Tip of The Month: How to create an effective Christmas campaign – December

The run up to Christmas is for most, the busiest time of the year, but how could you use email marketing to help increase your share of the seasonal business?

For this month’s tip we will highlight a few ways to increase your campaign’s Open Rates.

Research

  • Remind yourself what you did in previous years and what worked well;
  • Consider ideas that you didn’t use in the past but may be worth trying;
  • Do you know who your competitors are?
  • Look at what they do for their marketing;
  • How are they approaching their clients?
  • Keeping up to date with your competitors activity may inspire you to be more creative with your own campaigns although the fact your competitor is doing it doesn’t automatically means it’s right for you!

Essential

  • Be short and clear in your message;
  • Highlight the benefit to your client as your USP;
  • Ensure that there is a simple and clear call to action in your message;
  • Try to emphasise real value rather than empty clichés.

Email content

  • Keep links obvious and relevant, with strategic use of images to keep the content interesting and varied;
  • Try personalising your email to make it more friendly which will in turn improve your relationship with your readers creating a sense of customer care and trust;
  • Try not to overload with too much content as this can put off the readers and your campaign will lose its impact.

Bentalls Shopping centre made sure that the information they email is relevant and easy to read.

Nothing beats an offer!  As it is a the festive season, everyone  is promoting their offers at every opportunity . Make your offers enticing and your updates exciting. It is a good idea to do the same with your email marketing campaigns to increase your click through rate allowing you to analyse your customer response and then send out more targeted emails to bring the customers in!

The festive feeling does not fade overnight in fact after Christmas retail shops see an increase of shopping, with many people cashing in gift vouchers, teenagers spend the Christmas money given to them by grandparents and a small percentage waiting for the January Sales to kick in! Create a campaign for after Christmas where you can still include offers, and even start to promote your January sale.

The Subject Line

This is the most important part of your email. A bad subject line will disengage the recipient and your open rate will be very low. The best offers and deals will be pointless if people do not open the email to read them! A festive subject line that will make your customers be more enticed to open and click. Try using the clients’ name in the subject line to create that personal touch.

Create Trust

Sending your subscribers a nice warm welcome and remind subscribers why you are contacting them is a great way to keep you in their mind if you have not contacted them for a while. If you are sending to a new database for the first time always introduce yourself first letting them know the nature of your future communication with them. Let them know the benefits they will receive by reading your emails.

On image on the top left is Braehead shopping centre. Braehead keep newsletter nice and simple with a hint of Christmas.

Design

It’s Christmas after all! Make it festive! As everyone is in the Christmas holiday spirit it is always nice to target your customers emotions with the design so that they can relate to it. But keep it tasteful!

Social Media

Now is a great time to tie in your marketing with your social media pages!

Social media -sign up to our newsletters to get “OUR GREAT CHRISTMAS OFFER”.

Newsletter – “check out our social media pages and talk to us! What are you excited about this Christmas”

Overkill- It is tempting to send offers after offers to subscribers to maximise the exposure but you run the risk of upsetting them which could lead to opt-outs! If you do you MUST ensure that each offer is relevant and different. Don’t just send the same one again and again!

Remember:

  • Attention to detail!
  • Always test and test again and then get someone else to check it until you’re 100% sure it’s right.
  • And last but not least, probably THE most important tip we can give you is RELEVANCY!

Online shopping vs offline shopping

As the festive season approaches online retailers begin their assault of communication to prospects and customers, shouting about their promotions and special offers. 

But it’s not only online businesses who use email marketing as a tool to communicate their promotions, statistics show that before the holidays, email increases for online and offline retailers alike. For example, off -line stores send out vouchers in emails for customers to visit the store and increase their footfall.

The Graph show a massive spike for the approach of Christmas.

So what would you say is better and what do you prefer?

This infographic by Grazia Daily is an excellent visual demonstration of online & offline shopping statistics:
 
Online Shopping VS Offline Shopping

Learn about business intelligence tools.
Credit : http://visual.ly

How Are Tablet Devices Changing Email Marketing?

Tablets are becoming increasingly popular in today’s consumer market.

At first it seemed users were a bit confused about whether tablets were a smartphone or a computer. Now it appears tablets are finally establishing their own niche. In some cases as a potential replacement for the PC, in many cases they replace the laptops and notebooks but clearly, since Apple’s iPad, which sold 14 million units last quarter and is predicted to sell over 25 million units this quarter, the market is growing at pace.

The other trend in 2012 was the increase in size of the smart phones (the Samsung Galaxy Note has a huge 5.3″ screen) which compared with many tablets with 7″ screen, the difference is striking

Recent research is showing that in 2011 about 66% of users prefered reading on a tablet rather than a PC (source: Frank N. Magid Associates).

Tablet PC

A survey taken by the New York Daily News showed that nearly one-third of American Internet users own a tablet. In fact, tablets are becoming so popular that Kevin C.Tofel, Mobile site Editor at Gigamon.com wrote an article explaining why tablets are going to replace the smartphone in a few years from now.

Tofel explains: “The tablet experience is simply better for browsing, apps, email and nearly everything else I can think of. Much like we’re shifting computer tasks to mobile apps on devices, our smartphone activities can easily shift over to tablets for this reason.” Even PC Advisor says “it’s still early days for tablets, and while they haven’t yet made laptops redundant, this might not remain true forever.” A recent survey taken by Gartner found that the main activities moving from PCs to media tablets are checking email (81% of respondents).

So it’s safe to say that tablets could seriously be the future of reading emails – and that’s why the future of creating emails will need to evolve too.

So what does this change about emailing?

On-The-Go Emailing
For a start, studies have shown most tablet owners will carry their tablet with them everywhere. This means not having to move to another room, sit down and log on to a computer to check emails – but being able to access information on the go, anywhere.

This could mean that people will spend less time concentrating on emails than if they were to dedicate time to sit down to a traditional computer. It might be a case of mimicking the ‘on-the-go’ style of reading by using an ‘on-the-go’ style of sending.

Making emails brief, but more frequent may encourage interaction – but not too frequent, don’t forget our old friend spam and RELEVANCY is key.

What Should It Look like?
Viewing emails on different tablets all appear to be very similar aesthetically, (similar to smartphones, but bigger and similar to PCs, but simpler). Some websites that were optimised for tablet viewing have developed a way to create landscape and portrait friendly viewing with clever design.

Many news websites have already applied the change in layout. The daily mail newspaper is a great example, it has a touch-friendly interface and slightly bigger than normal spacing. Not only does it scroll down for what feels like an eternity, but you’ll notice some content has the ability to scroll sideways too – very efficient on a tablet! The New York Daily News in the US is another good example. One of the most important factors is the use of links. On most websites and blogs, text is used to link to another article. Though if you’ve ever tried to click on these with a touchscreen, I’m sure you know how tricky it can be. These sites have larger buttons designed with this issue in mind.

The Tablet That Stole Christmas

In the near Future?

With most smart phones that have GPS and some Tablets too, We could possibly see push notifications used when you are near a particularly store sending you an email to pop in to see their latest offer, or use a voucher that has been sent to you. It seems a Little far fetched, but still a possibility.

To summarise:

It’s not too early to consider and apply the design of your message with mobile and tablet devices in mind. To help you with this, as you are hopefully already aware, we are introducing a new optional enhancement to e-shot which will enable you to view your message in many types of devices including tablets and smart phones. Please contact us to discuss any questions or queries you may have. Our designers and support team are always happy to help.

Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year!