According to a Shopify’s research, email marketing was actually responsible for 24% of sales during the holiday season. Hence, it can be said that email marketing is the top-secret to a high-converting holiday season.

However, it is not that easy to stand out in the sea of email messaging. So, if you don’t go all out for it, it is likely that your emails cannot convert. And to help your campaign stand out in holiday seasons, LitExtension – Shopping Cart Migration Expert had co-hosted with AVADA Commerce – Shopify App Provider on our 4th webinar “Holiday Email Marketing: Best Practices and Case Study Analysis. Here comes the recap for you to get a broad picture of what we were sharing!

Let’s dive in!

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the use of email within your marketing efforts to promote a business’s products and services, as well as incentivize customer loyalty. It can also be a softer sell to educate your audience on the value of your brand or keep them engaged between purchases. In brief, email marketing is a powerful marketing channel, playing a pivotal role in your marketing strategy with lead generation, brand awareness, or building relationships.

High-converting holiday email marketing campaign checklists

1. Segmentation

Segmentation means you divide your customers into different groups. By doing that, you can take care of each group separately and make sure your content is relevant to each specific segment. The key to make your emails impactful is to send it to the right audience. Inboxes are already too overcrowded during the holidays, and hence there is no point in sending your email to those who don’t want to hear from your brand. Thus, segmenting your email lists will help you send more targeted and personalized emails to users who are truly interested in knowing what you have to offer.

Here are some holiday email marketing segments to consider:

  • VIP customers.
  • Frequent customers.
  • Post purchase customers.
  • Subscribers who have not made a purchase.
  • Customers who haven’t bought recently: 30 days, 90 days, and 180 days ago.
  • Demographics: age, location, income.

2. Personalization

Personalization for your email campaign is the second key success. An email campaign that reaches customer inboxes but does not reach their attention is still a failed campaign. And segmentation or personalization drive this result!

The following are 3 main elements that make up a personalized email:

  • Relevant
  • Timely
  • From a person

We recommend some ideas to make your email more personalized for individual customers:

  • Use customer personal data on your email: name, email, address, purchase behaviors (triggered emails). It requires you to have a good email sending tool that can show customer information automatically.
  • Sent email from a person on behalf of your company. The email sent by a real person is more likely to be clicked. And a signature of a real person at the end of the email might increase the chance that your customers read your email.

3. Timing

After doing a lot of researches on the internet & collecting data all over the world, we concluded that the best timing to send marketing emails is as below:

Day: Tuesday to Thursday

Because the first thing most of us do on a Monday morning is to check the countless emails that piled up over the weekend. So your customers are much more likely to miss yours. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the inbox is mostly cleared and has a lighter load.

Time: 10 am, 2pm, 8pm, 6am

Considering sending your emails on “off” times, i.e. not on the top of the hour. For example, send your newsletters at 10:07 AM instead of 10:00 AM. Sending at the top of the hour increases the chance that your emails will be delayed and not reach your recipient when you originally intended. Unless you know that the majority of your email list or customers are within a specific time zone. In that case, go with that one.

4. Subject line

Do you know that 35% of customers open emails based solely on the subject line. A great subject line makes or breaks whether your campaign even gets opened. There’re tools to help you check whether your subject line is good enough. The tool we used in during the webinar is Subjectline.com

To improve your subject line, here are few tips that you can implement in your next email marketing campaign:

Use power words

Some words are more attention-grabbing than others. When crafting your subject lines, use these power words:

  • Subtle Urgency: Order now, limited-time, today-only, last minute, Open now, Exclusive.
  • Holiday: Good cheer, 12 Deals of Christmas, Season’s Greetings.
  • Words of gratitude: Thank you, appreciation, your support.

Ask a question

Questions are automatically engaging, which is why they’re great for subject lines. Try something like, “Need some gift ideas?” or “Want your gifts wrapped and delivered to your front door?”. Turn the content that’s inside your email into a question.

Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, so it’s worth your time to add a subscriber’s first name to the subject line.

Using emoji in their subject lines have seen a 45% increase in their unique open rates.

5. Email Content

Email content decides whether your email campaign goes to customers’ inbox or promotion box. Of course, customers’ inbox is more preferred. And of course, there’re also tips to increase the chance your email goes to customers’s inbox that were shared in the webinar:

Offer holiday gift guides, gift wrapping, gift cards
Instead of calling for buying your items, by doing this, it creates the feeling that you are truly helping customers to prepare gifts for their loved ones. You are bringing true value to the customers.

