Getting Prepared for Holiday Online Sales

Last year, holiday non-store sales grew 8.6 percent, according to Shop.org, and last week they forecast that online sales in November and December of 2014 would grow between 8-11 percent, which could mean as much as $105 billion over last holiday season. The National Retail Federation credits this boost to consumer optimism.

How can you capture this extra revenue in your email marketing campaign?

 

1. Be visually appealing. 45% of respondents in a recent Campaigner study said they open mobile marketing e-mails that feature both compelling text and graphics. Make sure your emails look great and check out these 27 sites with free stock images and graphics. You can alter and add more text and design to these images through sites such as PicMonkey.com or Canva.com. Consider using these sites for your corresponding social media campaigns as well.

2. Let consumers purchase directly from their inbox in two clicks. Many newsletters force consumers to leave their inbox and move to the web after they click a hyperlink. Not only does this lead to a ton of annoying clicks, but if they are not near wifi you could lose that transaction. To avoid “shopping-cart abandonment,” include an @Pay button, where customers could purchase an item in as little as two clicks. Customers click “Buy” and then “Send” in their email. They’ll immediately find a receipt in their inbox confirming the purchase. Here’s a quick video that shows you how it works.

3. Include local information. You may be reaching them through their inboxes, but some consumers may still want to browse your brick-and-mortar location. MovableInk.com suggests adding your local store information in your email newsletter. Make shopping convenient for your consumers and include a map, phone number, hours of operation, event information, and store address. Use geo-targeting by using their zip code on file to give them the closest address.

4. Get Social. Consumers love to share their experiences and turn to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to do it. Pull in social feeds around your handle or promoted hashtags this holiday to add consumer sentiment and personality to your email. You could also set up your email to deep link with pre-populated tweets that the recipient can share.

5. Stay consistent. If you must redirect customers from your email, then consider sending them to landing pages that correspond with your holiday email marketing campaign. These landing pages can highlight the product while matching the email and advertising campaigns that go with it. This consistency will create a seamless experience that will help visitors convert into customers.

6. Add a count-down timer to create a sense of urgency. It could be a countdown to a particular holiday or for the end of your sale. CampaignMonitor has an article that explains how to easily add a .gif image as an email timer.

7. Similarly, you could show real-time inventory. Not only will you not over-sell, but it will create a sense of urgency as well.

8. Offer to gift wrap! Just like adding an @Pay button, store map or showing inventory, offering to do something special such as gift wrapping is yet another way of adding convenience to your customer. The holidays are stressful and time is even more precious. If you can cut down on their time spent entering credit card information, searching for the store phone number or wrapping an awkward package, you will have won over a customer for life!

9. Mark Your 2014 Calendar:

  • Halloween, Oct. 31
  • Ideal Online Holiday Shopping, Nov. 2-12
  • Thanksgiving, Nov. 27
  • Black Friday, Nov. 28
  • Cyber Monday, Dec. 1
  • Giving Tuesday, Dec. 2
  • Hannukkah begins, Dec. 16
  • Christmas, Dec. 25

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