Christmas is a mere 3 months away and whether you are early to prepare or if you leave it until the last minute, you can’t afford to ignore your Christmas email marketing campaigns. If you haven’t started planning yet, you have no more time to lose!

Your competitors will definitely plan their Christmas campaigns a few months before December and if you don’t plan properly, it will show and you’ll miss out on key opportunities in the lead up to Christmas, e.g. Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc.

Begin by reviewing your campaigns from last year, what were the strengths and weaknesses and ensure you are not repeating yourself. Next, decide on the type of mailer and your message, e.g. is it a product sale offering, a 14 days of Christmas campaign, last minute purchases etc. Take advantage of the fact that your recipients are ‘living in their inbox’ during the Christmas / festive season.

Once you know the type of mailer and your message it is time to get creative with your content, simply saying: “buy our products this Christmas” won’t cut through the noise, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors.  Use clever subject lines and content that will engage with your audience, speak to their specific needs and make them feel that you care about them and not only the ‘sale.’

Personalisation and targeting will also play an important role. The inbox is noisier than ever during the festive season, by giving your emails a personal touch will differentiate your company from your competitors. By sending consumers emails with regards to their preferences will definitely have a positive impact on your bottom line.

When you send out an email will also impact on the success of it. The majority of Christmas shopping is done in the 2 weeks prior to Christmas, so increase your sends in this time, focus on the sense of urgency or last minute gift ideas.

Besides the above and Christmas not only being a time to sell, it can also be the perfect time to build and grow your own existing database. Interactive viral emails and give aways are a fun and effective way to utilise Christmas and collect data. This data can then be used for future direct marketing purposes; by including a viral element you’ll also be able to reach more individuals than the intended amount.

Here are tips to create an effective email strategy this festive season:

  1. Objectives/ Goals: Decide on the opportunity Christmas offers your business and build your objectives around this.
  2. Content: Create engaging and unique content/ subject lines to ensure individuals open your mails and click through.
  3. Personalised emails: Personalise your subject line and mailers, this will increase the open rate and potentially the amount of clicks.
  4. Data: Ensure you target audience is correct, opted in and responsive. Send relevant information to the target audience.
  5. Timing: Get the timing of your sends right, promotional mails at 10am on  a Monday morning are less likely to be effective than promotional mails at 11am on a Tuesday morning.
  6. Try and collect data and use this for future direct marketing.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44. How many other marketing channels can give a return like this?

For businesses the festive season offers a lot of potential, no matter the product or service you sell. By planning accordingly and spending time thinking about your Christmas marketing now, you’ll be more likely to be successful and drive sales from it, as they say: Preparation is key!