Despite all the glitz and glamour of social media marketing, email marketing remains the best way for companies to advertise themselves. As Agency Analytics points out with several numbers, email marketing offers a far high rate of return, is more secure, and users are far more likely to see your emails than a social media post. Emails may not be as sexy as Facebook or Snapchat, but they should be the primary avenue through how your business markets itself online.

This is especially so with the holiday season ramping up, as customers will be searching for the best discounts and can buy from you with a click if you advertise yourself correctly. Here are some great fundamental plans for the holiday to boost sales interest and attract interest through email marketing.

What is the Goal?

What is your fundamental marketing goal? Are you trying to build brand awareness, possibly by tying your company to the spirit of Christmas? Are you advertising Black Friday or Cyber Monday discounts? Or do you have some other goal, such as generating additional leads?

Regardless of the reason, the first step in email marketing like any other facet of marketing is to sit down and figure out what you intend to advertise. This is especially important during the holidays when your business needs to figure out how early to start advertising.

Some companies may start sending out discount Black Friday deals now, but it is still too early. Two to three weeks from today is better. Customers will slowly get used to seeing deals and advertisements by the Black Friday/Thanksgiving week, but will not get turned off by a company jumping the gun.

Look Professional

The worst possible thing an email marketer can do is to spam or appear to be spamming customers. Spam looks unprofessional and will cause prospects to lose interest, may never reach their eyes thanks to spam filters, and is actually illegal.

Hubspot has a list of 29 tips to avoid that spam filter, but the only thing you really need to know is that your emails should look professional and well crafted. A single email which took time to design submitted once every three days to a week leaves a far clearer impression in your customers’ mind than multiple rushed emails per day. Furthermore, rely on your email lists crafted from users clicking on your website instead of purchasing a list filled with uninterested customers.

Offer (Limited) Free Shipping

There are plenty of discounts your business can offer without credit monitoring, but none will attract customers more quickly than free, fast shipping. There are always customers who wait until the last second, and then frantically click around looking for a website which can get them that gift in two days. And even though ecommerce has grown more popular, customers still want an easy, fast way to get their product.

Some ecommerce businesses may offer free shipping year round, but this is generally ill-advised because of the massive costs it places on the business. Fast Company points out that even Amazon and Target are suffering in part from the costs and logistical burden of free shipping.

If you cannot afford free shipping even during the holiday season, then try to offer a limited discount such as offering it for one day or offering free economy shipping. But remember that while free shipping can be expensive, it can be a great tool to attract new customers during the holiday season who will then stick with you throughout the year.

Reengage Abandoned Customers

With so many ecommerce fronts offering deals and discounts, customers will quickly abandon one storefront to trawl for a better deal. But if your shopper left your store with an item still in their cart, you should still attempt to persuade that customer to come back through email.

Send the first email to customers a few hours after they have left the website, along with one or two more in the subsequent days. Also consider giving them a discount to persuade them to buy your product or recommending products which complement the item. At least 50 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before a sale is completed, with Horsepower Marketing claiming that it is 67 percent. That represents a large demographic of interested customers which a business cannot just ignore.

Have a Call to Action

You do not want email recipients to just read the email and forget about it two minutes later. You need them to do some additional action such as clicking on an interesting YouTube video or heading directly to the company website. Email marketing is all about engagement, and recipients will be more engaged when they choose to do something.

In addition, make sure the email text contains a call to action such as “Please click on this button for a 50% discount.” A good call to action is simple and concise, and should be something the reader can do with little effort.

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Matthew Davies
Matthew Davies is a creative and passionate HR Director with 15 plus years proven experience up to board level in international and world-class corporations. He has had the privilege of working on a wide range of projects that have enabled him to apply his leadership and technical skills and he have proven expertise in managing change, business integration and outsourcing.

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