Just What You Wanted for the Holidays: Well-Planned, Successful Email Campaigns

August 2, 2018 Chris Moody

As summer is winding down, the important holiday season is just around the corner. Even though the clock feels like it is ticking faster than it was a few months ago, there is still time. Well-planned, successful, holiday email campaigns are in your grasp with the right preparation and planning.

Cheetah Digital consultants work with clients on a regular basis, helping them plan and execute their email and cross-channel marketing campaigns. They provided their best advice for fourth quarter success below.

Review Past Performance

Understand customer behavior throughout the year to effectively target them during the holiday season. This includes affinity to certain products and/or categories. Personalize emails based on previous purchase and browse history.

 

External partners are a key part of email campaigns. Meet with your external partners to review holiday successes from 2017 and include these partners from the beginning in your road map for 2018 holiday planning to make sure you don't miss anything important.

 

Review Existing Infrastructure

Complete your testing in Q3. Although we are in August, there is still time to develop, execute, and analyze everything. Consider testing time of day, the “Friendly From,” and the words and placement of your CTAs.

 

Inactive customers who bought something one time in the past should not be forgotten. Ensure you have a robust reactivation strategy in place to re-activate customers prior to the holiday season.

 

Break down silos and make sure all digital teams meet several times to discuss and plan for Q4. It is critical that unified and consistent messages reach your audience, no matter where they interact with your brand. We know that there are multiple distractions and many paths to purchase on any given day, and much more so during the holidays. It’s up to internal teams to put the customer first.

Ensure that all of your triggers – especially the remarketing ones – are functioning properly. Consider reducing frequency capping during peak times like Cyber Week, and kick off delivery and return confirmation emails/SMS messages.

 

Plan and Refresh Campaigns

Revisit email creative to ensure there are no rendering issues across ISP's. Also review against email best practices, including responsive design for proper display on all devices.

 

Develop holiday-themed templates and creative. Based on our analysis of Cheetah Digital clients’ sends during Q4 2017, about 1 in 5 emails were holiday-themed. Campaigns that even tacitly acknowledged the holiday season (featuring Christmas trees, snowman, wrapped gifts, wreaths) delivered nice bumps in conversion and revenue.

Another takeaway from Cheetah Digital clients’ success in 2017 was to send emails early. Forty-two percent of campaigns were sent in the morning between 8am and 12 noon, though campaigns sent between 12 midnight and 4am stood out with transaction rates and revenue per email at least 30% over baseline.

Think cross-channel. With in-store traffic on the rise in the holiday season, promote incentives to sign up for mobile and email programs. Develop a cross channel calendar to determine what specific benefits each venue brings to the customer.

 

Follow this advice and you can deliver a happy holiday season for both your customers and your bottom line.

About the Author

Chris Moody

Chris Moody is the head of global content at Cheetah Digital, where he leads a content team to help B2C marketers be even more successful with their cross-channel marketing efforts. Chris frequently speaks at leading marketing events and guest lectures at universities on effective marketing with limited budgets. Chris may be the only person in the world with "That's what she said" on his wedding band.

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