November 27, 2012, 3:52 PM — It's here-that wonderful, magical time of year when consumers are in the shopping mood and ecommerce business owners turn to email marketing to drive holiday sales.
Mike Effle, CEO of Vendio, says email marketing can be your ecommerce door buster, if you have a particularly good deal (or offer) and a clear call to action that drives visits to your ecommerce store. Once you get customers to visit, though, "you need to cross-sell intelligently to increase overall cart value and profits," he says.
How-To: 10 Holiday Shopping Changes to Make Right Now to Your Ecommerce Site
To discover what email marketing trends will hit inboxes this year, and to learn what you can do to improve your own holiday messages, ecommerce and email marketing experts CIO.com spoke with offered the following tips.
1. Create a Holiday Schedule and Stick to It
Ron Cates, director of new market development at Constant Contact, recommends starting with a schedule that dictates the exact dates on which you'll be sending emails and stick to it. "It's better to figure out when you will send emails corresponding to these events in advance, so that you can gather content with a good amount of time to prepare," he says.
Plan email marketing messages for upcoming holidays such as Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's. (And next year, don't forget about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.)
2. Offer Content Readers Will Love
It can be a juggling act, but a good holiday email marketing strategy is to provide readers with relevant content they can use, not just a sales pitch. Rick Faulk, Campaigner's GM, insists that what's "inside the box" is important. Spending time writing content that your readers will love is essential to any great email campaign, he says.
"There is nothing more disappointing than a bad gift wrapped in pretty packaging. While design is an important element of a successful campaign, engaging content is the most significant part of your email," Faulk adds. "If your layout or design is lacking, people will still read a well-thought-out email that theyre interested in."
3. Integrate Social Media Channels with Email