Now is the time to start making plans to maximize your sales during the peak selling season. Even though the holidays are still months away, it takes time to prepare an effective email marketing program.
Here are some suggestions to get you pointed in the right direction, well before the fourth quarter arrives. Other tips are available from a wide range of marketing firms like Marketing Land. Remember that careful planning is the key to maximizing your ROI for any ecommerce marketing program.
- Build your list. If you want to reach as many seasonal prospects as possible, start building your email list. One approach is to adjust your social media strategy to focus on capturing more addresses in the next few months, rather than emphasizing immediate sales.
- Segment your list. Take a close look at all those addresses in your database, as well as the new arrivals. Can you could segment your list based on age, gender, location or some other factor? Having the ability to email to certain groups allows you to develop fourth quarter promotional messages that appeal to that segment, rather than sending an email blast to everyone on your list.
- Review your sales trends. Take a look at your recent sales and retail market trends to identify which products could be best sellers in the fourth quarter. Being able to forecast demand for certain brands, styles or product lines can help you determine the best promotional opportunities for your email marketing.
- Plan your offers. Sending an appealing offer to a targeted list of prospects is vital to generating higher sales in the fourth quarter. So, consider the best ways you can engage prospective buyers, such as offering an “add-on” with certain products or free shipping with a minimum purchase. You also want to prepare a simple, clear call to action to encourage prospects to “buy now”!
- Use your creativity. Gather your creative team and discuss how to make your emails stand out in a crowded marketplace. You could use eye-catching photos, links to a seasonal video, or testimonials of real people using your products, to take just a few examples. Don’t forget that the subject line is the most important text in any email.
- Plan frequent mailings. You need to reach out to your prospects as frequently as possible during the fourth quarter. That might mean setting up a schedule for sending emails several times a week or on a daily basis during the peak selling days. You could also plan for time-limited “flash sales” for “hourly specials” for Black Friday or Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving.
- Be ready to measure the results. Know your key metrics so you can analyze the impact of your emails. Being able to track opens and click-throughs, for instance, can help you determine the impact of subject lines, creative content and other aspects of your email program.
Finally, be flexible. Online retailers know that every holiday season has a different rhythm. Demand might be unexpectedly high or low for a certain product line. Mailings might produce better results at different times of the day, such as morning, noon or evening. One creative approach might deliver far better results than another. So, be prepared to adjust your email strategy “on the fly” in order to maximize your fourth quarter sales.