Your 12-Point Holiday Email Marketing Checklist

Oh my, look at the calendar! It’s almost Christmas! Doesn’t time fly too quickly? Don’t worry — we’ve got a free, downloadable resource chock full of holiday campaign ideas. But first, let’s review a handful of quick tips to get you off to a fast start.

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I remember Christmas in childhood like it was just yesterday… the moment I saw snow falling down outside my window, I knew the holiday season was about to begin — counting down to Christmas Eve, singing carols and unwrapping presents with family and friends… we just couldn’t get enough of it!

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Times have changed a lot since then. Often it’s a TV commercial, radio broadcast or an email that reminds us of the coming shopping madness that’s now considered Christmas.

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You could almost believe the magic of the holiday season is gone, right? Not necessarily! What if I told you that an email marketing campaign could recreate that warm, fuzzy feeling and bring back the lovely smell of gingerbread cookies and mulled wine?

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Christmas magic

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Sounds like something you’d want for your clients?

To make sure you’re up for the season, take a look at our holiday checklist. These elements can make your campaign stand out and make your customers feel that Santa himself has just come down for a visit!

Like the 12 days of Christmas, our checklist covers the 12 points you should work on before you hop on your sled!

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1. Set objectives and develop strategies to achieve them!

Hold your reindeer! Before you roll out your Christmas campaign, start by planning what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. At the end of the campaign you’ll be able to compare the plan to the actual and know how you performed, what went well, and what you should improve next season!

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Set up a strategy

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2. Identify key dates.

Did you know there are holidays throughout the year that could already be spiking your sales and website traffic without you realizing it? Analyze your website traffic and monetize on holidays like “Talk Like a Pirate Day”!

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Check your calendar

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3. Perform an internal audit.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What did you do last year? What went wrong and what went well? Take note of both good and bad tactics in the previous campaigns and adapt!

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4. Explore what others are doing.

If you fail to take your competitors’ actions into account, you’re planning to fail. So evaluate what other companies have done in the past and what they are most likely to do this season, then plan your actions accordingly.

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Check your competitors

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5. Jazz up those sign-up forms!

It’s likely that your sign-up forms are lying there all covered in cobwebs and dust, giving your potential clients the shivers since before Halloween. Update your sign-up forms and landing pages to match the holiday spirit and increase your reach as this important time of the year starts!

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6. Shape-up your list.

It’s time for some holiday cleaning — to re-engage those sleeping beauties and segment-out the bad apples. Plan a unique approach for each customer group to build desire and expectation among those who are likely to place orders before Christmas. This will help you maximize the performance and the effectiveness of your holiday campaigns.

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7. Review the body of your emails.

Take a look at promotional emails that persuade your subscribers to make a holiday purchase. Are they better than those of your competitors? Evaluate the key elements and brainstorm ways to generate more sales!

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8. Review transactional messages and autoresponders.

Go a step further and update your autoresponders to capture the holiday spirit. Purchase summaries, subscription confirmations, cart abandonment alerts — all could use some holiday magic!

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9. Develop a post-holiday email strategy.

Now that the holiday craze has quieted down, how about redeeming those gift cards you found under the Christmas tree? Perhaps your inventory didn’t fully melt, and you still have products you wouldn’t mind selling? Choose a smart approach that extends the holiday shopping spree a bit longer!

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Were you naughty or nice this Christmas?

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10. Plan a backup strategy.

Part of preparing and executing an effective campaign is preparing a contingency plan. If your competitors get a jump on you, or deliveries are running a bit late, you’ll be able to roll out plan-B rather than hope Christmas will be cancelled this year!

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After plan A, there's always plan B!

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11. A/B test!

Now that you’ve gone through the above-mentioned points and are about to roll out the campaigns, run split tests to find out whether there are gaps between your intentions and your audience’s expectations. Better safe than sorry!

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12. Don’t neglect a holiday wrap-up.

Now that the holidays are over it’s time to evaluate and analyze the campaign. Did you achieve your objectives? How did your competitors perform? Make sure to be even more prepared the upcoming season and go the extra mile for your clients!

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Snowglobe

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Grab our 2013 holiday guide.

Want some more recipes for your Christmas campaigns? Download our free resource:

Christmas Email Marketing Recipes 2013

Then get yourself a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the read!

  • http://www.BookingCounts.com/ BookingCounts

    GetResponse knows how to offer timely advice with this reminder checklist. I have one more tip to offer specifically for the travel and hospitality industry…

    For hotel and resort marketers, you should create a sense of urgency in your holiday email campaign. Since hotel rooms are limited in number, even more so during the busy Christmas and New Year’s season, advise your subscribers to book now or risk missing out. Be upfront about booking terms and create a landing page with rates and availability during key dates. Of course use travel email campaigns to promote your holiday package deals which include seasonal extras.
    -Scott, BookingCounts

  • Michal Leszczynski

    Hello Scott,

    I am glad you liked our checklist and thank you for your comment!

    Indeed some businesses may benefit from contacting their clients ahead of time and making the preparations even sooner.

    In
    fact, if you plan your communications right, you end up in a win-win
    situation. The clients don’t have to worry that their holiday plans will
    not work out while the hotels/travel agencies/etc. are sure that
    everything is fully booked and no resources are wasted.

    Great hint Scott!

    Thanks again and have a great day :)