As Christmas draws near, sure enough our inboxes are soon to be flooded with Christmas promotions so we’ve put together a fool-proof list to help maximise your brand’s cut-through during the silly season!
Strategy wise, get in early. Don’t jump the gun by sending flash Christmas sales from mid-October but at least start with a warm-up email series to help filter and segment your audience. This gives you a head start on your Christmas campaign so you can effectively target products, promotions or content to appropriate subscribers. You can segment based on a range of variables, whether it demographics, location or behaviours. No two consumers are identical, therefore audiences will be more receptive to your messages with this level of personalisation.
Ensure a responsive platform so your email can be viewed on mobile. Mobile is surpassing desktop in terms of usage and internet access hence a smooth and seamless user experience is paramount across devices. People who shop via mobile spend 66% more than shoppers who only buy in store so it’s worth prioritising the mobile experience – you get more bang for your buck. You can extend the campaign’s reach even further by integrating it across social platforms where you can connect with audiences on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Aside from posting your deals online, try something interesting and different like an unboxing video or encouraging your customers to create their own version.
When it comes to content, your options are endless. Try avoiding a hard sell, instead focus on providing value for your customers. Start thinking of how consumers can use your products over the summer or Christmas period. Where will they be using it? What do consumers associate with your brand? For example, a pet store may promote their Christmas specials but include other articles of value such as a recipe for homemade dog treats. Likewise, a scuba company may suggest their top summer diving spots. Make content the focus so readers aren’t feeling like you’re doing a product push. Keep quality top of mind over quantity – simple and to the point. A punchy headline and aesthetically pleasing creative won’t go astray either, it will often push your message over the line with readers.
As a general rule, we’d steer clear of cliche Christmas campaigns like “the 12 Days of…” unless you can put a unique spin on it. HBO, for example, cleverly reimagined the idea with the ‘12 Days of HBO’ where customers could share pilot episodes from 12 popular HBO shows. It plays along with the ‘joy of giving’ associated with Christmas but it also instigates engagement, with the aim of ‘addiction,’ and eventual conversions.
Including mobile video in your campaigns is a great idea – it’s becoming one of the leading trends in new media. Currently, embedded videos aren’t compatible across most email platforms therefore using a static image and linking it to your video will draw some traction. Last Christmas, Lagavulin cleverly implemented video into their ‘My Tales of Whisky’ Christmas campaign with a 45 minute video of Nick Offerman nursing a glass of whisky by the fireplace. The pure novelty of the concept became a great talking point, and generated nearly 3 million views. Depending on your brand, adding things like drone footage, 360 video or live streaming could drive even higher production value for your content. GoPro do this particularly well with some quite amazing footage and truly incredible scenery.
Similarly, GIFs are great way to incorporate some form of animation into your emails, giving them life. An effective, yet simple, example was executed by Ann Taylor LOFT with a jiggling christmas present, prompting viewers to click to ‘unwrap’ the gift. Be mindful that only the first frame of a GIF will display on non-compatible platforms, therefore it’s paramount to ensure that first frame is relevant to the campaign as a static image.
In regards to timing, as an e-commerce site, brand’s need to make it crystal clear as to when they are accepting their last online orders to ensure timely shipping for Christmas. Moreover, a clean and simple return process will ensure 95% repeat business. Your campaign shouldn’t end post-Christmas either. Try setting up marketing automation to send cart abandonment notifications to consumers, letting them know their items are now on sale with Boxing Day promotions.
So, how are you going to make your brand stand out this Christmas? Let us know your top Christmas marketing tips in the comments below!