More than any other day, holiday is about reunion and gathering. So what a smart email marketer needs to be doing is to simplify the gift finding process, and an extensive and well-structured gift guide inside holiday marketing campaigns.

You may take the standard for him/for her route, or opt for more diverse division like gifts by category; personality; popularity; price; etc. And in 2021, a gift guide for work-from-home or study-from-homers will be rather useful as well.

Use urgency or scarcity

Phrases such as ‘Last chance’, ‘Only few left’ or ‘Limited stocks’ make the online shoppers’ heart pound. Using scarcity or creating urgency triggers the customers’ fear of missing out on exciting deals and exclusive products. It is, therefore, a great tactic to boost sales. You can include elements such as countdown timers.

CTA

Don’t use normal CTA like “Buy now”. It’s boring! It’s the holiday, have some fun! Instead, you should use action words, expressing customer wishes like: “Yes, I want a discount!”.

Here’s an amazing tool to check your email deliverability whether it comes to inbox, promo box or spam: Email Deliverability Tester

6. Mobile optimized

Mobile sales on Black Friday were 67% compared to 33% of sales made on desktop. This is a very important insight of customer shopping behaviors. So focusing on getting the email optimized on mobile is crucial. Some basics are:

  • Clear, high-quality images that have been compressed to allow for fast loading.
  • Short content that is easy to read.
  • Website compatibility on mobile is core to the success of this. If completing an order on your store is a nightmare with a smartphone, don’t bank on any of the above.

Real holiday campaigns analysis – What you can learn from others?

Since our last webinar, you guys seemed to really enjoy this part so we’ve also included it in the webinar this time. In this webinar, our guest speaker – Rainy Pham had reviewed 2 practical examples and pointed out what we can learn from them. The first case is Ninja Van – a packaging and shipping service provider in Malaysia, and the other is River Field & Forest – they sell and deliver fish and meat.

We hope that this case analysis section not only brings value to our store owners but also merchants out there. If you miss the review or want to rewatch it, we’ve attached the video at the end of this blog for you.

Q&A

Q: How many marketing emails is enough for a campaign?

A: The answer is it depends on which email type you are going to send. For example, with Automation email, like Abandoned Cart email and Welcome email series, I suggest 3 email workflows. And for Newsletter campaigns, similarly you should send at least 2 emails to make sure your customers can read it. So do not send under 2 emails and go over 5 emails for 1 campaign.

Q: How to increase the chance my emails go to the customers’ inbox?

A: There’re many reasons affect your email deliverability: your email server, your sender reputation and email content, etc. Besides, a quality customer contact list is also very important for your email deliverability. So in order to increase the chance your email will go to inbox, you need to check those factors carefully, testing your email many times before going live with your campaign.

Q: Can you suggest how to collect quality contact lists?

A:  A quality contact list ensures the good input for a successful email campaign. You can use double-opt in instead of single-opt in to collect customer lists. Double-opt in here means not only ask for their email on your website but also send them an email confirmation. That makes sure they really want to be on your list and receive your email in future.

Q: Can you suggest a tool to check the email deliverability?

A: Yes definitely. We have a very powerful tool that we often use & we’ve just featured it in the second part when we analyzed two real-life cases, which is Email Deliverability Tester.

Q: How many CTA should I put in my email?

A: My answer is it depends on your purpose and content amount. For example, if you write a long email with different goals, you can insert some CTA. But in my experience, customers do not love too long content, they prefer short and comprehensive messages, so my recommendation is one single goal in each email and you should insert maximum 2 CTA buttons.

Q: Is email marketing still an effective marketing method in 2021?

Absolutely yes, it’ll still be effective in the next several years. Because email is still the main network that we use mainly for work, and use everyday. So I can say that in the near future, there’ll be no tool that can replace email for professional communication.

Final Words

I’ve just shown you the essential checklists for a successful holiday email marketing campaign. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful and we can’t wait to see how you implement them in your marketing plan. Watch the full version of the webinar here:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us! And don’t forget to visit LitExtension Youtube channel for other webinars and more interesting eCommerce-related videos.