Holiday shopping has started and we’ve spent the past year building our email marketing list and it has paid off, we’ve tripled our list in the last year by being proactive. I wanted to share a few tactics we are using this season to bring in shoppers both online and in person.
1) At the beginning of November we sent out a gift guide to our list of some popular items for the holidays. Both as gifts and for themselves. We didn’t necessarily expect sales from this, but wanted to get the ball rolling on thinking of us for the holidays and we’ll probably send another 1 or 2 out over the next 6 weeks.
2) Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails scheduled. As to not overwhelm our customers we went ahead and put these two emails together into one, but you could send out individual emails, customers are probably expecting this anyways. The deals need to be good, you’re competing with a lot of other businesses. Free shipping? $10 off a $20 purchase? Think about what is going to appear most appealing to your customers while still making you a profit.
3) Email discounts for in-person purchases. We’re going to target one or two of our larger holiday shows this season by sending segmented emails to local customers to come see us at “XYZ Holiday Show” and show us this coupon for $XX off an purchase of $XX or more. If you want to avoid duplicate coupons being used over and over again, set up your email coupon to show their email address when they present it, then you can track which ones are being used.
4) Last call for holiday shipping email. Feature products but also do a large “LAST CALL” for any customers who are still waiting to order online, reminding them they are behind can get them to order, if you do expedited shipping options, consider including that information too.
5) We’re considering doing a different type of gift guide email where we work with a few of our other favorite businesses to cross feature each other in marketing emails. This obviously takes some planning but it can be a great way to get in front of new customers. Be mindful of who and what you’re cross promoting, you want to feature things that your customer would be interested in, but also not directly competing with yourself. Work with a few other handmade businesses to get this type of email going.
Hope these ideas help a few of you get the ball rolling! If you’re still not doing email marketing, check out mailchimp.com – you can use it to send up to 2000 free emails a month. This covers most small businesses easily and their templates and email designers are very user friendly.