come together at the perfect time.

Some of that work can be rushed — but some of it (especially creative) takes time if you want to get it right. And, if you want to get your campaign right, you must leave yourself time to do A/B testing on email subject lines and calls to action (CTAs). Test these on select parts of your audience to know which are the best ideas to roll out large-scale. 

In short: There’s no time like the present to start putting your campaigns together. 

2.  Emphasize discounts, sales, and promotions.

Customers have a lot of shopping to do over the holiday season, which means they’re looking for ways they can stretch their dollars. 

Take the time now to identify your company’s “sweet spot” for discounts. This is the point where discounts optimize your revenue — by increasing sales without decreasing return too severely. 

Your sweet spot might not be a discount of a certain percent or dollars off. It might be a special offer like BOGO or “buy X, get Y.” 

Pact Fourth of July promotional email, advertising 10%, 15%, and 20% offer shopping offers.

You could also reward certain behaviors, like giving extra discounts to early-bird shoppers or discount codes that people can share with friends. This is another place where A/B testing can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your campaign. 

3. Feature your popular holiday products.

One of the biggest lessons for email marketing: You always want to build on what works. This includes featuring items that always sell well over the holidays. 

You might object: Why should I spend advertising dollars on what I already know will sell? There are two very good reasons. 

First, success builds on itself. It’s possible to exponentially increase your sales by emphasizing your already successful items. 

Second, leading with or including your successful items lets these products carry less successful items on their coattails. People might open your email for the more common item but end up buying other less popular items, too. Win-win.

4. Use attractive, on-brand (and on-holiday) creative.

At certain times, it might pay to get under your customers’ collars with imagery and text that challenges them. But everyone’s a little stressed during the holidays, and they don’t have time or energy for that right now. If you’re not talking to the heart, you’ll probably be talking to the hand. 

Let the fairies sprinkle a little extra sparkle on your email design, subject lines, and copy to give your customers what they want. (Of course, your brand and target audience will determine whether these are sugarplum or dank weed fairies.) 

5. Consider a personal appeal to customers.

Remember what we said above about talking to the heart? We meant it. The holidays are the perfect time of year to get real with your customers. What form that takes depends on your brand and the holiday. 

I’m going to use Vitrazza as an example again here. In addition to the patriotic appeal, their Memorial Day Campaign also included a direct appeal from President and CEO George Pardo.

Headshot of George Vitrazza, with personalized "The Vitrazza Promise" for email marketing.

You can incorporate personal appeals in several ways: with user-generated holiday content, with reviews and other testimonials, and more. Experiment with what feels right for your brand — and, of course, don’t forget to test it!

6. Highlight your brand strengths.

Just as you’re giving your customers what they want, you also want to make sure you’re highlighting the strengths of your brand. 

Historical data (there it is again!) from campaigns will help you understand what people really love about your brand. You can also analyze social media posts and user-generated content to see the aspects of your brand that people find attractive enough to share. 

Don’t take it for granted that people have heard the message and are tired of it; you want to remind them of what your brand stands for. Build these strengths into your email campaigns ASAP.

7. Emphasize the urgency of holiday sales.

If you don’t close a sale during the holidays, you risk being forgotten. Your messaging will be buried under the constant stream of advertising customers are exposed to. 

To close your sales now, emphasize that holiday deals are for a limited time and need to be taken advantage of before they go away forever. Some basic examples: “For today only!” or “Buy Now!” You might also consider putting a countdown clock on the product page, depending on how your audience would respond to that type of pressure. This strategy increases in effectiveness when last-minute shoppers feel the pressure. 

Ulta email, subject line "Time's running out. Up to 50% off TODAY only!"

Make sure you are especially clear about any hard deadlines, like shipping and handling times for delivery by key dates. 

8. Segment audiences based on past performance.

Your customers all have one thing in common: They buy your product. But that might be the only thing they have in common. 

Segmenting your audience lets you customize emails and messaging to different groups of customers that might have more in common with each other than they do with the audience as a whole. This can be very successful; segmentation can help email campaigns perform almost 700% times better for average revenue. 

