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UPDATED, 03 SEPT 2020 — As the third quarter of 2020 draws to a close, it’s time to evaluate how your email marketing strategies have fared so far. Did they exceed your expectations? Or do you think you could have done something more? With the 4th quarter of the year coming up, you have one last chance to boost your revenue for this year. It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic affected businesses all over the world, and having a successful Q4 can turn it all around. Thankfully, the tail-end of each year is laden with eCommerce holidays, so you can make the most of your email marketing for the holidays.

 

Top eCommerce dates of Q4: December has 5 Major Dates!

ecommerce holiday calendar

Here’s why Q4 (October to December) is such a big deal for eCommerce stores: there are ten days to take advantage of—eleven if you count January 1 because it’s still very much part of the holiday season.

As Q4 comes closer, here’s a quick rundown of the important eCommerce dates. These are all opportunities for maximizing your sales that you shouldn’t ignore.

  • October 31: Halloween gives you so many angles and ideas to spice up your usual campaigns. 
  • November 11: Veterans Day is a great day to announce and start attracting attention for your other upcoming sales.
  • November 26: Thanksgiving is an opportunity to send out last Black Friday reminders. Recently, Grey Thursday has also been a thing, so this is something you may want to look into.
  • November 27: Black Friday is one of the largest eCommerce sales days and you won’t want to miss it! People are actually gearing up to shop—take advantage of this! With COVID-19 still being a huge factor in physical stores’ revenue decline, this just means that more people will be turning to eCommerce stores for their holiday shopping sprees.
  • November 30: Cyber Monday is the biggest eCommerce shopping day, generating $9.4 billion in sales last year. 
  • December 15: Free shipping day means ten days before Christmas, so treat your customers well as they wrap up their Christmas shopping. 
  • December 24: Christmas Eve is for last-minute shoppers, especially since a lot of physical stores are closed on this day.
  • December 26: Boxing Day is when customers usually use their gift cards so there’s another gateway of opportunity!
  • January 1: New Year! No better time for clearance sales!

The 6 Steps that will Maximize Your Email Marketing for the Holidays

In 2019, total online spending reached a record-breaking $ 142.5 billion, which was up 13.1% year on year. Additionally, Black Friday raked in $7.4 billion while Cyber Monday pulled in $9.4 billion in sales.

So why don’t you cut yourself a generous piece of that pie? Start integrating this proven 6-step email marketing sequence into your holiday marketing plans. Those results could be yours. 

Couple these six steps with proper segmentation and best sending practices, and you’ve got yourself some newsworthy numbers. By implementing this six-step strategy, we hit $831K total email revenue for our clients during the BFCM week of 2019.

email marketing for the holidays

This email sequence is composed of 6 steps of 6 emails that will help you secure your spot in your customers’ inboxes, minds, and hearts during the holiday season.

 

Step 1: Hype it up!

Build your momentum by using hype-builders. These are emails that act like teasers so you are able to build up the anticipation of your customers. Make them know you’re up to something huge! You can do this by creating opt-ins like holiday-themed pop-ups for example. This is for those who want to receive updates on upcoming BFCM discounts, Christmas sales, and other events. Why is this effective? It will help with customer segmentation and it will also increase your open rates since these are your customers who voluntarily signed up to receive updates. 

email marketing holiday example

Create flows specifically for them and set these up way before the holidays. Continue hyping, so when the events happen, you’ve got them hooked already.

 

Step 2: Know Your VIPs!

Who’s in and who’s out? It’s up to you to set the standards of what you would classify as a VIP.  Usually, some stores would base this on those who recently purchased, or those who have high overall spending.

Use the days leading up to the holidays to build your VIP List too. A VIP list is essentially a self opt-in list of very excited subscribers who will most likely purchase from you. So here’s what you can do. Create incentives when your subscribers “opt-in” to a special segment for early access and exclusive offers. 

 

Step 3: Do a priority launch

Give your VIPs the treat they deserve! There are two things to remember here. First, roll out your invitations to your VIP list even before you send out announcements to the rest of your list. Next, set up an early launch exclusive for VIPs. You can angle it like ‘Finish Your Christmas Shopping Before Everybody Else!”

What’s the advantage of holding a priority list launch? You get a headstart on BFCM, and they also get a headstart in their shopping. It’s a win-win!

 

Step 4: All hands on deck for your main launch!

This is what you’ve been gearing up for all along! If you’ve been focusing on email marketing this year and implemented best practices such as segmentation and AB Testing, you should already know by now what works best for your audience. This is the time to apply everything you’ve learned about what works best for your customers.

BFCM launch email sample

Consolidate the best of the best results of your AB Campaigns the past year and start doing more of them. You can also set up separate promos for your best sellers or for each category. Be creative while taking into account the results of your AB tests. One thing you have to remember—do NOT do any more AB Tests during this season. Reap the benefits of your past AB tests!

 

Step 5: Send social reminders

Did you know that 63% of customers are more likely to buy from a site if it has a lot of reviews and product ratings? Plus, customers tend to read an average of ten online reviews first before feeling secure enough to trust the store.

Sending social proof is a step you should never skip. Your email marketing for the holidays should include those reviews, stories, or even a refresher of your brand story. Use these to remind your customers that the sales period is ending. Basically, entice them, even more, to buy NOW.

social reminder example for email marketing for the holidays

Other social reminders you can send are customer testimonials, customer or usage numbers, awards, recognitions, product reviews, and press mentions if any. 

 

Step 6: Close your sales with a bang

Go out with virtual fireworks. On the last day of your sale, emphasize that it’s ending in a few hours. Play on urgency and timing, and how your customers should not wait any longer. Use your graphics and your content to make this message come across.

Here’s a bonus tip: hold a bounce-back sale! Why? People love second chances. Get more sales by giving your customers one last chance to buy from you? You can do this a day after your closing campaigns. Customers will love it, so it’s a win-win situation.

It’s how a beauty brand hit their BFCM 2019 record in 7 days using this 6-Step Holiday Sales strategy!

There you have it—six steps and six emails to maximize your holiday sales! Plan it out and implement with the best email marketing practices to get a holiday revenue you’ll never forget. 

Use this proven email sequence and watch the numbers go up on your open rates, click-throughs, and revenue. If you need help wrapping your brain around this strategy, let us know by booking a strategy call with us.

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