With the arrival of Thanksgiving, we've officially entered into the holiday season. If you're like many small businesses, you experience the biggest influx of traffic during these last few weeks of the year. In fact, it's anticipated that the 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays will generate $682 billion in consumer spending alone.
Regardless of what people say, email marketing still continues to be one of the most effective ways to attract traffic to your website and create brand awareness. This makes sense because the vast majority of online consumers have an email address and 89 percent of American consumers check their email inbox at least once a day.
To help you end the year strong, here are seven holiday email marketing tips that you need to take advantage of:
1. Plan ahead.
Yes, we'll soon be in the thick of the holiday season; however, you still have time to strategically plan your end-of-the-year email marketing efforts. Use a content calendar to plan the emails that you'll send out, and be sure to include all of the nitty-gritty details such as when you'll send the email, the call-to-action, and which list of subscribers that you'll send the email to. By blocking out time to complete your content calendar for the entire holiday season, you'll be able to better execute your email campaigns.
2. Keep the focus on the customer.
As tempting as it is to push end-of-the-year promotions, keep the focus on the customer. While this is a busy time of year for your business, you need to also keep in mind that your customers are busy as well and won't appreciate receiving a hard-sell email. You'll have better luck by creating emails that tap into consumers' emotions and help them spread joy to others with the gifts that they can purchase from your business.
3. Use interactivity to drive engagement.
One of the hottest trends in email marketing is to incorporate interactivity elements such as GIFs, cinemagraphs, and gamification to make your emails more interesting and visually appealing. This tactic will help spark engagement and add a flavor of excitement to your emails this holiday season.
4. Target your emails.
Regardless of the time of year that you're running email marketing campaigns, you absolutely need to target your emails. According to a recent study, 27 percent of the 55+ demographic say they receive emails that are targeted towards Millennials. If you don't target your emails, the message won't resonate with your audience. The more data you track about user behavior on your website, the easier it will be for you to segment your email contact list.
5. Get personal.
If you can find a way to get personal with the emails that you send this holiday season, you'll be able to generate a better ROI from your email campaigns. Some personalization best practices include customizing offers and deals based on behavioral data you have from your website and updating your triggered emails for the holiday season.
6. Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly.
You don't get bonus points any more for sending mobile-friendly emails--it's become a requirement. According to the latest data, 54 percent of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Therefore, it's more likely than not that your customers are viewing your emails from their smartphones or tablets. To create a responsive, mobile-friendly email, you need to utilize a minimalist design with a single-column layout. The email needs to feature user-friendly navigation and include a visible call-to-action button.
7. Integrate real-time content.
Many of the emails that consumers will receive this 2017 holiday season will feature real-time content, such as changes in inventory and a dynamic countdown timer to motivate consumers to take action. Incorporating real-time content into holiday emails creates a sense of urgency without being pushy.
It's not too late to use email marketing to help drive sales this holiday season. Use these seven tactics outlined above to give your email marketing strategy a boost and finish the year strong.