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E-book: “12 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets You Can Use, Right Now”

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If you haven’t already started your holiday email marketing, you probably should have. That’s the advice of a new complimentary e-book from MDG Advertising. According to “12 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets You Can Use, Right Now,” 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before the end of October. Perhaps even more important, 49% of marketers launch holiday campaigns before Halloween. There’s a good chance your biggest competitor may be one of them.

This useful e-book goes on to give additional reasons why starting early is good, but also why you need to adjust your start date for specific events like Cyber Monday. You’ll get tips for creating a greater sense of urgency, as well as a few surprising tactics to rev up your response rate.

Here’s a quick sampling of some of this e-book’s insights:

One “small” trick that could double the average open rate of your emails
How to make shoppers’ holiday stress work to your advantage
Why you must make this the season for sharing…on social media
The perfect method for timing your emails
Simple tactics to make emails cross borders to a broader audience
Easy ways to stretch holiday sales beyond traditional calendar dates
Why it’s important to think small if you want your emails to get read

If you’re a marketer who uses email during the holidays, then consider this a must-read. The e-book divides the tips into four useful categories to keep things simple. You’ll learn “When to Start Sending,” “Key Optimization Tactics,” What’s Different in 2015,” and “How to Finish Strong.” Each section is well organized, providing just what you need to know and nothing you don’t.

“12 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets You Can Use, Right Now” also offers some reassuring statistics. For example, 71% of online adults say they are influenced by promotional emails to take some sort of action during the holidays. So if you aren’t utilizing this medium to its fullest, you probably should be.

Unwrap the latest tactics in holiday email marketing. Contact MDG Advertising today at 561-338-7797 or visit mdgadvertising.com.

Publicado en: Marketing
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E-book: “12 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets You Can Use, Right Now”