Looking at your historical customer data allows you to see who has (and has not) purchased during past holiday seasons, giving you ideas for which types of copy might appeal to which facets of your audience. 

9. Set up cart abandonment flows.

People abandon items in their cart for many reasons. Sending email flows to follow up on abandoned cart items can target the most common reasons and increase the likelihood that shoppers come back for the final purchase.

Some consumers just need reminding, while others might respond to a personalized appeal. In some cases, you can close a deal by offering a discount on the product or shipping. Run your cost per acquisition numbers to make sure these offers are profitable before rolling them out.

10. Build your list for next year.

We understand how all-consuming it can be to try to maximize sales now. But don’t focus so much on sales that you neglect other aspects of your email marketing. 

For example, keep growing your eCommerce email list during the holiday season. The email subscribers who join your list this year can be your new customers for next year. And, if you have well-designed welcome emails, you might even close some sales with a few people who just joined your list. 

You also want to make sure your email campaign isn’t so aggressive that people unsubscribe. Not only are you not making those sales this year, that’s a permanent loss of potential revenue for future years. 

Truly successful eCommerce holiday email campaigns lay the foundation for continual growth year after year. 

Start Building Your Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns Now

When you make your email marketing part of a comprehensive eCommerce holiday strategy, you can wrap up your holiday campaigns and put a bow on the end of the year with some tidy profits. 

We know eCommerce campaigns can be complicated for online retailers to design and execute properly. So, we recommend starting with the strategies above to set your business on the path to significant improvement in holiday revenue this year and for years to come. 

But, if the strategies above make you say “Bah, humbug!” you don’t have to lose the holiday spirit. Our team of experienced eCommerce email marketers can help you build the campaigns of your dreams. Request a free proposal anytime to see what we can do for you.

For more holiday email marketing ideas, check out the other blogs in this series:

How Often Can I Email my B2B List: Four Lessons Learned

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: How Often Can I Email my B2B List: Four Lessons Learned
Can you send a daily email to a business-to-business email list? How often can I email my B2B list? Check out these …

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: How Often Can I Email my B2B List: Four Lessons Learned

Can you send a daily email to a business-to-business email list? How often can I email my B2B list? Check out these 4 lessons learned. One of my favorite conversion strategies is the second chance. The second chance only comes when I have a way to continue the conversation; to get someone to come back […]

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7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: 7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates
Email is one of the highest converting marketing channels today. Still. Increase your email open rate with t…

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: 7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates

Email is one of the highest converting marketing channels today. Still. Increase your email open rate with these five methods.

The post 7 Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates appeared first on Conversion Sciences.

How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year. You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach. In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing. First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll […]

The post How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year.

You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach.

In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing.

First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll give you some advanced tips for using automated email workflows.

Let’s get started with your automated email marketing information.

Why Automated Email?

According to Email Monday, marketing automation is growing at an unbelievable rate. They go on to say that, “Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.”

If top companies the world over are leveraging automation, there must be something fantastic about it, right?

The answer is yes. Automated emails allow you to reach directly into your customers’ inboxes with a personalized message tailored to their needs.

For example, if a customer downloaded one of your eBooks, you can then send them targeted emails on topics similar to your eBook. You’ve shown them you care, and with automated email, you can continue to nurture them.

Your business also benefits in many ways from automating email marketing. Let’s look at a few of the ways.

Lead Nurturing

First, with automated emails, you have the ability to nurture your leads from their first point of contact all the way to the ultimate sale or desired action.

The whole point of email marketing is to gently guide your subscribers through your sales funnel without them even realizing it. For example:

  • You welcome them in the first email, with no sales pressure.
  • In the second email, you give them a tip that pertains to what you already know about their needs and desires, with no sales pressure.
  • In the third email, you give them another resource, perhaps in the form of a video. Again, so sales pressure.
  • In the fourth email, now that they have come to appreciate you, trust you and value your advice, you can offer them something. They are more likely to bite because now that they trust you, they’re willing to pay for what you’re offering.

