Seeing Green: Get More From Your Emails This Holiday Season

Want more out of your email programs this holiday season?  As we are in full swing, there are a number of low-hanging-fruit opportunities to increase ROI of your email initiatives. We can also use the end-of-year holidays to envision opportunities for your next big campaign.  So let’s get down to it. Here are some advanced approaches to holiday emailing:

Home in on the buyer’s contextual state. Consumers are not all alike. Working parents may shop before work and from their devices – which is an opportunity to adjust the time of day the email is sent, while keeping these individuals engaged with mobile optimized messages.  Then there are last-minute shoppers who are more likely to need inventory status and reminders of what specials are still running (e.g., when free shipping ends, if they can get free gift wrapping in store on Christmas Eve).  Similarly, you may have a group of early birds who purchased this year well before Black Friday. These individuals may be more receptive to additional holiday messaging before the rest of your audience – which is a great insight for your next big holiday campaign. Target those who purchased early this year with more messages, earlier on.  In short, knowing your buyer’s contextual state presents a unique opportunity to message differently – and to get that extra hit of revenue from your holiday marketing efforts. 



Use engagement to drive the campaign experience.  Whether it’s email opens, web pages visited or purchases made in the store, use the customer’s interactions to modify her campaign experience as it progresses. This will require you to develop a handful of campaign paths that address key actions or milestones.  Some tactics can still happen in 2013. For instance, if your customer made a purchase during a “today only sale,” send another “today only sale” email later that same week to that individual.  Other tactics will need more planning – such as Radio Shack’s approach to change the email creative at the moment someone opens the email, so the consumer is always aware of the most current deal or inventory status.  Dynamically rendering content at the moment of open could be an interesting test to execute, and continue to drive sales after the holidays.

Use mobile marketing to connect with the consumer during key moments of consideration. David Baker’s recent Email Insider, “Holiday Weekend First View,” reports that 68% of smartphone owners will use their devices to shop this season. Knowing that your customers are connected with their mobile devices, here are some ways you can target them via applications, SMS and mobile-optimized email to support the consumer buying cycle:

  • Special deals for social media check-ins
  • Detailed product information when someone scans a SKU from your mobile app
  • Real-time shipping status via text message
  • Geo-targeted deals while in-store
  • Email receipts during in-store check out
  • Post-purchase feedback and other suggested products via mobile app

While many of these tactics will require planning beyond 2013, consider using knowledge about consumers’ mobile usage to better capitalize on important buyer moments and enhance their shopping experience.

As we march toward the end of 2013, I wish you many profitable approaches to holiday emailing!

2 comments about "Seeing Green: Get More From Your Emails This Holiday Season".
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  1. Bill Kaplan from FreshAddress, Inc., December 11, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.

    Useful tactics but it's important not to forget about the most important factor affecting the ROI of your email marketing initiatives: Reaching your customers' inboxes.

    With 90+% of deliverability issues stemming from hygiene problems with the underlying list, the keys to ensuring your emails are being received is to hygiene, correct, and validate all opt-ins prior to entering these into your marketing database and to keep these clean on a regular basis going forward.

    The spam-filtering organizations always ramp up their efforts this time of the year in an effort to keep up with the holiday email season. Unfortunately, many reputable marketers can get ensnared in these filters, which can bring your email program to a grinding halt.

    To learn more about how the leading marketers and nonprofits keep their email databases safe to send, see

    So, if you're looking to generate the most revenues possible before 2013 is over, clean your email database now and then follow Amanda's helpful comments. Doing the above will provide you not only with a merry holiday season but many more returns in 2014.

  2. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, December 12, 2013 at 5:32 a.m.

    Data such as "if your customer made a purchase during a "today only sale"" is just one incident and not mathematically significant, so yes this means it's slightly more likely that they would buy if presented with another similar offer in similar circumstances, so do it, but don't mark them down as a "sale buyer" and completely change your tactics towards them.

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