The holiday season is the most important time of year for retailers, when aggressive goals are set for increased traffic and sales, both in-store and online. Email marketing is a powerful tool that retailers can use to build their brands and increase sales during that crucial period.
In the second episode of my new email-marketing podcast The Tip Jar, I chatted with Chad White, research director at Smith-Harmon and author of the Retail Email Blog.
We discussed White's annual "Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season" and shared many tips and best-practices for creating a successful holiday-email campaign for the 2009 season. Below are the key takeaways from that conversation.
Discussion point: How can email marketers learn from the 2008 holiday season to help improve the success of their campaigns this season?
Summary: The first important step is to examine the results of your holiday-email efforts from last year. There are definitely best-practices you can learn from looking at other retail email marketers, but imitation isn't the best bet.
Your holiday campaign should be tailored to your customers' needs and your brand image. Retailers need to look at the results of last year's holiday campaigns early and often; the postmortem should take place at the beginning of the year rather than the pre-holiday season, which starts in mid-August.
When examining campaigns from last year, you look at your big wins, big misses, and how people responded to certain aspects of the campaign, including frequency, subject lines, calls to action, etc. Use all that data as a baseline for where to start this year's holiday-email planning.