  1. 1. 1 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! @ @ @ 12 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets You Can Use, Right Now. @
  2. 2. 2 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! 12 Holiday Email Marketing Secrets You Can Use, Right Now. ‘Tis the season…for email marketing! Starting in September each year, email volume starts to steadily build by double-digit percentages month-by-month until it reaches an annual high at the end of the fourth quarter. The depth and breadth of this flood of emails is hard to fathom. Last December, businesses using the MailChimp platform alone sent 14.1 billion emails to consumers (up 72% compared with the previous year). On just Cyber Monday, marketers sent 741 million emails. At the peak hour on that one day (11 AM ET) they sent 50 million emails. The good news for marketers is that consumers seem able to handle all these additional messages in their inboxes. Last year, average open rates stayed the same in Q3 and Q4 compared with Q1 and Q2, despite nearly 50% more volume. However, this steady engagement doesn’t mean that advertisers should get complacent with their email marketing campaigns. The holiday season brings much more opportunity—many businesses make 20%–40% of their annual sales in November and December—but also face much more competition. Some 91% of marketers sent some sort of holiday email last year, meaning that most companies are vying for attention with all of their competitors during this time. So, how can you stand out? What are the essential pieces to crafting a successful email marketing campaign? In this e-book, we’re going to cover the four basic elements (including 12 actionable tactics) that’ll ensure your holiday email efforts are truly effective: 1. When to Start Sending 2. Key Optimization Tactics 3. What’s Different in 2015 4. How to Finish Strong
  3. 3. 3 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! Section 1 When to Start Sending Section 2 Key Optimization Tactics Section 3 What’s Different in 2015 Section 4 How to Finish Strong 5 7 10 12 Table of Contents
  4. 4. 4 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! 49% of marketers will launch a holiday campaign before Halloween 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before the end of October When to Start Sending When should you begin sending holiday themed emails? Should you start as soon as possible or wait until the actual key dates? The answer is two-fold. Basically, it boils down to this: start as early as possible, but adjust your behavior based on the specific date you’re targeting. Here’s why: 1. Broadly, Start Early Nearly half (49%) of marketers will launch a holiday email campaign before Halloween. Why? Because 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before the end of October. That’s why some brick-and-mortar retailers start putting out the Christmas decorations before summer ends. There is a sizeable segment of the population—the very organized planners—who want to get their holiday purchases completed as soon as possible. If you wait to send your emails until the end of the season, you’ll miss out on this large, and valuable, group of early birds. So, broadly, it makes sense to start your some of your holiday email campaigns as soon as possible. Section 1
  5. 5. 5 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! 2. Adjust for Specific Dates For many businesses, the period between the end of October and the end of December can feel the same; essentially one continuous block of sales that stretches from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. However, consumers view each holiday date differently— as can be seen by their email behavior. For example, for Thanksgiving and Black Friday campaigns, open rates remain lower than average until the actual week hits. Similarly, Cyber Monday email campaigns perform below average until the weekend beforehand, when consumers seem to recover from their turkey comas and start thinking about the impending online sales. On the other hand, general holiday campaigns see above average open rates starting in October, with a steady increase in opens through Q4. In other words, don’t treat all your holiday emails the same when it comes to timing. If possible, take a look back at your analytics and see how behavior for your audiences varied from date to date, then adjust accordingly. DEC 25 Christmas DEC 26 Boxing Day OCT 31 Halloween NOV 11 Veteran’s Day NOV 26 Thanksgiving NOV 27 Black Friday NOV 28 Super Saturday DEC 06 Hanukkah (Until December 14) DEC 14 Green Monday DEC 21 Free Shipping Day DEC 26 Kwanzaa (Until January 1) JAN 01 New Year’s Day & Gift Card Redemption Emails NOV 30 Cyber Monday E-commerce Dates Holidays
  6. 6. 6 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! Key Optimization Tactics Once you’ve determined when to send your holiday emails, it’s time to figure out what to send. There is (sadly) no set template that works across all industries and for all businesses. However, there are a number of approaches that are generally effective year- after-year. In particular, these five tactics have proven to consistently boost engagement and conversions: 1. Segment Your Lists A recent study found that the smallest lists—those with 35 or fewer individuals on them—have nearly double the average open rate of the largest lists. Why? Because these small groups reflect segmentation, which may be the most powerful email tactic available to marketers. That’s why 40% of Internet retailers say they are prioritizing email personalization this holiday season. By sending targeted emails—specific messages to active users, non-active users, consumers who purchased from you last year, groups in certain locations, etc.—it’s possible to both increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and (very importantly) avoid email fatigue by your audiences. 2. Create a Sense of Urgency Creating a sense of urgency is one of the oldest sales techniques in the world for a reason: it works. One approach to this is the tried-and-true method of offers and sales. You can create broad holiday campaigns showcasing site-wide discounts, or develop message- specific coupons with codes tailored for small groups of subscribers. Section 2 Segmentation may be the most powerful email tactic available to marketers. 40% of internet retailers say they are prioritizing email personalization this holiday season
  7. 7. 7 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! Two big ways to stand out are to provide—and highlight—free shipping and free returns. Another approach is to highlight urgency around things besides price. The biggest example here is shipping. Remind consumers what the last dates are for free shipping, and when orders need to be completed for gifts to arrive on time. 3. Make Life Easier The holidays are often challenging for consumers. Between work, events, family, shopping, and traveling, the season can feel like a whirlwind of activity. If you want to stand out from other businesses, keep these stresses in mind. In other words, find ways to make life easier for your customers. How? Two big ways to stand out are to provide—and highlight—free shipping and free returns. These basic offerings can be a huge relief for shoppers, giving them peace of mind when making purchases. There are other smaller ways to help, as well. For example, experiment with incorporating buy buttons directly into your emails. By eliminating the extra step of adding an item to a shopping cart, you can save subscribers a few seconds with each purchase. That may seem small, but during this period it’s truly valuable time. 4. Say Thank You Emails with two simple words in the subject line—“thank you”— have the highest open rates on average. Why? In part, because people like politeness. More importantly, though, these sorts of emails tend to be sent by companies after transactions. Consumers open “thank you” emails largely because they want to confirm that their purchases went through and that they used the right shipping address/payment method. For businesses, this high engagement provides a valuable marketing opportunity. This could mean adding some relevant upsells in the email, or it could simply mean building goodwill by including an in-depth and heartfelt thank you note.
