Christmas is a great time to run promotions, special offers and email marketing campaigns.
The holiday season is full of people looking to purchase the perfect gift for the special people in their lives, the spirit of generosity and cheer are in the air and it’s one of the most exciting times of the year to engage with your customers. The only downside is that, well, everyone else is doing it too.
In that sense, it is important for your business that your Christmas email marketing campaign is a great one to help you stand out from the crowd. In this article, we’ll be discussing 12 essential steps for a successful and merry Christmas email marketing campaign for this holiday season.
Steps to plan Christmas Email Marketing Campaign
1. Define a your Christmas campaign objective
The first step in any Christmas email marketing campaign plan is to define your objectives. What are you looking to achieve? What results are you expecting from your christmas email? Defining and structuring your campaign objectives helps you stay the course and keep expectations realistic for your holiday marketing efforts.
The message of your Christmas email campaign needs to be in line with your final objectives and in order to taylor the best possible Christmas email you need to know exactly what you’re aiming for, you can look at past Christmas email campaigns for reference on what to realistically expect, but don’t be afraid to set new highs for your business to reach.
2. Review customer behavior, trends and preferences
You should frequently review how your customers behave, not only is it a good idea generally speaking to have a good sense of what your customers prefer at any given time, it is also crucial to understand the ever shifting preferences and likes of your customers.
What was popular last year may not be so popular this year, whatever Christmas trend was making waves last season may now be obsolete. Stay in touch with your customers’ changing tastes and your Christmas email campaign is more likely to succeed on that alone (but don’t worry, we still have 10 more steps to go!).
Some of the things you might look out for can be anything from preference in aesthetics for this particular holiday season - maybe green is doing better than red this year - or product preferences, or what type of discount or special offer is working best right now.
The important thing is that you are aware of whatever it is that your customers prefer this year and Santa is bringing the right gifts to town.
3. Segment your lists while having a hot chocolate
To be truthful, the hot chocolate is optional - but segmenting your lists is not!
The next essential step in planning your Christmas marketing campaign is to segment your list. Now that you have your objectives set and understand what your customers are looking for, it’s time to determine which part or multiple parts of your audience you’re tailoring your Christmas email. Normally, during Christmas time everyone is going around purchasing gifts for family, loved ones and friends, and while some people are early buyers and like to have everything taken care of weeks in advance to Christmas day others will likely leave everything to the last minute. Not necessarily out of laziness or carelessness, perhaps they were too busy planning out the perfect Christmas email marketing campaign just like you.
Developing and structuring your segments appropriately will guarantee that you make the best of catching the attention of both kinds of people, and you don’t need to settle for segmenting based on a sense of urgency or preparation - when it comes to segments the sky is the limit - so feel free to come up with as many creative segments as you can.
4. Choose the best time to engage with your audience
One of the most overlooked components of planning an email marketing campaign is the When, and your Christmas email marketing campaign is no different. In fact, since the holiday season has a reasonably well defined start and end it can be even more time sensitive than other times of the year. The reason for this is because you’re competing with everyone else trying to get to their audience at the right time too.
Your audience can only give attention to so many Christmas email campaigns at once, so choosing the best time to engage with your segment or multiple segments is also a vital part of successfully meeting your goals for your Christmas email.
5. Determine which data and KPIs you want to keep track of before starting your campaign
This applies all year round for email marketing campaigns in general, but it goes without saying that in order to plan a successful Christmas email marketing campaign, determining what data you want to collect and which key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to measure is essential.
This is more useful for future campaigns than for your current campaign, but in the same way that you used data collected from past campaigns to help determine realistic expectations for your current campaign plan, the same cycle will repeat in the future. It works very much in a snowball effect, and what can be more in theme with Christmas than snow? Speaking of which…
6. Stay on theme
This goes without saying, but nevertheless it is a crucial part of properly planning your Christmas email marketing campaign. Keep the Christmas spirit alive in your image, message and presentation.
Your social media, website, email content and attitude should show your Christmas enthusiasm, so make sure you keep it festive!
7. Use a merry headline!
This goes hand in hand with staying on theme, but your Christmas email’s headline has a whole level of importance of its own. This is the first thing your customers will see when they receive your email, it is your most important moment to shine and capture their attention.
Don’t be afraid to use some A/B testing for this one, and remember for different segments different headlines can be used, whatever you do it is important that you take a good amount of time to think over your headline and get it just perfect.
8. Prepare compelling calls to action
Assuming your headline did its job and got your audience’s attention, the next vital step is to have an exciting and compelling call to action (CTA) bringing your customers in, like an invitation to the Christmas party.
Make sure to add an attractive reason for your customers to click through your email and move on into the next step of your Christmas email campaign. This could be anything from an exclusive discount to a limited special offer, maybe the first to arrive get a nice bonus on their new purchase - what it is that your customers will find attractive depends highly on your segments and overall objectives.
9. Verify your list, no naughty emails allowed!
The next step is, you guessed it, to verify the emails on your lists!
Not only do those invalid emails not deserve your awesome christmas email promotions, if you email invalid emails your campaign will bounce and you’re the one who ends up getting the coal. Don’t let this happen to you.
Remove all invalid emails from your lists before sending out any emails, not only will this keep the data you collect from your campaign reliable and accurate, but it will also improve and safeguard your sender reputation and guarantee a better return on your investment for your Christmas email marketing campaign.
10. Mobile Optimization
If I said it once, I said it a thousand times - the vast majority of email users read their emails on mobile first, if your email is not mobile friendly it doesn’t matter how well you define your objectives, segment your lists or construct the best email body and most Christmassy headline in history - your email will not be read and it will be disregarded.
Don’t create this spooky scenario for yourself, it is Christmas after all and Halloween has already passed. Make your Christmas emails mobile friendly today!
11. Look at past Christmas campaigns for performance data
This part of the planning process was briefly mentioned and touched on earlier, but I would be remiss not to give it its own special place here. There are many improvements you can do to your Christmas email marketing campaigns simply by having reliable data from the past and building best practices on top of that knowledge.
We improve by learning, so taking a deep dive into your previous campaigns is one of the most efficient ways to guarantee future success in your holiday campaigns. Make the most out of your Christmas email by learning the most from your previous Christmas emails.
12. Don’t forget to give out a Christmas gift!
It is the season for giving after all!
Make sure you add a little something for your customers, personalization goes such a long way into placing your company in your audience’s best graces and since everyone is feeling cheerful during Christmas it’s a great time and opportunity to share some love with your customers.
You should have a better sense of what steps you should take to plan out your Christmas email marketing campaign, and just to quickly summarize, here are all of the steps we touched on today:
- Campaign objective
- Review customer behavior
- Segment appropriately
- Choose the best time to engage
- Determine KPI to track
- Stay on theme
- Use a merry headline
- Prepare a compelling CTA
- Verify your list
- Mobile optimization
- Looks at past christmas campaigns for performance data
- Don’t forget to give out a christmas gift
Merry Christmas and happy emailings!