Ask the Experts: Must-Have Marketing Campaigns for the Holidays

Beth Perry, Content Marketing Editor

Holiday sales can often make up a large percentage of annual revenue, so it’s never too early to get organized for the rush. How’s your plan coming along?

We polled our talented team of marketing experts to see what clients are asking when it comes to holiday marketing. What are the burning questions? The common concerns that marketers have as they start to think festive and put their seasonal plans in place?

Check out the first installment of our three-part series as our team answers these pressing holiday questions.

Up first: What are the key must-have campaigns for the holiday season?

Anna PfeifferAnna Pfeiffer, Marketing Strategist: Promote your gift center. If you don’t already have one, I suggest putting one in place before the holiday season kicks into gear. Use it to host a series of landing pages for campaigns, such as 10 gifts under 10 bucks or stocking stuffers. Also, plan to dedicate some of your holiday messaging to gift cards, especially e-gift cards once shipping deadlines have passed. And shipping deadline reminders are definitely a must-have as well. Don’t forget about flash sales and friends and family campaigns as they tend to be very successful promotions, particularly around the holidays. And I still appreciate a nice “goodwill” message to wish me happy holidays at this time of year, too.

David TaitelbaumDavid Taitelbaum, Marketing Strategist: Since most retailers now begin their holiday promotions well ahead of Black Friday, have your own campaign ready to go early in the week just before Thanksgiving, and use your metrics on what moves the needle for promotional email conversion to determine the content. Additionally, you should feature your biggest promotional discounts of the year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One popular trend is to offer Black Friday prices over the weekend and then extend them through Cyber Monday. Just be sure to send a separate email announcing the extended promotion.

As the season progresses, consider incorporating flash sales, as well as promotions around shipping deadlines. Flash sales and daily deals can be fantastic tools because you can easily create a sense of urgency and send emails very frequently without seeing a big increase in unsubscribes. Subscribers also begin to expect them, which can improve engagement. The Gro Company’s Seven Days of Christmas sale actually produced 57% of their December online revenue. With regards to shipping deadlines, create campaigns to target procrastinators and shoppers who are struggling to find a gift for someone. Help them out by including order deadlines for ground, expedited and next-day shipping and highlighting things like bestsellers, highest rated items and gifts by price point.

Greg Zakowicz Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst: This is really brand-specific, but now more than ever, consumers expect immediate gratification with their online shopping experience. And in recent years, the holiday season itself has become just as much about the purchaser as the gift recipient. So appeal to buyers and reward them for doing their holiday shopping with you. Two strategies can go a long way in rewarding your customers, while helping you generate revenue this season.

If you can offer a free gift with a purchase, be it a gift card or a physical gift, you provide the buyer with a treat for themselves and some immediate gratification from the shopping experience. The second tactic, which has been very popular for email marketers in the last few years is the concept of a tiered discount. For example, you could have three different tiers, each with a different discount value for a particular minimum spend. The greater the spend, the greater the discount. This allows the buyer to purchase something for themselves to take advantage of the additional discount while buying gifts for someone else.

Tami UrbanTami Urban, Marketing Strategist – We all know and love the traditional holiday marketing campaigns, such as wish list reminders, free gift with purchase offers, 12 days of deals, Black Friday sneak peaks, extended Cyber sales, mystery deals and free expedited shipping, to name a few. No matter what campaigns you choose this season, be sure to mix them up and map them out well in advance to cover everything from Columbus Day to New Year’s. This gives you many opportunities to touch your subscribers with a variety of offers and attract your share of holiday spending this year.

Feeling inspired? Ready to hit the ground running? Find more valuable tips for holiday planning at Bronto’s Holiday Marketing Academy. And stay tuned for our next installment of Ask the Experts, where we’ll discuss how to time your promotions to avoid overmailing your subscribers while still staying top of mind throughout the busy shopping season.