In this frantic period, it can be incredibly difficult to ensure that the interactions are meaningful, personalised and strategy-led. But it is possible.
A sure-fire way to stand out from the batch-and blast attack of your competitors is to advance your automation and personalisation strategies. Using tactics like segmentation and dynamic content you can stand out by creating tailored messages that engage customers fatigued by the onslaught of generic content in their inbox.
Sending emails that appeal to customers on a personal level will not only have short-term gain in helping you hit holiday season targets; you’re also setting the foundation for long-term relationship building and engagement.
The tactics don’t need to be labour intensive but they do need to be prepared ahead of shopping surge. In this blogpost we are going to show you the three non time-consuming essentials for preparing ahead of time to have your christmas strategy securely wrapped up.
The checklist for a stress-free festive period
The key to ensuring your festive period is a manageable success comes down to planning. What’s the secret to amazing Christmas marketing that gets customers shopping with you over competitors? We believe the key is in adding these three vital elements to your campaigns:
From cart or browse abandonment to post-purchase campaigns, updating any automated campaigns that you’re running to give you a helping hand during the festive period is an easy quick win, as they’ll be ticking along in the background generating additional revenue and increasing engagement (leaving you to concentrate on the festivities).
1) Give your messaging and imagery a festive twist
We often stress how achieving relevance in your marketing is key – and nothing puts a downer on festive cheer quite like receiving a summer-themed cart abandonment email full of sunshine and beachwear in the hero image.
As consumers become more accustomed to receiving automated messages from retailers, make yours stand out by giving them a festive twist.
Some examples include:
2) Incorporate product recommendations
Are there any product lines or categories you want to push more than others during the festive period? Do you have products that can also be purchased as a set? Give your automated messages instant relevance by including tailored product recommendations.
3) Tweak the times
As with any good automated campaign, timing is everything, especially with abandonment campaigns. During the Christmas frenzy you might want to consider:
Newsletters – or broadcast campaigns – are often the bedrock of any Christmas marketing strategy, and retailers often up the frequency of sends around the festive period to ensure the message gets through. Trouble is, your competitors are likely to have the same idea. Increasing the quality and relevance of your emails instead is a great way of cutting through the noise – which is where smart segmentation and personalisation come in.
1) Create segmented tactical newsletters to engage with customers
By creating newsletters ahead of time, and segmenting them based on where in the customer lifecycle the recipient is, you can ensure that you maximise the opportunities to encourage spend, with as high or low effort as you want to put behind the campaigns. Depending on the resources you have available you should consider your three different types of seasonal shopper and the strategies you can use to appeal to each of them:
These are your loyal customers. Regardless of season they make regular purchases with you and you can usually count on them to take advantage of a sale or new products.
The repeat christmas shoppers. Although you don’t see them for most of the year, you can expect them to pop up in the rush up to Christmas.
Newly-acquired Christmas shoppers usually get a lot of attention during the festive period.
So, what tactics can you employ to engage these key Christmas shopper segments? We know that not every retailer has endless resources at their disposal, so below are some tactics – whether you have a small or large amount of resource:
2) Low – medium effort:
Segmenting your key newsletters to be more relevant to key customer groups.
3) High effort:
While email is likely to remain the focal point of festive marketing, retailers can employ cross-channel tactics to ensure their messages are heard (or seen).
1) Retargeted messaging across multiple channels
As you can imagine, shoppers’ inboxes during the festive period are often drowning in emails from retailers, like yourself, who want to encourage them to come and spend their Christmas budget with them. A great way to increase brand awareness and market effectively is to incorporate further channels – such as social or direct mail – into your campaigns.
Social retargeting spend has the potential to skyrocket around the festive season, so being clever with the channels you target customers on can make a huge saving. For example, you may choose to:
If you want to target more high value shoppers – that may be VIP shoppers or first-time seasonal shoppers – diversify the channels to not only include social media but customer service calls and direct mail.
The Christmas season is hectic but that doesn’t mean your marketing has to be. If you plan well in advance and segment as broadly or specifically as you want, you can target specific customers without having the added pressure of strategising in the midst of the rush. The key to this is:
These three essentials leave you with more time to focus on minor tweaks and making note of customer behaviour so you can increase spend, win over new shoppers and create a seamless experience for loyal customers.