Almost any company worth its salt will have some form of email marketing campaign in place for the holiday season that runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas. With such a limited time to execute the campaign, and with a lot of revenue running on just how effective the marketing campaign is, it becomes extremely important to have the plan in place and executed with a minimum of gaffes. This of course means starting early, pondering Christmas ideas while the weather may still be in the 90’s outside.
Yes, summer is the single best time to begin laying the groundwork for your holiday email marketing. It allows for a more leisurely pace to be adopted, as well as being able to catch any mistakes or misfires in the plan early on. There are a lot of benefits to living with a plan for a period of several months before implementing it.
The holiday season may be broken down into four separate parts, with each one requiring its own unique approach. You have the Black Friday Promotional period, which runs from Just before Thanksgiving until the Saturday after, then begins the period devoted to promoting specials and events for Cyber Monday. The Christmas Period runs from the last day of November through Christmas Day, and the New Year’s Period runs from the day after Christmas through January 3rd.
You will need a communications plan in place for each of these different periods, with each one unique based on earlier promotions and campaigns that have resonated especially well with clients.
Code freezes among business partners will probably begin solidifying sometime around August, which means that all related factors such as planning, development, and testing of new integrations should be complete by late summer, ready to be locked in for the duration of the months leading up to and throughout the holiday season. Program audits should occur to determine what, if any, changes should be made in the process, including but not limited to modifications of the checkout process, or alterations to the type of data collated by opt in forms. Having codes locked in helps secure solid and reliable performance during what is for many businesses the busiest time of their year. The end result is for customers to have the most positive experience possible.
It’s also a foregone conclusion that email volume increases almost exponentially every year during holiday season. Cyber Monday is the peak day for business related holiday emails. With this in mind, it is important to discuss the frequency of your email releases with your Email Service Provider and see if there are any options available to your business when it comes to streamlining the segmentation, utilizing dynamic content, or using automation for certain messages to save time and increase the efficiency and execution of email marketing campaigns.
The problem lies in the almost 70% abandonment rate found in most email marketing campaigns. It becomes important to make the most of the 20% positive response that is more typical. Beginning your planning for Christmas during the summer months gives you ample time to devise a strategy for your holiday marketing efforts, without last minute scrambling or late night meetings at the last minute trying to pull the proverbial rabbit from the hat.