10 Email Messages To Jazz Up Your Holiday Marketing Program

Happy Oct. 1! It's not just any Thursday. Today signals the kickoff to Q4 and the holiday shopping season.
You still have time to tinker with email messages that can drive incremental revenue, build subscriber engagement and deliver other benefits that make the difference between good and great email marketing.
Some of these are emails you likely send now but haven't optimized either to your customers' benefit or to your own. Others respond to changes in email function and customer expectations as email evolved from desktop-oriented batch-and-blast to mobile-first 1:1 communications.
The Standard Bearers
These are the messages that once were state of the art for email marketing, but have become benchmark indicators for top retail email marketers.
If you don't send any of these emails, you're falling behind your competitors. If you do, consider some new twists that can drive greater recipient actions. Below are some tweaks to emails you should -- or likely already -- use:
Cart recovery: Add a second (or third) email reminder to bring more of your customers back to finish the purchase process. Move from sending the initial reminder 24 hours after abandonment to within an hour. Add recommendations -- and, during the holiday season, payment alternatives, gift cards and product recommendations.
Browse-reminder: Add links to shopping guides, product wizards or FAQs that will move browsers closer to a purchase. With more than 50% of shoppers browsing your site on a mobile device this holiday, browse-remarketing emails will be a must.
Welcome/onboarding: Move from a single email to a series of specially designed onboarding emails, each designed to introduce the new subscriber to specific offerings and benefits. Add dynamic product content, recommendations and offers to new subscribers based on their pre-opt-in site browse behavior.
The New Realities
These emails reflect the changes in both email consumption and shopper habits, especially as shaped by mobile viewing, browsing and buying:
1. Site search remarketing: If you can match email subscribers to their search activity, populate an email with dynamic content that matches recent site search terms.
2. Gift card reminder: Deploy standalone gift card emails, but also focus browse-reminder message on gift card alternatives. 
3. Post-purchase product information: Follow up a purchase with product usage and care tips, or other information that can increase satisfaction and reduce returns or call-center contacts.
4. Back-in-stock notification: Invite browsers to supply their email addresses and be notified when their products are available again. Add a promotional email opt-in invitation to the back-in-stock email.
5. Holiday onboarding email: Put all your important holiday shopping information in an introductory email guide: increased email frequency, new merchandise lines, shipping and purchase deadlines, gift card information, customer-support contacts, mobile app information, alternative payment options, return/exchange policies, etc.
6. Re-send for non-converters: Second time could be the charm for emails sent to customers who opened but didn't convert from the first message.
7. Purchase anniversary: These trigger from a purchase or opt-in/membership anniversary. Personalize with dynamic modules that reflect past purchases or browsing, loyalty/membership status, etc.
8. Email and social: Promote your email campaigns in your social channels. Include a link to opt in to marketing emails. Also, incorporate social media content in your emails, such as gift ideas made up of products pinned on Pinterest or posted on Instagram.
9. "Email My Cart:" Give shoppers (especially mobile users) the option to have their shopping carts emailed to them so they can purchase when the time is right.
10.Optimized transactional messages:  Add cross- or upsell product recommendations, product usage tips and dynamic email opt-in promotions for customers who aren’t current promotional email subscribers.
Which should you try first? As I commented in a previous Email Insider "Email Strategies To Elevate Your Holiday Marketing Program," pick those that will help you move the needle on your holiday marketing.
Until next time, take it up a notch!
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