10 email marketing tips for SMEs to get ahead this holiday season

email marketing
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This year, the holiday season is going to be a crucial time for all businesses, even more so for marketers of start-ups and SMEs. Now is the time for businesses to plan and strategize for the fast-approaching holiday. So, what are some of the top email marketing tactics you can adopt to drive more holiday sales?

Employ an incentive

Incentives are the cornerstone of holiday marketing. And it’s not just because every store will offer one, but because they actually work. You’ll be surprised how many consumers are out there looking for a bargain – despite their sizeable budget. Be sure to communicate your incentive clearly. Using a website popover is a great way to highlight your incentive yet isn’t overly intrusive.

Ask customers what they want

This tactic is extremely important during the holidays – simply because there’s so much noise in the inbox. Having preferences to hand will help you tailor your message and make the experience much more relevant for potential and existing customers.

You can either collect preferences via a preference centre, during the opt-in process or through a series of welcome emails. The latter might be more effective because new sign-ups don’t necessarily want to be bombarded with questions.

Use email marketing insights

Email behaviour is a useful indicator of customer intent – especially if you’ve offered up an incentive. For instance, an email recipient might have opened their welcome email a couple of times, but not redeemed their incentive yet. Use this insight to send them another email, urging them to take you up on the offer.

Abandoned browse and cart recovery

Having your data-triggered messaging up and running for the holidays is essential for success. With web tracking behaviour enabled, you can re-target website users who have either abandoned their browse or cart. Cart abandonment stands at about 70 per cent– just think how much revenue you could be missing out on during the holidays. Just one or two timely reminders are all it takes to nudge customers back to the checkout. Your business is begging for it.

Product recommendations are key

Your bread-and-butter email marketing tactics wouldn’t be complete without product recommendations. For customers, they provide super-useful and relevant recommendations they actually want to buy. And for businesses, they drive a chuck of total revenue: 26 per cent to be exact.

Segment valuable data

Segmentation is one of the most important email tactics out there. Identifying a razor-sharp segment is always good for business.

Once you’ve selected your qualification criteria and built your segment, curate a message that speaks directly to the audience, meaning your messages will always make sense to recipients.

Reward customer loyalty

For loyalty to flourish, you need two things: one, a customer that buys; two, a brand that rewards. While your website, plus your email communications, need to be shipshape during the buying process, it’s your post-purchase program that’ll sow those loyalty seeds.

Create a loyalty program that both nurtures customers to purchase and rewards them for their efforts. Whether it’s loyalty points or one-off rewards, a mere “thank you” will go a long way.

Extend the promotion

This is a key multifaceted strategy – extending your promotions beyond their end dates will always bring in more revenue. You’ve built up your promotional campaign for weeks, targeted customers based on their email and website behaviour, made steady sales until the last push. And, on the last day of the campaign the sales really start flooding in. So, why wouldn’t you extend your most revenue-generating period? Not only is it great for brands, but last-minute customers will love this too, because all of a sudden there’s more time to browse, select, and buy.

Aparna Gray, Head of Marketing – APAC, dotdigital