6 Best Practices for Holiday Email Campaign Success
2. Start Christmas campaigns early. On average, retailers began their 2009 holiday campaigns 67 days before Christmas (Oct. 19), according to the report. This is on par with the 2008 holiday season, but it's nine days earlier than the 2007 holiday season. Last year's soft economy and the precedent set in the 2008 holiday season was likely behind the earlier start. With a slowly recovering economy, retailers may begin their holiday campaigns a bit later this year, the report says.
3. Use complementary preholiday messaging. The report suggests complementing early holiday messaging by doing the following:
- Ask subscribers directly to update their preferences, or make the link to your preference center more prominent by moving it above the fold.
- Ask subscribers to complete a survey about your email program.
- If you’ve recently relaunched or improved your website, tell your subscribers about it.
- If you’re using product reviews in your emails, make sure products have a sufficient quantity of reviews by encouraging subscribers to review products during the summer and early fall.
- Try a delayed reward program designed to bring customers back during the holiday season.
- If you have a private-label credit card, loyalty program or member-based shipping program, promote it in advance of the holiday season.
4. Increase holiday email frequencies. With consumers actively looking for ideas, 90 percent of major online retailers ratchet up their send volumes during the holiday season, according to the report. The most popular email days of 2008 came in the weeks before Christmas, including Cyber Monday, which took the No. 1 spot. While these days are popular because they achieve better results, they’re also the days when emails have the most competition in the inbox.
If that logic appeals to you, then send on the days just before or after these high-volume days, the report advises. Also, the report recommends targeting brand loyalists with a "daily deal" email series or a “X Days of Christmas” campaign that requires an additional opt-in.