5 Email Marketing Tips to Smash Pre-Christmas Sales

By Tink Taylor | 21 Oct 2016

Christmas is one of the most crucial periods of the year when brands need to absolutely nail their email marketing. Discover 5 effective email marketing strategies for the silly season.

Some of us might still be wondering where the year went, but the reality is that Christmas is right around the corner. If you haven’t started planning for the biggest retail event of the year, let’s not waste any more time!

While Christmas is a time for joy, a time for giving, glittering decorations and massive sales, it’s also an incredible opportunity for email marketers to ramp up sales figures.

The recent Adobe Digital Index report estimated that Australians spent $ 7 billion online in the lead-up to Christmas last year. In fact, Australians are increasingly choosing to shop online to avoid the mayhem and chaos of visiting stores during the busiest retail shopping season. The real question is: How can emails be used to boost your pre-Christmas sales?

Last year, email marketing generated sales that made up around 25 percent of transactions in the US. This emphasises the importance of email as a marketing channel. So, if there’s a time when you need to absolutely nail your email marketing, that time is most definitely in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Dotmailer have been supporting businesses all around the world to leverage their email marketing campaigns for the holiday season. Here are some tips that can help you maximise your company’s email marketing strategy.

1. Get in touch with your inactive customers and subscribers

Christmas is an ideal time to look over your inactive customers and identify opportunities to reconnect with them. At this time of year, many customers will start shopping for the holidays and will be on the hunt for gifts as well.

Whilst amazing Christmas promotions may seem to be sure-fire way to attract inactive customers, remember, this is a strategy that all your competitors will be utilising as well.

A considered re-engagement campaign leading up to Christmas is a good way to differentiate yourselves from your competitors. Be upfront about how the relationship between your business and its customer has deteriorated, and find out what they are interested in, for example, deals on kids toys or beauty promotions. Use this data to create segments and deliver relevant Christmas content.

2. Put thought into the subject line of your email marketing campaigns

With so much competition at this time of year, your email’s subject line is absolutely critical. The subject line is your first opportunity to stand out and draw people in, so make sure you out some meaningful thought and research into it. Many marketers spend all their time on the content of their email, and then find themselves scrambling for a subject line. Here are some key considerations when coming up with an effective email subject line:

  • Tease your audience by suggesting that you have something very special, but they have to click through to the email to find out what it is. Using an information gap is a psychological trigger which can effectively draw customers in.
  • With your choice of words, avoid terms that every other company would be using during this period such as ‘Christmas specials’ and ‘holiday season sales’. Instead, try to choose more striking alternatives.
  • Consider adding a sense of urgency, and mention time-based offers in the subject line to make people feel they need to read the email right away. If possible, try and tailor the subject line to different audiences, that is, your segments.

3. Your data is your treasure

Personalisation is a key tactic when it comes to effective email marketing. And I don’t just mean addressing your contacts on a first name basis. According to Econsultancy’s Realities of Personalisation Report, 74 percent of marketers found that targeted messaging and personalisation of emails improved customer engagement rates significantly.

However, when it comes to the Christmas season, your most valuable asset is your data, as it provides valuable insight into what your customers are interested in and how to target them best. Invest some time looking into your customers’ past order data or browsing history in order to recommend items from similar product categories. Relevant email content could be the key factor that differentiates you from your competitors.

4. Send abandoned cart follow-up emails

Globally, an average of 68 percent of all online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute. Another important Christmas email marketing strategy is to send follow-up emails with a limited extension offer to those who left items in their basket and didn’t complete the purchase on the day, for example, “Treat yourself with a Christmas gift and complete your transaction. We are offering you a special price for today only.”

According to Forrester’s Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment study, the estimated total of annual abandoned shopping cart revenue reaches US $31 billion, which is a massive chunk of potential revenue you probably don’t want to miss out on.

5. Build up excitement and create urgency

Christmas is quite possibly the most long-awaited holiday of the year for consumers, and it goes without saying that most of the shopping action happens more in the pre-season than the day itself. You need to engage with your subscribers at an early stage, given consumers are becoming more partial towards online shopping. That way, when it comes to making purchasing decisions over Chistmas, they will have your brand top of mind.

Now that you’ve got some top tips to boost your Christmas sales, it’s time to start planning your email marketing campaigns. Keep your audience in mind, execute your emails at the right time, create a sense of excitement and urgency, and you will most likely see an improvement in conversions and sales in the lead up to Christmas. Good luck and happy email campaigning!


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