With automation, you can tailor funnels for particular customers. For example, you might send subscribers you met in your brick-and-mortar store down a different funnel than you’d send a first-time email subscriber on your website.

Smarter Emails

Next, you benefit because you can send smarter emails. You are no longer throwing emails out and hoping you catch someone.

You are building personal, valuable relationships with customers so you can send the right message at just the right time.

Save Time

Lastly, one of the biggest bonuses of automated email marketing is that you save precious time.

Email Monday again tells us that nearly 75% of marketers say saving time is the biggest benefit to automating emails.

You can take a few hours to create several automated series of emails, and then set it and let them run on their own.

You don’t have to set subscribers up or decide what to send them. You create the emails, set the triggers, and your system does the heavy lifting for you.

This then frees you up to focus on additional ways to reach your customers with a personalized message.

How to Master Automation

Now let’s look at how to master automation by looking at the different types of workflows you can create.

1. Welcome Workflow

When someone signs up for your email list, you want to send them through a welcome workflow of automated emails.

Your first email might welcome them, the second and third ones might direct them to some interesting content, the fourth email might introduce them to your social media platforms, and the final one would prompt them to take an action.

2. Educational Series or On-boarding Workflow

Let’s say a subscriber downloads an eBook, whitepaper or free buying guide. You would then send them through an automated workflow tailored to their interests.

For example, if they downloaded a hot tub buying guide from you, you’d send them through a hot tub topic workflow whereas if someone downloaded a swimming pool buying guide from you, you’d send through a pool topic workflow.

The bonus for the customer is that they continue to receive information that interests them. The bonus for you is you can keep nurturing them for the final sale.

3. Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow

Ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned at huge rates. But, the good news is you have an avenue for getting them back.

These automated emails are re-engagement emails. If someone fills a cart on your website, you can then send them a special offer to entice them to return.

Discounts and free shipping offers work well.

One study even says that initial emails sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart, average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate. Those are great statistics!

4. Review Product After Purchase Workflow

Another valuable automated email is the one that you send after someone makes a purchase.

Your business thrives when you have multiple online reviews as these matter to buyers.

Once your customer makes a purchase from you, send them a survey or a request to leave a review on your website or Google. Then, reward them with a coupon for their trouble.

5. Miscellaneous Workflows

Finally, you can also set automation up for service reminders, birthdays and holidays.

Use additional workflows to reach specific customers at specific times.

Final Thoughts

A California-based study found that more than 215 billion emails are sent each day. That amounts to an average of 126 emails received per person every day.

That’s a huge number of emails landing in inboxes all over the world, and it’s up to you to figure out how to stand out in an imposing crowd.

The best way to do that is to concentrate on providing the highest quality personalized content to your subscribers at just the right time.

You already know your subscribers want to hear from you. After all, they did give you their email address. Now it’s up to you to leverage automated email marketing to gently nurture them through your sales funnel with valuable content.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Matteo Paganelli

 

The post How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails

Your customers are the essence of your business. Most business owners instinctively know this. What many don’t know is that you have to cultivate and nurture your customers to grow your base and retain your customers. In this article, we look at seven ways to grow your business with emails. We’ll show you how to […]

The post 7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails

Your customers are the essence of your business. Most business owners instinctively know this.

What many don’t know is that you have to cultivate and nurture your customers to grow your base and retain your customers.

In this article, we look at seven ways to grow your business with emails. We’ll show you how to do it and why.

Let’s look at the transactional email and the power it has to grow your business.

The Transactional Email

Transactional emails are triggered emails. They involve correspondence you send to someone based on the action your user had with your website.

For example, your customer places an online order, and he expects a confirmation in his inbox shortly thereafter. This is a transactional email.

Often times if the customer doesn’t receive your email, he’ll call customer service to find out why not.

How about when someone signs up for your email list. Do you send them a welcome email? Again, this is a transactional email.

