How-To What Marketers Should Do Now to Prepare for Holiday Emails

By Alison Marras

The holiday season is the most important time of year for retailers. In addition to other seasonal marketing initiatives, most brands increase their email sends by 50% during this time, putting significant stress on creative and production teams. So if you’re planning to make any updates to your triggered email program for the holidays, now is the time to get started. Not sure what aspects you should change? Here are a few things you may want to consider:

 

1. Create new holiday-centric templates

Email creative is generally updated to play up the holidays. Seasonal site features, such as gift guides, are great to highlight as a way to engage shoppers with fresh content and spark some gift giving inspiration. Creative departments can have long project backlogs and templates can take several weeks to create, so be sure to get these in their queues early.

holiday emails cole haan

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2. Consider shortening time between triggered events

Second-touch triggered emails are typically sent 24 hours after an event occurs, such as a cart or product abandonment. However because merchandise tends to move so quickly during busy holiday shopping days, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many retailers shorten the time between events and triggered email sends. Doing this also increases urgency with timely holiday sales and shipping deadlines. Especially for these two important shopping days, we recommend retailers consider cutting the time between second-touch events to 12 hours.

 

3. Add shipping deadlines

Although receiving purchases on time is obviously incredibly important to holiday shoppers, they may not always know ordering deadlines for different shipping methods. Updating footers and headers to include these deadlines for both ground and expedited shipping is a simple and helpful way to remind shoppers. When doing this, also keep in mind that many shoppers travel a few days ahead of the holidays, so be sure to include a sliding scale of delivery dates. Create a library of these banners with all the different deadlines you’ll need ahead of time so they are easily swapped out when deadlines pass.
holiday emails shipping

 

4. Expand your triggers for holiday inventory

Again, because merchandise moves quickly and many retailers introduce a variety of sales during the holidays, it can be a good idea to expand your program to include catalog-based triggered emails. Here are a few to consider adding:

  • Low Inventory: Even though you may be able to see your inventory is running low on popular products, your shoppers are left in the dark. Low Inventory triggered emails keeps them in the know and are sent to shoppers who have previously completed an Abandonment action for items that are now low in stock.
  • Back in Stock: Despite receiving a Low Inventory triggered email, some shoppers wait too long to purchase and the item they’ve been considering sells out. Back in Stock triggered emails are sent to those shoppers who have previously completed an Abandonment action for items that were sold out, but are now back in stock.
  • Price Decrease: Because product catalogs are complex and always changing, eCommerce brands usually drop prices on old merchandise when new merchandise is added to the site. Price Decrease triggered emails are sent to shoppers who have previously completed Abandonment actions for full-price products that are now discounted.

 

5. Think of post holiday win-back campaigns 

Because people are likely shopping for others instead of themselves during the holidays, your brand may receive an influx of first-time shoppers. But just because their first time shopping with you was for someone else, that doesn’t mean they can’t shop with your brand for themselves in the future. Think of creating win-back campaigns and other incentives for these shoppers to return to your site after the holiday season dies down. Here are two ideas to do this:

  1. Include post-purchase coupons that are only good for a post-holiday time period
  2. Consider updating campaigns with language like, “Didn’t get what you actually wanted?” or “Treat yourself to the gift you really wanted”

holiday emails sephora

 

6. Remind gift-givers they shopped with you last year

Many shoppers have a long list of friends and family members to buy for during the holiday season, and as we mentioned previously, these shoppers may be buying from numerous brands they’ve never shopped with before. If someone shopped with you for the first time last year, do them a favor and remind them. Anniversary campaigns can be customized to be sent for any anniversary a customer has with your brand, such as their first purchase. Making holiday shopping easier is a great way to keep your brand top of mind when that time of year rolls around and is an excellent way to retain these customers year after year.

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