5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Holiday Email Campaigns

online shopper receiving messages through holiday email campaigns

We’re in the midst of the move to the biggest revenue windfall of the year for eCommerce marketers: the holiday season is almost upon us. The end of the Halloween season and the turning of the calendar to November is the unofficial start of gift buying, with revenue expected to increase 5% over what was a strong 2021 holiday season. Getting your website ready for the season, of course, is only the beginning. Once you’ve optimized it with a clear promotion and goal in mind, it’s time to think about the best ways to promote it. Enter holiday email campaigns.

Setting up your holiday email campaigns is not optional. The drastic increase in traffic and revenue (and competition) makes optimizing your email marketing for the holidays a core step of the annual business cycle. These five steps can help you build your holiday email marketing. Keep reading to maximize the benefits you get from your website and customer base.

1. Review Last Year’s Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns

The best holiday email campaigns always begin with analysis. In this case, that means digging up your past holiday email marketing efforts to analyze their successes and opportunities for improvement.

COVID-19 has changed online buying behaviors forever. So looking further back than the 2020 holiday season likely will yield few insights. The past two years, however, can give you a lot of insight. Take a look at the engagement and conversion rates; understand what messaging worked and what didn’t, as well as what audience segments have the potential to become conversion drivers.

Subject lines and calls to action deserve a special look. So do specific promotions and the connection between how particularly successful promotions were pushed via email. All of this can inform the way you build your 2022 campaigns.

holiday shoppers being targeted by helpful holiday email campaigns

2. Segment Your Audience Strategically

Next, it’s time to think through the various groups within your audience that could benefit from a more targeted holiday email marketing campaign. For example, your main audience segments might include:

  • Loyal customers who have purchased from you in the past. A campaign for them could thank them for their loyalty while offering exclusive deals.
  • First-time shoppers who haven’t purchased from you but enter your database as a result of browsing your website. A campaign here might need to explain your brand and product benefits in more detail.
  • Inactive customers who have purchased from you in the past but not for a while. For this segment, winback campaigns have the potential for immense success around the holidays, when shoppers become more likely to buy.

Of course, these are just some of the many examples of different audience segments benefiting from more nuanced messaging. The result will be more effective campaigns that speak more specifically to each segment’s needs.

3. Leverage Automation for Strategic Follow-Ups

Building holiday email campaigns for your various audience segments can get complex fast. This is especially true when every message needs to arrive to your audience at the right time and with the right tone. That’s what makes automation such an important part of any email holiday campaign.

Automations, of course, can occur in a wide range of ways. Dynamic drip campaigns can begin when audience members first contact you or confirm a purchase, followed by prompts to purchase more. They’re set off by a trigger that signals relevance and intent, which can help create more relevant messaging.

These automations are especially relevant during the holiday season when audience sizes (and, as a result, email volume) increase drastically. According to Klaviyo, more than 165 million emails were sent from eCommerce merchants on Black Friday alone last year. This shows just how difficult that increased volume can be to handle without automation.

4. Monitor Results to Adjust Your Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns in Real Time

Analyzing last year’s results is vital to building a better email marketing strategy for the holidays. But those are not the only relevant metrics. In fact, one of the main benefits of digital eCommerce marketing (and email marketing in particular) is the real-time nature by which you can track your campaigns.

This real-time data, in turn, can lead to takeaways and improvement opportunities you can implement almost immediately. These improvements can range anywhere from changing your segmentation to building different email campaigns and even changing your individual messages’ subject lines and wording.

If a campaign isn’t performing to benchmark, or click-through rates lag behind last year’s, analyze your campaigns to see where improvements are possible. Don’t be afraid to pivot, even in the midst of a holiday campaign, to get the results you need and improve the effectiveness of your emails.

5. Leverage the Symbiotic Relationship Between Website and Email 

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of connecting your website and email campaigns closely. It’s a truly symbiotic relationship:

  • Your website drives the majority of your email sign-ups. Calls to action need to be clear on how to sign up and what your shoppers get out of becoming a part of your email list.
  • Your emails need to follow through on the promise made on your website while also guiding your recipients back to the site for a sales conversion.

Because of this cycle, your email and website messaging absolutely need to match. Promotions should be consistent, as should the language used around those promotions. Even small consistencies like using the same colors and language can go a long way toward creating a better experience for your audience. Ultimately, this attention to detail results in more conversions.

Ready to Optimize Your Email Marketing for the Holidays?

With the Halloween season firmly in our rearview mirror, now is the time to start optimizing your email marketing for the holidays. That means building holiday-specific promotions. It also means preparing for the influx in volume and increased need for alignment with your website moving into and beyond Black Friday.

That process can be complex. Fortunately, you don’t need to be on your own. Having an experienced partner like Future Holidays by your side helps you optimize your website and holiday email campaigns. We can also help you align them for maximum consistency and success. Ready to build those campaigns but need some strategic guidance? Contact us to start the conversation.