5 Tips to Help Give Your Holiday Email Campaigns a Head Start

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The holiday season is a huge opportunity for brands to boost sales. For many, that time of year is where most of the sales for the entire year happen. 

So you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your campaigns as you prepare for the holiday season. What you don’t want to do is throw a bunch of spaghetti against a wall and see what sticks. Some strategies work better than others. 

Here, we’ve collected some of our favorite ways to boost engagement in holiday email campaigns. As the holiday season quickly approaches, now is the time to get your strategies finalized, so you’re ready to roll in the coming months.

Review what’s worked in the past

It’s hard to develop a holiday marketing plan for this year without understanding what worked (and didn’t) during the past holiday season. So crack open that customer data and dig in.

Before you do anything for 2021:

  1. Look at the data from 2020.
  2. Note the best performing products, calls to action, email subject lines, and images.
  3. See what your customers loved so you can double down.
  4. Ignore what they didn’t; don’t waste your time trying to give life to ideas that won’t work with your customer base.

Before you do anything else, make sure you know what you’re working with, so you can go from there.

Plan your dates

“The holidays” is pretty much a catch-all phrase. For some customers, dates can have different meanings. The holidays might cover only Thanksgiving to New Years’ for some, but for others, it can include the first day of fall, Halloween, and even back to school.

Did you know November 8th is National Cappuccino Day? If you’re a brand that sells any cappuccino-related products, add that one to your calendar and time your emails!

Coordinate with your team about the dates you’re going to focus on, then set your calendar around those. That way, you know what campaigns are schedule and when everything needs to be finalized for them.

Check out the competition

Put your spy kit away; we’re not going to get too sneaky here. But, it does help to see what your competitors are doing with their emails. Sign up for their list, check out the campaigns, and note what makes you want to click. 

Also, look for areas of opportunity where you can stand out. That goes for more than product and copy; email design matters too. Having personalized animated emails, for example, is a great way to jump out of a sea of the same old types of emails.

Build up some FOMO

Creating a sense of urgency is one surefire way to get customers clicking on your emails. The holiday season is the perfect time to try some out-of-the-box thinking with getting your customers more engaged and ready to shop. 

Start doing this before the holidays. It’s a great way to prime and try to re-engage some of your lists. Plan out special events and offers for people who are already subscribed. A countdown timer is one way to tap into FOMO. Consider offering a limited-time coupon code for loyalty program members on special holiday deals a week before everyone else. That can start triggering more engagement and conversions.

Add user-generated content

Social proof is one of the most important tools a marketer has today. Consumers rely on online ratings and reviews created by other consumers. It makes highlighting and showcasing user-generated content in your emails all the more important.

As you gear up for the holiday season, think about ways you can incorporate real-time testimonials, ratings, and reviews into your emails. Real-time matters because consumers often trust more recent reviews more than older ones. With Zembula, you can ensure your latest and greatest five-star reviews always appear in your emails because they update at the moment-of-open.

Start planning now

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to start thinking about how to best approach your holiday email campaigns now. Dig into these strategies, implement what you like, and track how your customers respond. From there, you’ll have a good baseline for the future and will be well on your way to creating awesome campaigns.

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