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Email marketing guide for eCommerce

The holiday season is around the corner offering an opportunity for email marketers to really shine.

Whether your customers and subscribers are shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or scramble for that last-minute Christmas gifts, holiday email marketing can be an impactful tool to help increase holiday sales and squeeze out additional revenue before the new year.

If you’re looking for holiday email marketing tips or trying to drill down your holiday email marketing strategy, you’ve come to the right place!

Keys to having a successful Email marketing campaign

Email marketing has a bad reputation for being an oversaturated solution. However, the secret to email marketing success lies in your email content and subscriber list.

No matter if you’re an established company or a small business, emails must be part of your greater marketing plan. Alone, they don’t have the power to convert your customers overnight.

Whether you want to promote sales and special promotions, invite email subscribers to holiday events or showcase that perfect gift idea, use your email newsletter to further engage your customers.

Here are a couple of pointers to ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns:

  1. Use Call to Actions in your emails

The holiday period is a busy time for your customers and convenience is essential. Plus, a sense of urgency helps push customers to make a purchase. It’s important to share your promotions in an exciting way.

Consider adding “Buy now” callout buttons to your Black Friday emails and Cyber Monday emails that feature limited-time deals and take customers directly to landing pages and products.

  1. Reach customers with the right message.

Shoppers have never been more distracted, so it’s important to communicate with your customers while you have their attention.

Review your customer insights and metrics to learn when they are most active and which emails have the highest open and click-through rates. Identify what those emails have in common, whether it sends day, time, or overall messaging, and then send targeted communication based on that data.

What type of Emails should you optimize during the Holiday period

To ensure your campaigns are effective, you need to consider your audiences, your goals, and your possible return on investment (ROI). You also need to track these results to help you improve each and every campaign.

You need to take the time to review and update these three key holiday email templates:

  1. Welcome Emails.

With traditionally higher open rates, it’s clear that welcome emails are a vital marketing tool.

To start with, a “season’s greetings” email helps you to kick off the personal connection with your customer, which in turn will have an impact on their customer lifetime value (CLV). These emails are also an opportunity for you to coax your customers back to your eCommerce store through loyalty program reminders, product updates, special offers and recommendations.

Here are a few quick tactics you can implement to optimize your welcome emails:

Send it immediately, usually from the moment they have made their first purchase with you. Do not wait an hour, a day, you need to set up an automation to send it immediately.

Make sure it’s recognizable — make sure that it has your branding on it so it reminds your customers of exactly who is contacting them.

Ask your customers to engage. Think small. For example, product recommendations with a “continue shopping” button at the bottom prompts them to redirect to your store.

Give the recipient an incentive to engage with your email. Special coupon codes and exclusive offers are a great way to initiate this.

A bonus during the holiday season is to give estimated shipping times or, better yet, tracked shipping and real-time shipping updates.

  1. Promotional Emails.

Give your holiday shoppers insights and set realistic expectations on what promotions you’re running during the holiday season. Here are a few things to include in your promotional emails to subscribers:

  • Shipping information (including final delivery dates)
  • Gift card services
  • Gift wrapping options
  • Customer service contact details
  1. Abandoned Cart Emails.

This is something you need to pay attention to all year round, as an abandoned cart is the last thing you want.

Usually, it means that something was wrong with or missing from the customers’ shopping experience.

Imagine what proportion of these you could convert just by setting up a compelling and automated abandoned cart email flow.

During the holidays, here are the three main reasons why people abandon their carts:

Shipping costs – Solution: Is it feasible for you to offer free shipping? Do you track parcels?

Better deal elsewhere – Solution: Tempt customers back with price, sales, and emotional cues.

Out-of-stock – Solution: How can you capitalize once your products become available again?

For these customers, it’s crucial that you trigger automatic and instant abandoned cart emails that address their needs.


Our top holiday Email marketing campaign tips

Let’s take a look at some holiday campaign strategies and tactics you can implement during this holiday season:


  1. Check out recent trends.

Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, start with what worked last year. There have been some noteworthy email marketing trends over the years, including holiday gift guides, win-back emails, mobile-friendly content, and holiday-centric themes and imagery.

Holiday Gift Guides

Holiday gift guides are the perfect opportunity to showcase your best sellers and top-rated products for your target audience.

Winback Emails

Winback email campaigns target customers who previously showed an interest in purchasing from your online store, but some time has passed since they’ve engaged with you.

Use these campaigns as they are the perfect way to re-engage. Remind these customers why they were interested in you in the first place and even introduce something, such as a countdown timer.

The Win-back email should focus on:

  • Reminding them about your brand and values.
  • Reminding them why they initially showed interest in purchasing from you.
  • Showing what product or related products they viewed.

Mobile-Friendly Content

Nowadays, most emails are opened on mobile devices, and this is a fact some marketers tend to ignore.

Here are the basics you need to focus on getting right:

  • Clear, high-quality images that have been compressed to allow for fast loading.
  • Content that grabs the customer’s attention and prompts them to engage.
  • Call to actions that invite customers to your store (Buy Now, Browse More, etc)
  • Website compatibility on mobile devices is core to the success of this. If completing an order on your store is a nightmare with a smartphone, don’t bank on any of the above.

Holiday-Centric Themes and Imagery

This is an obvious one. Get your customers in the holiday spirit with themed content, just as long as it’s on-brand.

  1. Start planning early.

It’s never too early to start planning when it comes to the holiday season. For many business owners and marketers, that even means before Halloween.

By planning out in advance you are able to:

  • Create and test the various pieces of content necessary to improve conversions.
  • Review your content and strategies that led to high conversions in the past years and implement them.
  • Ensure you’re tracking important micro-and macro-conversion points for future data analysis.
  1. Segment your email list.

Segmenting your email list is crucial. Break out your email list into various segments (subscribers, VIP customers, etc.)  that allow you to show relevant products to each segment.

Customer segmentation creates an opportunity to cross-sell and upsell your customers, but it goes beyond that. You can use these groups to create lead campaigns and even use the same lists with your social media marketing.

Final thoughts

We hope that this short guide will help you improve your email marketing this year, but if you are seeking professional advice, do not hesitate to contact us and we will help you get a plan in place in no time!