Maximising your email marketing for the festive season: 3 ways to make 2017’s Christmas a big sales success

Guest blog from Ross Barnard, of dotdigital – his colleague Skip Fidura is a speaker at our upcoming eCommerce MasterPlan Virtual Summit 

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Seamless journeys from email to mobile

The ‘mobile-first’ mindset has been a buzzword for a number of years, but 2017’s festive shopping period is when it’ll come into its own. eMarketer predicts that the share of sales from smartphones will grow to 65% this year, up from 58% in 2016.

The good news is that there’s time to get your house in order – and if last year’s festive sales are anything to go by, you’ll want to be across your mobile marketing strategy in time for the upcoming festive season. According to the National Retail Federation, 2016’s retail sales in the US during November and December increased 4% over 2015 to $658.3 billion!

When it comes to email marketing, not only is it essential to deliver responsive templates, it’s equally important to drive that traffic to a mobile-optimized website. After all, Gomez found that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. You certainly don’t want to be remembered as ‘The ecommerce store that wouldn’t let me buy a gift for mum’!

If your concern is responsive email design, this free guide will set you on the right track. Or if you already use dotmailer, the EasyEditor takes care of responsive email templates, ensuring that mobile layouts are consistent across all devices, even for tricksy Gmail for Android.

If you’re worried that your site isn’t mobile responsive, there are solutions like Magento’s instant Mobile Optimized Site extension which ensures a seamless journey from email to web store.

Connecting offline and online to build the bigger picture

Every marketer knows that the holiday season is full of noise, and we’re coming to understand that the way to cut through it is to recognize and act on consumers’ habits and intents. First off, it’s about connecting all of the channels to get the fullest picture of your customers: the 360° view.

In the online world, it’s easy to connect the dots but if you’re an omnichannel retailer, you can’t afford to ignore what your customers are doing in store. One of the most popular and cost-effective ways retailers are realizing this opportunity is through the adoption of e-receipts.

When Fred Perry took the e-receipt plunge in 2016, around 80% of its customers were handing over their email addresses so the brand could deliver receipts to their inboxes. Hence, the email address acts as a unique identifier, allowing businesses – like Fred Perry – to gain valuable intel by simultaneously tracking customers’ online and offline transactions.

How do I use the data to maximize my holiday email marketing?

If you hadn’t already guessed, data is another of your keys to holiday marketing success. An effective segmentation strategy is the most efficient way to bag holiday shoppers, because email is one of the best ways to reach customers with the right message at the right time. Here are 5 segments we recommend targeting during 2017’s festive season:

1.       Big spenders – respond well to gift guides and bestseller campaigns

2.       Recent spenders – respond well to discounted repeat purchase and ‘refer a friend’ campaigns

3.       Repeat purchasers – respond well to personalized gift guides, holiday returns extensions, and good transactional emails

4.       VIP customers – respond well to red-carpet treatment, often in the form of pre-sales, previews and exclusive campaigns

5.       Wishlisters – respond well to stock update campaigns and personalized product recommendation emails

Want more tips? Don’t forget to sign up to the eCommerce MasterPlan’s free Virtual Summit for more ways to supercharge your store for Christmas 2017. You can even hear from our own Skip Fidura who’ll be talking all things Hitting the Mark.