3 Last-Minute Holiday Email Marketing Tips
From now until January, retailers and marketers find themselves in the most lucrative time of the year. As consumers shop for holiday deals online and in store brands will be fighting to stand out amongst the crowd of competitors. During this busy time of year, email marketing remains one of the most tried and true ways to reach consumers. In fact, according to a recent Yesmail report, 83 percent of marketers sent holiday-specific emails in 2014, up 32 percent from 2013.
With inboxes (and more importantly attention) reaching capacity, one might assume that this channel has been oversaturated. However, despite the influx of promotional marketing emails during the holidays, consumers are still engaging at a consistent rate. Holiday emails in 2014 received an average open rate of 14.2 percent, which remained steady both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year. In other words, consumers are paying attention to marketing emails during this time of year and brands need to enhance their creative execution to capitalize on these customers ripe to purchase.
Here are three ways email marketers can catch the attention of shoppers as we approach the final stretch towards the holidays:
1. Countdown Timers
Many shoppers wait until the last possible minute to make holiday purchases. Marketers can reach these procrastinators by creating a sense of urgency within email content. If shoppers feel they need to make an immediate decision as they may miss out on a deal or an item will sell out, they’ll be more likely to convert.
One way to create this sense of urgency is with countdown timers. By alerting customers of a specific number of days, hours or minutes left to receive a deal, they’ll be more likely to pay attention and make a final decision before the clock runs out. The functionality is simple and advanced enough to count down in real time as consumers read the email to provide a personalized experience and motivate them to act fast. For last minute shoppers, a sense of urgency is often just what they need to make a final decision and to add in a fun twist highlight the countdown timer with something that is relevant to your brand or the holiday season.
2. Daily Gift Ideas
The holidays can be a hectic time for consumers. Aside from busy schedules and tight budgets, shoppers also struggle to choose the right gifts for their family and friends. Marketers who can take advantage of helping consumers make the right decisions will break the bank this holiday season.
Emails that contain gift ideas, gift guides or gift packaging services for men, women, moms, dads or even bosses and coworkers can catch the attention of consumers looking for some help and ultimately motivate them to make the purchase. Marketers can send out a different gift idea as a ‘Gift of the Day’ with limited availability every day or even every few days to maximize contact with shoppers. Remember that despite popular belief consumers are not overwhelmed by the influx of marketing content at this time of year and will likely engage at a similar, if not higher, rate than usual looking to close out their holiday shopping.
3. Sneak Peeks
Consumers are also more likely to engage with your email if they are intrigued. Creating a sense of mystery or excitement implies that consumers are receiving deals that others are not and exclusivity always makes consumers feel special.
For example, a marketer could include a subject line like: “How much can you save on holiday shopping?” and add in email copy that connects to the mystery. Messages like “Click here to reveal your exclusive discount” also encourage consumers to click through the email. By adding in the mystery to the offer, marketers stand out from competitors sending the standard emails with similar offers. Creating a sense of intrigue allows consumers to be a part of something more fun and simply cannot afford to take a break from the day to pass up the mystery deal.
It’s crunch time for brands as we approach the last leg of the 2015 holiday season. At this point, executing a unique strategic email marketing campaign is more important than ever. Many consumers are waiting until the last minute to make purchases and are often overwhelmed by the number of gifts they need to purchase. The marketers who are able to adapt to their customer’s shopping habits by creating urgency, fun and a solution to their shopping needs during the holiday season through any of the methods above will be sure to see a nice lift in 2015.
Kyle Henderick is the senior director of client services at Yes Marketing, where he is responsible for helping major clients implement new programs, processes, and data-driven strategies to create campaigns that truly drive revenue. With a passion for technology implementation and a background in database, email, web, and social media marketing, Kyle turns his real-world experience into executable tactics to help clients see an incremental lift in revenue, subscriber engagement and customer retention.