Every year as the holiday season rolls around, marketers from all walks of life kick it into high gear and maintain a frenzied pace to attract the holiday shopper. Whether you're marketing on television, radio, magazines, newspapers, websites, or email, one constant remains the size: You want to increase results! Many small businesses rely on the holiday shopping spree, but simply cannot afford the higher priced marketing platforms. (That's why you don't see your local 'mom & pop' store advertising during House or CSI!) These small businesses are turning to email marketing as both a highly effective and highly affordable means of advertising.
By building a targeted mailing list coupled with easy to use and powerful email marketing software, any small business can launch professional campaigns that deliver big results. This article discusses five key tips to help boost your efforts this holiday season.
Email Marketing Tip #1: A Good Mailing List Is Your Solid Foundation
The quality of your mailing list is of paramount importance for your campaigns. Even if you're using the best email marketing software, if your contacts are not good, then you can't reap the really great results. A quality mailing list is also important to make sure you are not accused of spamming. Remember, you can only contact those people who expressly request to receive information from you. You can easily build a quality mailing list by asking your customers to supply their email address to receive future promotions from you. If you periodically send emails to your contacts, then your email marketing during the holidays will be even more effective because your contacts have been conditioned to look for your emails.
Email Marketing Tip #2: Don't Drown Your Key Messages
One of the most common holiday mistakes is to send out an email campaign that focuses on a ton of different products. It is important to keep in mind that your audience has a very short attention span and sending them your entire catalogue will just cause them to close your email faster. That means it's important to fight the desire to promote every product you have and pick just a few select or featured items to showcase. You can always put a link in your email campaign to view more products and most email marketing software will let you track the action that link gets. Rest assured if you focus all your efforts on zeroing in your contacts' attention on a few specific products, you'll see a much better response rate.
Email Marketing Tip #3: Give Your Emails a Hook
Holiday shoppers love to think their getting a great bargain. Email marketers can tap into that desire by offering their mailing list contacts a special sort of deal. Last year many email markets found it very lucrative to offer free shipping to their mailing list subscribers. There is almost a chemical reaction in a shopper when they read the words “Exclusive offer to mailing list members”. You can create any type of hook from free shipping, a bonus product, or a coupon towards their next purchase. The important thing is that with every marketer vying for the holiday shopper, you need to offer your contacts something special that your competitor isn't bringing to the table. Even the smallest little bonus can go a long way towards making your offer more attractive. Most email marketing software will show you important statistics so you can try a few hooks to small segments of your audience and see which one performs best.
Email Marketing Tip #4: Above The Fold Isn't Just a Print Term
Most people receive a lot of email during the holiday season and that means it's important to showcase the most important parts of your email at the very top. The term 'above the fold' refers to the viewing area that your subscriber can see prior to scrolling down. If you bury the most important elements of your campaign at the very bottom then you run the risk of people not scrolling to see it. By placing the most important content at the very top, which could be your featured item for the season, you are assured that anyone who opens your email will see exactly that. This way even if they decide not to scroll, they still walk away with your email's key message. The top of your email is also a good spot to mention your email 'hook' from the previous tip.
Email Marketing Tip #5: Be Festive – Show Your Customers It's a Special Holiday Mailing
I have seen countless email marketers send an important holiday campaign and not change the look of their mailing even slightly from what they send throughout the year. Most shoppers get caught up in the holiday spirit (or at least the spirit of shopping during the holidays!) and it's important to let them know you get that. Put a little holiday cheer into your email marketing campaigns and show your contacts that this isn't just another standard emailing. This tip essentially ties into the key marketing element of understanding your audience so that you can best meet their needs. If you know you can play into that, the better your audience will respond. Plus, remember that wishing your customers happy holidays and happy New Year just builds goodwill towards your brand.
Using the above tips, any business owner can use their mailing list and some email marketing software to execute marketing campaigns that deliver big results. Thinking about your holiday campaigns and developing a little bit of a strategy may make this the best business holiday season yet! Happy Holidays!
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