Well, here we are. It’s December again and Christmas is just around the corner. And no doubt you’re thinking about your business’s Christmas email marketing campaign and how you can get the absolute best possible results out of it.
It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when it comes to email marketing at the best of times, but at Christmas, when everyone is sending out email after email shouting about sales, Black Friday, last order dates and so on, it’s even trickier.
If you’re planning a Christmas business email marketing campaign, there’s still time to get it right. Which is why we’ve put together some tips for sending the best Christmas business email marketing campaign ever!
Our Top Christmas Business Email Marketing Tips
- Look at past performance
Look at the results of last year’s campaign to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t with your audience. Did certain subject lines work better than others? Which products/offers performed the best? Which emails got the best open and click through rates? Did you find that emails sent at certain times performed better? All of this info can help you make decisions about which direction to go in with your business email marketing campaign this Christmas.
- Set your goals
Have a very clear idea before you start of what you want to achieve from an email campaign. Is it sales? Brand engagement? Advising customers about a new product or service? Whatever it is, think about what you want the recipients to do when they receive the email and how you’re going to measure this. What does success look like?
- Do your research and create a plan
Find out what your customers spend over the Christmas period, what they spend their money on, and when they’re spending their money. Do your research and you’ll be much better informed when it comes to planning your campaign and choosing your messages.
Do competitor research too? Sign up to as many mailing lists as you can and have a look at what your competitors are doing. Find out what offers they’ve got on and what approaches they’re taking to creative and copy.
You should also create a calendar or plan for when you’re going to send your emails.
- Be relevant
Think about what your business has to offer at Christmas. What are your subscribers and customers looking for at this time of year?
Its fine to be festive, but it shouldn’t feel contrived or forced. Don’t feel you have to cram your email full of Santa Claus images or animated snow – if this just isn’t your brand, or (more importantly) your audience, then there’s no point in including it.
Don’t be afraid to ramp up the frequency of your emails over Christmas, but don’t go overboard. Remember, Christmas marketing emails don’t just have to be about selling (although of course this is likely a huge part of your campaign). Everyone else is going to be sell, sell, sell. Why not try and stand out from the crowd a bit by offering a free guide or how to, a recipe, a kids’ activity, a free consultation or something else that’s going to make people feel appreciated and supported.
You know what your business offers; now’s a great time to step back from the sales a bit and just think about how you can help people, right now.
- Use clear calls to action
Your emails should include a very clear call to action (CTA) reflecting what you want the recipient to do when they open them. Action verbs (buy, shop, view, read, discover, claim, etc) are ideal as they give the recipient very clear direction about what they need to do, but also what they will get.
Ideally you should have one call to action in each email, however some of your emails may contain more. If this is the case, know what your primary CTA is and ensure that others are given a different weight (e.g. a different colour, size, placement, etc).
You should also ensure that your CTAs are not cluttered by lots of text or busy images. Make use of white space to draw your recipients’ attention to where you need it to go.
- Think about your targets and segment your customers
Make sure you’re targeting your customers properly. Use merge tags to personalise emails to each of your subscribers. Use first names, mention previous purchases, use personalised offers, the possibilities are endless. But if you get it right, you’ll really make your customers feel special and loved. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
If you’re not already, segment your subscriber list and target accordingly. Got people who’ve signed up to email but never purchased? Create a segment and target them with an introductory offer! Got customers you know are active at Christmas? Hit them with offers they can’t refuse. Likewise, if you’ve got loyal, repeat customers, create a segment for them and reward them for their loyalty with an exclusive offer.
- Send out abandon cart emails
If you’ve got a shopping cart on your website, you should be sending out abandon cart emails. With a 40.5% open rate, these emails are a great way of enticing customers who’ve shown interest in your product or service back to your website. If you know what they’ve shown an interest in, you can send out highly targeted emails with offers on the relevant products to really encourage them to complete the purchase. And you can use Christmas to really play up the element of urgency.
- Make sure you’re ready for your campaign
If you’re sending out emails, but your landing page isn’t ready, there’s no stock for some of your key lines and your processes aren’t set up, then your customers are going to end up unhappy. Make sure that landing pages follow through on email messaging and creative. Make sure that you’ve got enough stock to support an increased volume of orders. And make sure that you’re covered in terms of customer service.
And don’t do email in isolation. For best results, email marketing should be done as part of a wider marketing strategy for your business, taking in social media, blog content, seasonal marketing and messages, and advertising. Messages should be consistent.
- Think mobile
Chances are, a huge percentage of your customers engage with you on multiple devices. In fact, almost 53% of global web traffic is now from mobile devices. Therefore, you need to make sure that your emails are formatted so that they can be viewed on multiple devices. Many people check emails on their smartphones while they’re on the move, so make sure your emails are responsive. They should also be clutter-free to ensure that key messages aren’t lost when they’re viewed on a smaller screen. And CTAs should be clear and prominent, and easy to engage with (no tiny links – think big buttons).
- Testing… testing… 1,2,3
Make sure you test, test, test. Most email providers will allow you to split test everything from subject lines to time sent. Make the most of this by setting up tests to find out what performs best.
You should also test your emails before you send them to find out how they look across different providers and devices.
- Make sure you include tracking and monitor performance closely
You should make sure that all links within your emails are fully tracked so that you can see within your analytics how your emails are performing in relation to your other channels.
Make sure you monitor the performance of your emails closely as you go along. Most email providers will offer stats on open and click through rates, and if proper tracking is implemented, your own analytics will provide data on purchases, revenue and conversion rates. Build reporting templates to enable you too quickly and easily report on performance.
Christmas Email Marketing Subject Lines
The subject line is going to be the first interaction your subscriber has with your email, and if it doesn’t engage them, it’s the only interaction they’ll have with it! So you need to make sure that your subject lines are enticing enough to get those opens.
One good way of knowing what works and what doesn’t is split testing. Test two or three different variations of subject lines to find out
Creating a sense of urgency in the subject line is also a good way to encourage people to open your email. Refer to limited-time offers, but don’t rely on these for everything. Mix up the messaging but still convey the sense of urgency by mentioning last chance for free shipping or guaranteed delivery ahead of the big day.
Personalisation is also great. Research shows that the open rate for emails with a personalised message is higher than for those without, so make use of what you know about your subscribers and personalise those subject lines.
Christmas Email Marketing Design Ideas and Inspiration
If your subject line is about encouraging people to open your email, then the email itself is what’s going to encourage them to click through and buy from your website.
If you’re stuck for Christmas email marketing ideas for your business, there are plenty of examples of great Christmas marketing emails out there. However, while it’s good to know what others are doing, think about what it is that sets your business apart.
And while Christmas is definitely the time to have a bit of fun with your emails, its clear CTAs, going that extra mile and being relevant whilst remaining true to your brand that will all ensure that your business’s email marketing efforts pay off this Christmas.