What’s in your Holiday Toolkit?

Aug 25, 2014 1:48 PM  By

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday, you know they’re literally right around the corner, but do you have your toolkit full of the strategies and tactics it takes to build a great email marketing program to optimize them?

Below are some of the time-tested holiday strategies we recommend to our clients:

This month

Review last year’s campaigns.  Create a holiday plan and timeline, include dates, creative, subject and segments.  Build a preference that includes op-down functionality.  Ramp up a subscriber base with model acquisition or sweepstakes.  Perform a deliverability and list hygiene audit.  Introduce holiday copy as a secondary message in back-to-school campaigns.

September

Conduct split tests to find out what works best for your audience.  Begin preparing holiday templates and subject lines.  Implement responsive design templates. Create a contingency email in case something goes wrong.  Send a re-engagement campaign to inactive subscribers.  Think about recurring messages such as Stocking Stuffer Saturday, gifts under $X.

October

Brainstorm gift guides and be sure to include top sellers and new inventory.  Start to ramp up deployment, but be sure to keep customers engaged. Develop wish list promotions and encourage wish list sharing.  Think of campaigns for social and mobile channels, such as “Pin It to Win It” and “Check in and Win.”

November

Ease into the holidays with campaigns for winter arrivals, early-bird gift ideas and holiday previews.  Get clever with subject lines to get your emails noticed in crowded inboxes.  Send a “shop for yourself” message.  Debut holiday templates, including shipping options and deadlines and holiday navigation.  Update triggered campaigns and model lightboxes to reflect a winter or holiday theme.

December

With increased email volume, be sure to pay attention to open and conversion rates and adjust your sending schedule if necessary.  Send campaigns for gift guides and e-gift cards.  Send post purchase campaigns featuring personalized product recommendations.  Send a “start shopping for yourself” email after the holidays.

Ross Kramer is the CEO of Listrak.