  8. 8. 8 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! What’s Different in 2015 Why can’t you simply use the same holiday emails year after year? Because, for better or worse, consumer behavior changes. In particular, this year it’s important to keep these three recent trends in mind when crafting your email campaigns: 1. Mobile is on the Rise The top email client last year—i.e., the most common platform for viewing messages—was the iPhone. The third most popular client was the iPad. This trend—toward email being consumed on phones and tablets rather than desktops—accelerated in 2015. It’s estimated that between a half and two-thirds of all messages are now read on mobile devices. That’s why 70% of Internet retailers expect mobile sales to increase this holiday season. What does this mean for your email campaigns? First, that they must display well on phones and tablets. Just 4.2% of consumers say they will try to read a mobile email that doesn’t look good, so it’s essential that every message be designed for smaller devices. Beyond that, make sure that every element of every holiday email campaign is designed with mobile in mind. For example, test every landing page you link to on mobile, and be especially careful with rich-media and large files that may have slow load times. Section 3 It’s estimated that between a half and two-thirds of all messages are now read on mobile devices 70% of internet retailers expect mobile sales to increase this holiday season
  9. 9. 9 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! 2. Social Media is Essential Nearly three-quarters of marketers (71%) say the most important add-on to their emails is a social component. Moreover, nearly half (49%) say they are prioritizing social sharing to increase email marketing effectiveness for the upcoming holiday season. In other words, integrating social media networks into holiday messages has gone from a nice-to-have to a must-do. The key here is to integrate social media in a meaningful way, not just for the sake of it. Create campaign elements that are compelling to share -- coupons, engaging holiday messages, etc. -- and then make it clear how to share via calls-to-action and visible social buttons. 3. Globalization is Real More than half (53%) of Internet retailers say they have seen a rise over the past year in non-U.S. customers shopping on their sites. Of this group, nearly half (48%) say they have seen a 5%–10% increase in non-domestic customers. As you think about your messaging, keep in mind that we live in an increasingly “flat” world—to borrow a term from Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. While this trend may not be applicable to all organizations, especially local businesses, it’s a growing trend for many. It’s increasingly possible that your holiday emails will be going to people outside the United States, or be shared by U.S. consumers with friends and family abroad. If the trend does apply to your business, make sure that every element of your email marketing campaigns—from language to shipping options on landing pages—is developed with an international customer base in mind. 49% of marketers say they are prioritizing social sharing to increase email marketing effectiveness for the upcoming holiday season
  10. 10. 10 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! How to Finish Strong Section 4 16% of consumers still do holiday shopping after Christmas People spend an average of $127 on gifts for themselves Want to make the most of your holiday email marketing campaigns? Then make sure not to end them too early. Just as there are many chances for marketers to engage subscribers early in the season, there are also plenty of ways to capitalize towards the end (and even after). In particular, don’t overlook these three valuable opportunities: 1. Some People Shop Very Late Some 16% of consumers say they still do holiday shopping after Christmas. This is due to a range of factors, including procrastination, unforeseen events, and savvy discount seeking. Whatever the reason, make sure to extend your offers past the end of Q4 and into early January. This can take the form of targeted messages to different groups—appealing to procrastinators, with quick ideas and to the shrewd, with discounts—or simply broad campaigns reminding subscribers that you are still open for business. 2. Consumers Treat Themselves Last year consumers said they spent $127 on gifts for themselves, on average. A prime time for this sort of shopping is toward the end of the holiday season and afterwards. A well-timed email message can spark a person to purchase that special gift for themselves with any leftover (or gifted) funds.
  11. 11. 11 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! 3. The Most Popular Gift Is… Gift Cards Last year, the most popular holiday gift with Americans was a gift card. It’s estimated that the value of all cards given during the season was $31.74 billion, with the average person purchasing $173 worth. In other words, after the holidays there are many, many, many gift cards in people’s pockets (and/or in their online accounts). Keep this fact in mind as the season winds down, since it’s a prime opportunity to highlight both discounts on existing inventory as well as new products.
  12. 12. 12 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! For savvy email marketers, the holiday season truly can be the most wonderful time of the year. While competition may be fierce during Q3 and Q4, consumers are much more receptive to being messaged and making purchases. In fact, some 71% of online adults say that they are influenced by promotional emails to take some sort of action during the holidays. The secret to success is to be patient and strategic with your email campaigns. Rather than rushing to rehash old emails and barraging all your subscribers, take a step back and segment your lists, refine your tactics, and plan out your timing. If you do, it’ll benefit both your customers and your business.
  13. 13. 13 mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! Sources Adestra, Bronto, Campaigner, Constant Contact, Experian, MailChimp, Moveable Ink, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Yesmail http://resources.bronto.com/holiday https://www.exacttarget.com/2015-email-marketing-holiday-calendar http://www.campaigner.com/resources/pdfs/Top10-holiday-email-tips.pdf http://news.constantcontact.com/research/age-subscriber-email-domain-major-factors-email-open-rates-according-new- constant-contact-s http://www.yesmail.com/resources/whitepaper/engagement-and-deliverability-holiday-themed-email-2014-recap-2015- takeaways/thank-you http://go.movableink.com/Download-Holiday-2015-Email-Inspiration-Ebook.html http://blog.mailchimp.com/mailchimp-holiday-email-volume/ http://www.adestra.com/resources/downloadable-reports/2015-subject-line-analysis-report/ http://www.experian.com/blogs/marketing-forward/2014/11/18/5-key-holiday-marketing-trends-predictions/
  14. 14. mdgadvertising.com Share this e-book! If you would like to receive future MDG e-books, subscribe to the MDG blog, or request a consultation on how your brand can keep up with changes in the digital landscape with a strategic agency partner, call 561 338 7797 or visit us at mdgadvertising.com. Florida 3500 NW Boca Raton Blvd. Suite 601 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561 338 7797 New York 275 Madison Ave. 14th Floor New York, NY 10016 917 969 5370

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