With the National Retail Federation predicting just a 2.2 percent increase in holiday spending, the lowest since 2002, consumers will be looking to retailers' and e-tailers' promotions to help them make the best shopping decisions.
In a Target Marketing Group webinar, "60 Minutes to Accelerate Your Holiday Sales," presented on Sept. 30, e-mail marketing experts outlined several strategies for keeping e-mail messaging on track during this competitive season. In particular, Huw Griffiths, marketing director at Campaigner, an e-mail marketing services firm in Montreal, shared a few ideas for making the most of the last few weeks leading up to Christmas. In actuality, these tactics should apply to most any holiday.
1. Train your focus on last-minute shoppers. NRF reported that more than half of consumers surveyed were only half finished with their shopping for last year's holidays by Dec. 18, 2007. Make it easy for these procrastinators by presenting gift suggestions by price range and by family member. Side note: A significant percentage of this target audience likely is male, something to keep in mind as you craft copy, design and offers.
2. Increase your contact frequency. Two to three weeks before the holiday is the perfect time to send more frequent promotional messages. At this point in the season, people are busier than ever, but also more regularly hunting for gift deas and special deals. Of course, pay attention to opt-out rates and clickthrough rates in case you are overdoing it, and make sure recipients are aware of how they can request less frequent contact from your company.
3. Create urgency to induce action. Highlight deadlines for regular and overnight shipping options. Also, consider using e-mail countdowns to promote the number of shipping days left or the number of days left in a sale. This tactic allows you to shine a spotlight on various best-selling products one at a time, rather than sandwich them into a single e-mail that tries to do too much.