It’s no secret that Q4 is the time for many retailers to move from the red to black. Email has a big hand in that, as our beloved channel drives a considerable amount of online revenue. While we’re still weeks away from holiday-specific campaigns, retailers can begin laying a foundation for a lucrative holiday season this year.
This article is section 1 of a 4 part series.
Here are some tactics to focus on in late September through early October to make your holiday campaigns more successful than last year:
1. Loyalty Program
If your brand has a loyalty program, now is the time to be incenting your existing customers to join it. When faced with a choice between a discounted offer from your brand and another brand’s discounted offer, the loyalty program can be an effective deal breaker in swaying customers in your direction. Loyalty programs also tend to collect more information from customers, giving you a reason to segment and send more specialized offers when the season hits.
2. Credit Card
Similar to a loyalty program, a retail credit card can be a viable way to segment and offer special discounts and rewards to cardholders. This could be the difference between a customer buying from you this December vs. your competition.
3. Referral / Social Campaign
If your brand has a referral program, now is the time to run a promotion to get your existing customers to refer friends as an acquisition strategy. You can offer something of value to both the referring customer and the referred friend to get an immediate return on investment from the promotion. Build your database right before the holiday rush with social media, contests, or sweepstakes to capture email address.
4. Wish List
Does your site have wish list functionality? If so, begin encouraging customers to add items to a holiday wish list and share it with loved ones. Just as you would follow up on an abandoned cart, send reminder emails to customers who have forgotten to share their wish list with others.
5. Acquisition and Unsubscribe Audit
While not an exciting tactic, it is incredibly important to ensure your acquisition and unsubscribe sources are working as expected. I can’t count the number of times I’ve signed up for email programs and not received any emails afterward. Worse, I’ve seen brands continue to send emails well after I’ve unsubscribed from their list. Check the functionality now, so you’ll have peace of mind later.
Again, while we’re still weeks away from those holiday campaigns, by focusing on these quick tips now, you’ll be setting a strong foundation to make holiday 2015 the best yet!
What are some foundational items you plan to tackle this month to prepare for holidays? Let me know in the comments.
This article originally appeared in MediaPost on September 24, 2015.