Holiday email campaigns pay off all year if they are done right. They produce sales immediately along with relationships and data that can be used right through until next year’s holiday season. Classic email methods like upselling can be used to greater effect than usual when you have more browsing and purchase data.
Those aforementioned methods, rely on clean lists, efficient workflow construction and holiday-oriented implementation of email marketing basics, as well as reaching out beyond email to optimize campaign efficacy. It is a highly competitive time of year for marketers: here are five ways to bring up your ‘A’ game.
1: Review your lists!
Holidays are perfect in terms of encouraging disengaged users to re-engage.
Data is at a premium in the holiday season, and each email is much more likely to convert when consumers are under pressure to buy gifts for their friends and families. That means the dull, put-it-off-until-tomorrow task of cleaning your email list may be one of the most urgent tasks you face as an email marketer.
Offer low-engagement users the appropriate triggers in order for your services and products to become more appealing to them. Review your statistics to figure out at which point exactly they became inactive. What was the reason? Did you bombard them with a number of campaigns so that they wouldn’t be eager to engage with each one of your emails anymore? Were some of them returning customers that never received a special offer as a reward? If the answer to those questions is yes perhaps you should reconsider your methods. Create a completely different campaign for those users. Give them something that will make them feel realy special and unique.
Now it’s the time to revisit your personalization and segmentation tactics in order to address each recipient’s pain point separately.
2: Target Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment is the biggest leak in e-commerce revenue. It is the hole below the waterline; anything else that doesn’t address this is kind of like deckchair rearranging. While there’s a lot that retailers can do onsite and through other channels, email marketers hold a great amount of power when it comes to fighting cart abandonment too.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to simply remind customers that there’s something in their carts. Mobile cart abandonment is 97% across all industries; within 24 hours, 74% of those cart abandoners have returned and made a purchase. However, some of them probably forgot all about it, so a quick email reminder triggered by an abandoned cart from a mobile user is a smart workflow to implement.
Beyond that, cart abandonment can be addressed in emails offering inducements like free shipping – the two most powerful words in e-commerce. The time to send cart abandonment emails is initially within the 12-24 hours window after it had occurred. Try to keep this a tip in your mind as a solid guideline all year long. Around the holidays though, shoppers are under tremendous pressure, using unfamiliar sites that aren’t part of their browsing routine. Most likely they are going to simply forget that they have visited your site, even if your offerings were kind of interesting to them; consider using workflows that trigger at longer time periods after abandonment and combine reminders and inducements with a content asset like a gift guide.
Right after the ‘get a list and send some emails’ lesson we learn the ‘Up-sell, cross-sell, re-sell’ one. It works. But, it works in particular ways around the holidays.
Use post-checkout email workflows that offer incentives like referral codes, coupon codes and cross-sells to the mix. Trigger them by purchase or abandonment – they are both checkout actions – and use dynamic content to send highly targeted content based on purchase behavior. This procedure takes a while to set up, but is totally worth it, since it is a powerful way to drive up order value.
3: Get Mobile
Mobile is the key to email efficacy. People overwhelmingly open their emails on mobile, and they complete many purchases there too. So whether your client is an international e-commerce giant or a small, local bricks and mortar store looking for a sales bump, the story is the same: mobile, mobile, mobile.
The trouble is, mobile emails can be tricky. B2B emails often run into trouble for a number of reasons. They may be opened into Outlook, which refuses to render images, hit hyper-attentive spam filters or dead inboxes or even device/client combos that make them unreadable or unusable.
All clients render emails differently. One solution is to build responsive emails, but that can result in sending emails that carry the code to display on dozens of variant devices: when you are writing “War and Peace” in HTML it is not going to render fast on a small mobile device.
Fortunately, Moosend offers a way around this: first, it is possible to track the devices your users open your emails on. You can see which email clients they use too. Check under Reports>[the campaign you want to check]>Email Client and Mobile Device Tracking.
Based on this information, you can design your emails to work well on the devices your recipients are actually using; if they form two or three big blocs, you can fork them onto separate lists, receiving the same content structured and designed differently.
4: Form Fitting
One of the big killers of subscriptions, conversions and responses is the sign-up form. Email marketers are often in charge of creating landing pages and forms, and we are the ones who make the forms in emails, so this is our problem. A big one actually. Intrusive signup forms, aggressive subscription, flows designed to capture as many emails as possible from your leads without considering whether they are interested or not on anything that you have to offer them. That gets you many junk signups.
Meanwhile, form flows on mobile are often appalling, whether they are on landing pages, in emails or at the bottom of blog posts. They are tough to use, clumsy and what’s a mere form on a desktop can be a multi-screen thumb yoga workout for mobile. That is the case wherever the form is located; it is credited with blowing a big hole in mobile e-commerce conversions, but the same point applies to emails too.
As far as possible, eliminate typing. Where you can, use drop-down menus, as Vincent Sevilla recommends:
Again, this holds true for signups, landing pages and anything that segues into the checkout flow. As email marketers, we often don’t have much say about checkout flows, but we can smooth the paths up to them for many of our mobile users.
5: Get Social
Tying social media into email marketing campaigns means way more than putting social buttons in your emails. Yes, you should totally do that and yes you should totally use Pin This buttons on specific products in your email content. But there are other, more powerful ways to drive success in this area.
Consider using a coordinated mix of Facebook ads and emails, to achieve 77% more email reach:
You can do this by using the data in your CRM to identify your email subscribers on Facebook, then serving them ads based on the email workflow they are currently on. The results can be impressive if they are done right, but the accuracy varies between a respectable 90% and a woeful 30% depending on the initial data quality and the accuracy of the transfer.
Other effective ways to call on the power of social media include embedding social media right in emails.Pinterest can work, as can Twitter, and for some businesses Vine might be a better choice.
Finally, it is all too easy to forget how many hats Youtube wears. We are talking video, search, and social all under one roof: it is the second biggest search engine that is also the third largest social media channel:
…and it is a source of the content type that performs best on social media:
It is very efficient when it is embedded in emails too, especially if you have a solid Youtube presence and lots of links to landing pages from videos. If you are going this route, make sure you do not use autoplay as it is an excellent way to clog up slow-moving phones and other devices. Also, be aware that even the image and link to your Youtube spot might not render in some client/device combinations.
The holiday season gives email marketers a unique set of opportunities to generate revenue right now and other valuable acquisitions like data and customer engagement at the same time. It is leveraged most effectively when intersecting groups of workflows are constructed, so the whatever choice a customer makes, they are always supported by timely, appropriate content.