If you aren’t leveraging the power of this type of advanced email marketing, you’re missing out on a big chance to grow your customer base.

Bottom line – a transactional email is an advanced way to send trigger-based, ultra-personalized, targeted and highly-specific emails.

You can expect your transactional emails to have high open and click-thru rates and low bounce rates. This is, after all, information that’s valuable to your customer.

How Transactional Emails Grow Your Base

First, your customers are usually happy to see these emails in their inboxes. Because they’ve done something on your website to trigger the info, they are usually expecting it.

Email marketing extends your digital reach well past your website. Your customers have invited you into the inner sanctum of their inbox, so you have a chance to deliver personal, valuable information.

Now let’s look at the seven ways to grow your customer base with emails – transactional emails.

#1: Welcome Email

Someone created an account, made a purchase, downloaded a product or signed up on your site. This is a good tie to send them a welcome email.

Welcome emails usually provide a login and password and a welcome from your company.

Take this time to say thank you and let your customers know how much you appreciate them. Send this email within an hour of the action taken.

You can also include a call to action in the welcome email. How about asking your customers to tweet or share that they joined your company?

#2: Confirmation Email

You send a confirmation email to notify your email user when the action they took on your website is complete.

This email is fairly straightforward as it’s most often a receipt for a purchase, confirmation of a reservation or a link to a download.

Confirmations have all the information your customer needs in them. It’s up to you, though, to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of the email.

You can take the space to add some additional information in your email that provides value for your customer.

Offer them helpful tips and resources. For example, if they purchased a new camera from you, direct them to your website for blogs and whitepapers on how to use it.

If they booked a room at your hotel, send them their confirmation email with a list of restaurants and things to do in the area. Include insider tips only locals know about.

#3: Newsletter Sign Up Confirmation Email

Don’t be the business who neglects to send a newsletter sign up confirmation. Many of your website visitors will be confused if you don’t.

Not only do these emails confirm their subscription, but this is your chance to let them know what to expect and to welcome them to your “family.”

Provide them a list of what you’ll send and when. Give them a brief overview of the types of information you’ll send.

If you offered them something special for joining your list, you want to provide it to them in this email.

#4: Cart Abandonment Email

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges facing e-retailers today, as the average abandonment rate is nearly 70%.

The best way to encourage your customers to come back to your website and complete their purchase is with a transactional email.

Often, people who return to their carts spend more than they had originally planned.

The best time to send this email is within 24 hours of the abandoned cart. You can even include a special offer such as free shipping or 10% off to increase the odds they’ll finish their purchase.

Do put a time limit on the promo – a sense of urgency moves the process along.

#5: Birthday Email

These are easy emails to send and work to further customer loyalty by growing your customer base.

Provide a gift for your customer in this email. Think video, download or special.

#6: Customer Feedback Email

This email solicits feedback from your customer. Ask for comments on your products and services.

It lets your customers know you value their opinion.

#7: Reactivation Email

Send this email to subscribers who used to interact with you, but haven’t in a while. This email is the perfect vehicle to grow your customer base.

These emails keep your company top of mind and remind subscribers why they signed up in the first place.

To Conclude

We’ve looked at seven ways to grow your customer base with emails.

These emails are transactional emails, and they are key to your advanced email marketing strategy.

Why? Transactional emails are expected, and they encourage your users to take another action.

While some transactional emails are sent because of someone’s inaction, many more are sent because of their action.

Another word for transactional emails that grow your customer base is relationship-based emails. These emails have much higher open and click-thru rates. They also have greater revenue potential than regular emails.

It’s in your best interest to harness the power of the transactional email today. Increase your engagement opportunities with relationship-based emails and watch your customer base grow.

We’d like to leave you with one last tip. Ensure that every transactional email you send is optimized for mobile. The email must render as well on a smartphone or tablet as it does on a desktop or laptop computer.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by fine-tuning your landing pages to skyrocket growth among your email subscribers and current customers? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Alexandru Tudorache

The post 7 Ways To Grow Your Customer Base With Emails appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.