3 Reasons to Plan Your Holiday Email Campaigns Now

Holiday planning is the last thing on your mind right now. But here’s why it shouldn’t be.

This is a guest post by Kristen Dunleavy, Content Marketing Manager at Movable Ink. Movable Ink helps email marketers make the #1 ROI channel work even harder with dynamic and contextually relevant content.

It’s September. Holiday planning is probably the last thing on your mind. But it shouldn’t be!

Planning a cohesive email marketing campaign takes time: aligning content and design, accounting for outside dependencies and testing and refining all need to happen before you launch. Once November rolls around, you’ll wish you started sooner.

Not convinced? Here’s why you need to kick off your holiday planning ASAP, and how you can deliver more relevant, contextual experiences to your subscribers.

Online shoppers are doing their homework now

We all have that one friend who plans every aspect of their life down to the tiniest detail. Thanks to the ease of online shopping, it’s now easier than ever for anyone to plan holiday shopping further out in advance. That’s probably why 40 percent of shoppers start their holiday research before Halloween.

And that’s also why your business needs to be at-the-ready for those early-bird shoppers. Email can help you reach customers in those early planning stages and plant the seed for those who haven’t started thinking about holiday shopping yet. Customers will appreciate the heads-up on upcoming holiday deals, and you can test out campaign ideas before launching them in full-force this holiday season.

Try this contextual email: Give your email subscribers an exclusive, limited-time preview of your upcoming holiday sales. Include product recommendations based on their browsing history to provide a relevant experience in your holiday emails.

Brands are planning earlier than ever

If it seems like the holiday season is extending far beyond the months of November and December, you’re right. Brands are launching holiday campaigns earlier to meet consumer needs – 8 percent in August, 15 percent in September and 33 percent in October, to be exact.

Planning your holiday email campaign early has lots of benefits. By promoting early, you can extend the traditional shopping season and reach more people sooner. You’ll also reach your customers well before your competition does.

And if you really want a leg up on the competition, you can use a tool like MailCharts to gain competitive insights on the types of campaigns other companies are sending right now.

Try this contextual email: Want to ensure you’re sending your subscribers the most relevant content possible? Send them a survey asking what type of content or products they’d prefer to see in your emails to them in the future. You can even send a live poll that gamifies the email experience. Then, send a follow up message based on their answers.

Major shopping holidays are becoming a thing of the past

Let’s be real: Black Friday and Cyber Monday will always be big revenue drivers. But increasingly, consumers are moving away from planning all of their shopping around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, 52 percent say they don’t rely on Black Friday and 41 percent say they don’t rely on Cyber Monday as much as they used to.

That’s likely because people want to shop on their own time and when it’s convenient for them. And that’s where contextual experiences come into play: If you reach your customers at the moment they’re ready to buy, you have a much better chance at getting them to complete a sale – as opposed to a one-size-fits-all (and exponentially more stressful) shopping holiday.

Try this contextual email: Keep a close eye on your analytics to find out when your emails have the highest open rates. Then, use that as a basis for sending your holiday campaigns. You can give your subscribers more opportunities to buy from you by running multiple sales that span a week or more. You can execute this in your emails by using a banner that automatically populates with a new deal every day.  Then, when the week is over, direct your customers who missed the boat to another product or sale on your website.

Kick off your holiday campaign planning today

Now is the time to get on your subscribers’ radar and impact their holiday buying decisions. Check out this handy infographic for even more intel on consumers’ holiday shopping habits.