by David Leach
The Super Bowl, World Series, and pinnacle of Marketing (not to mention email marketing) will soon be in full gear. For those of you who don’t know, the holiday season is above and beyond the peak time for email and email marketing. This also means that your competition will be running a full court press. In order to get a leg up on these folks, your holiday email strategizing needs to start now or yesterday if possible.
The first step involves your email address lists. Deliverability will need to be at its all time best, to preserve your relationships with your contacts, so be sure to check and re-check your opt-in contacts. The more truly interested and eager contacts you have that really look forward to your content, the more success you will experience. The common misconception is that the bigger the list, the better, because more people are touched, ultimately increasing your odds. This actually couldn't be further from the truth, because a bigger percentage will actually be getting trashed due to those odds and as a result your negative word of mouth will be much more prevalent when it really doesn't need to be in the mix at all. One of the main points of marketing guru Seth Godin is that people who want to listen to you are the regurgitators who are willingly and actively telling your story because they have a genuine interest in what you are about. This can all be determined from previous campaigns and these are the only people who truly deserve your attention because realistically they will drive your sales. Properly utilizing your database will allow you to know who these customers and prospects are. Make sure you are sending the correct message to the correct group of people!
The messaging and content that you will want to get across will need to cover three specific areas. In order to get your foot in the door, I would suggest offering a nice promotion early on, or special discount, so that when you hit the group up next time for a sale, they will remember that and you will already be in their favor. If the promo is a success you should have no problem following up with your particular holiday product/amazing idea/ or charity. With this two-step process done correctly you will in essence take care of the third step, which is retaining those contacts as long term customers. The most simple and effective way of doing this is by including a sign up link for a newsletter or future emails in the body of your holiday push. The people who are truly interested and want to be retained, will actually take the time to sign up and will be standouts in future email campaigns.
By submitting your emails to tight and strategic lists with concentrated and unique messaging, you will clearly have a leg up on the competition. The leg up factor that will be noticed comes with your delivery and ability to stand out. In a time where inboxes are bursting with mail, you will need to pick a unique day to send on and most importantly rest assured that your emails will actually be opened because they were sent to highly strategized targets. The holidays are a time of celebration, but also a time of knock down, drag out competition, so make sure that you are a fine tuned emailing machine before you hit the field.
To recap your recipe for success this holiday season, keep several elements in mind. For starters you will want to tighten up your contact lists making sure they are the best prospects. Then you will want to add a dash of specific content for promoting, selling, and ultimately retaining your clients. And finally choose the best time to serve up your delivery, keeping in mind vacations, various holidays, and even time of day. The time smells ripe for email and I hope you can smell it too.