holiday email marketing

This is the first post in a three-part series.

It’s officially acceptable to deck the halls, throw some chestnuts on the fire and get your holly-jolly on, especially if you’re a business owner. Many businesses make 20 to 40 percent of their revenue during November and December, and holiday spending is expected to top $62 billion this year.

A late Thanksgiving combined with an early Hanukkah makes this holiday season more condensed than normal. (Fun fact: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah won’t overlap again for more than 79,000 years!)

Your goal, of course, is to stand out from your competitors. This can be a fairly daunting task, but if you follow the Bikini Marketing principle it should be easier than spotting a tacky Christmas sweater at your office holiday party.

Holiday Emails Have More Competition
We’ll start with email marketing campaigns, obviously one of the most important tools for marketers any time of year. Holiday-themed emails increase about 75 percent during the last week of October and continue full-steam through the end of December.

There are 36 days from the beginning of Hanukkah to the end of Kwanzaa, so retailers have slightly more than a month to attract customers. You know what that means.

Consumers are going to be inundated with emails promising “the lowest prices of the season!” and “doorbuster bonanza!”. In fact, 28 percent of all emails in the U.S. are sent during the holidays.

No wonder they all start to blur together.

So, How Do You Stand Out?
Any good bikini marketer knows the importance of a strong email marketing campaign, especially in such a competitive environment. On average, retailers send 25 promotional emails during November and 27 during December, each with basically the same message (“Buy our products!”).

The key is to resist the urge to send a steady stream of emails. Take the time to customize your emails instead of blasting subscribers with generic messages. As with most things, quality is preferred to quantity.

Here are just a few ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors:

  • Create a holiday-themed design – Just make sure it ties in with your branding. Customers should know it’s your email without reading a word.
  • Promote stocking stuffers and gift cards – Everyone needs these little knick-knacks.
  • Offer exclusive coupons/discounts – The key here is exclusive. Don’t offer a measly discount or a special customers can find in the Sunday circulars. People sign up for emails to get special content. Give it to them.
  • Give holiday shopping tips – Tidbits like the best time of day/week to shop can be incredibly handy for shoppers who don’t want to fight the holiday crowds.

Remember, your emails don’t ALL have to be about selling. The key to the Bikini Marketing principle is earning your follower’s trust by establishing your authority in your industry. Any good marketer will send out a mix of promotional emails and advice emails.

It’s All About the Subject Line
Another (sometimes overlooked) aspect of a successful holiday email marketing campaign is the subject line. This is the only chance you have to convince your customers to open your message, so you can’t blow it.

You can make your subject lines stand out by including holiday-themed puns or questions. Generic subject lines are one of the main causes of unopened emails. Don’t let that happen to you.