The most magical time of the year has taken over our minds and to-do lists. Apparently it’s only 5 weeks until Christmas, which kinda freaks me out! Personally I can’t even start thinking about Christmas shopping until the last birthday of the year is over on November 25th. (I’ll never forget having an exactly 1-month old bub 9 Christmases ago!)

Many small businesses selling online, including my own clients, are just starting to think about a Christmas promotion.

How to plan a killer Christmas marketing campaign

My #1 tip for success is to keep it simple!

But if you’re looking for some ideas or guidance on how to make the most of your email marketing to keep those sales rolling in over the next two months, here are my top 10 tips that will help make your Christmas campaign stand out and yield outstanding results!

Remember, Christmas is the time of year when you can afford more effort than usual… much more, in fact. Through the use of fairytale-like designs, your emails can delivery customers to a wonderland of choice.

Playing Santa Claus means you get to give your customers that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling by letting them know how very special they are to you. It’s also a very NOISY time of year, so it’s important to put together a very targeted, highly desirable campaign that is focused exactly on what your customers want. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the festive forest!

#1: Review what you did last year. Figure out what worked and what didn’t. How can you learn from and improve on last year’s efforts?

#2: Research what your competitors are doing, as well as other businesses that are selling to the same customers as you are. What are they likely to do this year? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Take advantage of the latter and do better!

#3: The end of the year is the most lucrative sales period for seasonal purchases. Research what your customers are spending their money on this Christmas and the average $ value of those purchases. Consider also your customers’ purchase history at this time last year and tailor offers to perfectly suit your ideal customer.

#4: Proceed with wish lists and abandoned carts. It’s no secret that many customers shopping online will leave wish lists unfulfilled and shopping carts abandoned. They’ve demonstrated that they want these products, so now you can target them with related offers.

#5: Run Advent calendar type campaigns – this would have to be THE most lucrative Christmas email campaign strategy I’ve ever used in the past. Not everyone will engage with every new daily offer, but it gives you the chance to mix up your offers to suit different needs, interests and price-points. Refer back to point #3 above! Also, this type of campaign is HIGHLY engaging and encourages a lot of interaction with your customers and potential customers, plus has the added benefit of giving you a really good excuse to email daily.

#6: Segment before you send – you can send emails more frequently at this time of year, but don’t treat all contacts on your list equally. Send more frequently to the more engaged contacts, once or twice a week perhaps, and less frequently to the less engaged or lapsed customers.

#7: Focus on your subject line. Remember, emails are opened and seen by only a fraction of your recipients. The majority only see your subject line, so making sure it’s extremely clickable gives you the best chances of getting people to open up and read (and then spend!).

#8: Create a sense of urgency. When you’re selling online, you need to be very clear on when you can ship orders and still make delivery before Christmas. Make last call-outs for free express shipping to motivate those last minute orders, and after the shipping cut-off date you can still push gift voucher sales to those of us who are perhaps a bit less organised about our gift shopping than others!

#9: Make it fun! Include videos and other design aspects, like animated gifs, creative email template designs and social media interaction – you can have more fun with a Christmas campaign than you might dare to during the rest of the year!

#10: Christmas is not all about selling. It can also be a great time to think about gathering customer feedback, sending eCards or video greetings, and being generous and giving back.

Here are some key holiday season dates to keep in mind.

Where possible, craft your offers and schedule your posts and emails in advance to take full advantage of each significant date.

Your holiday campaign calendar

November 23

Black Friday

Black Friday is gaining popularity in Australia. Encourage your shoppers to avoid the crowds and shop online with special promotions and shipping deals.

December 1

Advent Calendar

There are 24 days in the traditional Advent Calendar. Craft your calendar to reveal a new special offer each day.

December 14

Stamp & Ship Day

Remind your customers of the last day to order Christmas gifts with standard shipping and consider offering free shipping – a large % of shoppers would choose your store over another.

 

December 23

Gift Card Day

It’s not too late! Provide an easy way for customers to still delight their loved ones on Christmas.

 

December 26

Coupon Code Day

The holiday shopping season doesn’t have to be over yet. Offer promotions to clear out extra holiday stock and capitalise on customers still in the gift-buying mood.

 

January 1

New Year’s Day

Engage customers with email campaigns that will support their 2016 resolutions.

Download my FREE Campaign Planner Tool

Make your next Christmas campaign (or other launch or promotion) a smash hit success by planning it in advance!

Download my Marketing Planner tool that I developed and use for all my big campaigns and promotions.