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Just as important as getting the shopping list ready for the perfect holiday party is getting your email marketing calendar ready for the holidays! They’ll be here before you know it, and in order to successfully pull in additional revenue, preparation is key.

 

Last year we saw a 15% growth in total revenue for the holiday season, and with all the data from 2014 at our fingertips, I have compiled 5 surefire tips you’ll need to know while planning your calendar.

 

1. Plan Early!

The National Retail Foundation has reported that over 40% of retail shoppers started their holiday shopping before Halloween! To capture these early birds, you need to have your holiday calendar up and running as soon as possible this fall. Last year, marketers deployed more emails earlier in Q4 2014 than they did in 2013, which got an impressive 46% increase in open rates! Clearly, customers respond to early holiday preparation. Sneak peek or pre-holiday emails have proven, for some retailers, to be more successful than the actual day of shopping email.

 

2. Decide What To Serve

iStock_000021583116_LargePass the turkey! One of the biggest YoY growth spurts we saw was for Thanksgiving Day Ecommerce shoppers at 32%. Thanksgiving is a hot opportunity for retailers, especially as demand for Thanksgiving Day deals grows. Be sure to spotlight creative ways to highlight those aggressive Turkey Day deals.

Or how about a steak? A “sweepsteak,” if you will! Running a holiday sweepstakes throughout the season is a great way to drive engagement and revenue.

 

3. Target Mobile Users

It’s no secret that mobile shoppers are increasing every day. But last year, there was a huge surge in mobile shopping. Mobile sales grew over 27%, with smartphones representing 28.5% of total traffic and tablets 12.5% of total traffic. This presents a huge opportunity to retailers with mobile savvy. Make sure your emails and your site are mobile friendly to lower bounce rates, increase open and conversion rates, and help keep those shoppers shopping!

 

4. Make Up Your Guest List

The question of who to invite to your holiday party can be a tough one. Will everyone you invited come? To ensure that most of your guests attend the festivities, segment your database by purchase history, location, gender, and so on to ensure your messaging is positively received. Have messaging created for those customers that have not opened emails in the last 3-6 months to encourage them to shop.

Worried about no-shows? Be sure to set up some great holiday promos aimed at all those customers that bounce off your site or abandon their cart before making a purchase.

 

5. Bring Some Gifts

Gift-themed emails are a great way to showcase entire product lines to specific audiences. By catering to specific interests that your audiences are likely to want to engage with, you also increase your chances of higher email open rates and boosted email conversions. You’ll score even better with those early bird shoppers who are trying to get all their holiday gift shopping done early! So be sure to give them what they’re most interested in: gift lists.

If you have a weekly promotion such as stocking stuffers or gift ideas, try setting those emails up on an automated basis to be sent out regularly. They’ll become a set it and forget it ROI generator for your business.

 

With these tips, you should be all set to make your holiday email campaigns sparkle with all the magic of the season!

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