Yes, it’s that time of year again – time to start planning your email marketing campaigns for Christmas. But how to go about it? Here I’ve listed the few things that will help you structure a winning Christmas campaign.
When Is The Best Time To Send Christmas Emails?
You may have already seen the odd Christmas email many months before the actual season arrives; maybe as early as July! However, it depends on your industry as to when it’s the best time for you to send out your first Christmas email camaign (Source: Communicator).
Retail – You tend to see Christmas emails appear around the second week in November, with particular emphasis around the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events later in the month.
Travel and Leisure – Really early, as in just after the last Christmas break. People tend to make plans early on to grab a deal, and if you are going to go away for Christmas you would have made that decision by September.
Charities and Not for Profit – Christmas is the time for giving and the spirit of good will. You’ll receive a surge of donations around the Christmas period, so September is the ideal time to begin your campaign.
Make sure you plan ahead for Christmas and use a promotional calendar to highlight key dates for your business and industry.
Don’t Forget The Last Minute Shoppers
Some people out there like to hang around and wait for a good deal, or they have just been so busy they have left it to the last minute. Shopping for the perfect gift can even be left to as late as December 21st.
To catch these last minute shoppers, you need to make your email as simple and as easy to read as possible. Avoid over the top fancy graphics or gifs in your emails and make sure it’s mobile responsive for these people on the go.
Engage Your Target Audience
Don’t use the same subject lines that everyone else is using
Common culprits are the usual ‘Best Christmas Deals’ or ‘Free Shipping on your Christmas Presents’.
Try playing with words to make your reader actually read your email, rather than skipping it. The subject line in this Birds & Bees email is a great example – ‘Your Christmas Tweet – 20% OFF EVERYTHING’.
Have some fun with the call to actions
Rather than just a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ button, how about ‘Put It On The List’ or ‘Add to Santa’s’ Sleigh’?
Don’t forget to fluff up the benefit to the product. You aren’t just selling a product, you’re giving your customer the perfect gift for their loved ones.
Split Test to Measure Performance
Do you actually know what your customers are responding to? Split testing is the best way to figure out what is engaging your customers to optimise your content.
Connect Your Social Media Profiles
Did you know you can connect your Facebook and Twitter profiles with your email campaigns in Maxemail? If you didn’t you should think about doing so. Linking both channels can boost your online presence and promote yourselves more when users are particularly more active over the holiday season.
The Overall Design Of The Email
Branding is always important, but the email needs to be recognisable as a Christmas one. The usual colour palette for the season is warm reds and greens (holly and Christmas trees), but whites and soft blues (snow) are also common.
Use plenty of white space and don’t go too over the top with your graphical elements. Using imagery and animated gifs associated with the holiday season can be a nice distinguishable touch. These include, Santa and his sleigh, Christmas trees, baubles, holly wreaths and such like.
Don’t let changing the design frighten you. It needn’t be a massive overhaul of your current templates. In Maxemail it’s easy to duplicate your template and adapt it accordingly.
Remember, you shouldn’t stray too far from your current design, otherwise your customers may not know it’s you. Here are some lovely examples from Halfords, Liz Earle and Unwins:
Don’t Kill The Atmosphere
It’s tempting to just blast your customers with many Christmas deals, but this could become annoying for your subscribers and result in your emails being marked as junk. Read our previous blog for tips on how to avoid the spam folder at one of the most important times of the year.