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How to Create a Holiday Gift Guide

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When it comes to making the most out of your holiday marketing strategy, email is vital. Sure, you can offer all sorts of sales and special events, promote on social media, and boost it all on your website, but it’s much harder to see success without email too. 

If you want to tap into the potential of the holiday season and maximize your customer’s exposure to your brand, a holiday gift guide is a perfect tool. 

Use it to highlight featured products and promote related and complementary goods. Entice your readers to engage with your emails and take action. Plus, with a great gift guide, your readers might get all of their shopping done in one place…your store!

Here’s how to create a holiday gift guide.

Decide who you are targeting

Right now is a great time to revisit your old customer persona templates and see how those line up with actual customer behavior. Look at your data, especially from the previous shopping season, and find out who was buying. 

From there, decide how many personas you want to create for your holiday gift guides. If you’re a smaller shop, one might be perfect. But, for larger brands with very clear customer shopping behavior, consider making a few guides that will segment to various parts of your list. 

Some examples include:

  • Gifts under $50
  • Gifts for parents and significant others
  • Gifts for kids
  • Gifts for pets
  • Gifts for tech lovers, readers, fashionistas, you name it

Figure out which products to feature

It’s easy to look at everything you offer and say toss it all into the gift guide! But, we want to be strategic here. The chances are, the vast majority of your sales come from a smaller chunk of your inventory, so you want to capitalize on those items first. 

It’s easy to go overboard, but having a smaller gift guide with products that stand out beats one where you have a lot of items that don’t normally get much traction. Go through your sku’s and start narrowing down the products you can easily feature in gift guides and go from there.

Map out your time-line

More customers are starting their shopping earlier than ever. Black Friday was once the official start of the holiday season; now, consumers are searching in Mid-October. Use that info to serve as a guide with how you create and send out your gift guides. 

Consider sending out timing-based guides. For example, have one go out in mid-October to attract early-bird shoppers, another around Thanksgiving to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and another in mid-December for last-minute shoppers. 

Mine user-generated content

Since you’re planning your holiday email marketing campaigns early, you have time to do a little bit of reconnaissance. Dive into social media and your latest reviews and see what products people are chatting about online. 

It’s a great way to see what the word on the street is about your products (you might find a hidden trend!). You can also find some of your best ratings and reviews to feature in your email campaigns. It never hurts to ask your customers what they want. Start now, post up polls and questions online, and gather data about their favorite products and services.

Think about incentives

When the holiday season hits, your customer’s inboxes are going to be inundated with emails from every brand under the sun prepping them to buy. That means you need to create emails that stand out. One way to do it is to offer incentives that get your readers to take action. 

If you’re sending timeline-based holiday gift guides, consider adding some additional benefits. For example, give your early-bird shoppers free shipping if they buy within a specific time frame. Promo codes and coupons always help, but if you can’t offer those to everyone, get creative where you can make more key customers interested.

Make it look good

With great emails, the design you choose is really important. It doesn’t matter how awesome your products or services are if your customers aren’t excited to open up their email. Thankfully, with a drag and drop content block template system, Zembula makes that part easy. 

Use content blocks to create personalized emails that feature real-time notifications, countdown timers, and even animations. Also, make sure you have great pictures of everything featured in your holiday gift guide, the more visually appealing and easy to read your gift guide is, the better. 

Ready to start planning?

We like the sound of that. This year, your holiday campaigns can be more successful than ever; all you have to do is get your strategy set, starting now. 

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