Christmas List-Building Tips
In a previous Christmas marketing tip, you learned about 3 potential goals that you might set for your email marketing campaigns this season. One of those goals – getting more subscribers – doesn’t focus primarily on immediate profits. In fact, it’s possible for you to pursue this goal and not see a single extra sale during the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean this is a bad goal to have for your Christmas marketing. You’re simply focusing on the growth and long-term profitability of your business, rather than on relatively short-term gains.
By Justin Premick November 25, 2008
One of those goals – getting more subscribers – doesn’t focus primarily on immediate profits. In fact, it’s possible for you to pursue this goal and not see a single extra sale during the holiday season.
But that doesn’t mean this is a bad goal to have for your Christmas marketing. You’re simply focusing on the growth and long-term profitability of your business, rather than on relatively short-term gains.
Why Focus on Building Your List?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that increasing sales is a poor goal to have. It’s a great goal – especially at Christmas. After all, your family, boss, employees and/or coworkers will probably be much more jolly if sales are up.
But let’s face it: however hectic the holiday season is, and however much people talk about spending around this time of year, it’s only how long – two months? Maybe? Out of a whole year?
Email Overload Drops Response Rates, Raises Unsubscribes and Complaints
On top of the Christmas season being (in the grand scheme of things) a short time – it’s the 2 months when email marketers worldwide get “trigger happy” and ramp up their frequency (see The Retail Email Blog for proof). As frequency rises, it gets harder and harder to get noticed in the inbox.
Plus, as recipients get fed up with the volume, they’re more likely to engage in mass unsubscribe/complaint sprees and less likely to respond to email campaigns from anyone.
Rather than just squeezing another buck out of your current list, maybe you should instead work on getting more subscribers that you can build relationships with and market to all year long.
Christmas List-Building Tips
- Post-Purchase Product Registration
Sure, you don’t make household appliances or flatscreen TVs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage customers to register products with you.
This enables you to offer customers highly relevant information and offers after their purchase.
Sure, some people can easily collect this information right off their order form, but not everyone. Plus you can use a product registration to collect interest/preference related information (helping you increase the relevance of your email campaigns) that wouldn’t be part of any reasonable order form.
- Discount Gift Cards
For most companies, gift cards are Santa’s greatest gift. Their fulfillment costs are low, you increase cash flow before having to provide products/services and customers often spend beyond the gift card value (or they lose the gift card completely!).
With margins so high on gift cards, and with so many people giving them in place of specific gifts, you can afford to offer shoppers a discount on one this holiday season.
Example: assume you offer a $100 gift card to a customer for $95 plus his/her (confirmed!) opt-in.
If a confirmed subscriber is worth (on average) more than $5 to you, you’ve just made a great deal.
(Of course, there are possible abuses here, and you’ll want to place appropriate terms on this to protect yourself. Even so, I think this one has a lot of potential.)
Some payment processor/shopping cart software offer gift certificate/card sales – if you’ve never offered them before, check with your provider to see how to set them up.
- Promote The Vote: Subscriber-Choice Sales
I’ve been impressed with Amazon’s Customers Vote promotion.
Basically, you vote for your favorites out of several (much better than usual) deals. After voting, there’s a chance you’ll get selected to purchase the product you voted for at the deal price.
The brilliance of this promotion, to me, lies partly in the fact that you have to be a member/subscriber to participate. If you try to participate and aren’t a member, Amazon prompts you to sign up.
I think this is a great twist on the subscriber bonus or freebie: let subscribers vote for one of your products they’d like to get a sale on. Tell them to share the contest with friends to get more people to sign up and vote, and promote the vote on your site.
After all, people love to “win” a vote, and you love getting more subscribers, right?
More Christmas Marketing Tips On The Way
As promised in the last of our Christmas marketing tips, we’ll be talking about other goals you can aim for this holiday season, too. Stay tuned…