The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year for e-commerce brands. With consumers in a cheery mood and ready to spend, it's the perfect opportunity to boost your sales and connect with your audience. One of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal is the holiday sales email. This is where you can engage your audience and provide irresistible offers, maximizing on your customers’ needs to buy during this time. In this blog, we'll explore how to write compelling holiday sales emails that stand out in your customers' crowded inboxes and drive conversions for your e-commerce brand.
Segment Your Audience
Before diving into the email content, it's essential to segment your email list. This helps you identify trends and give more targeted offers to the parts of your audience that really need them. Different customers have different preferences and behaviors, so crafting personalized emails is crucial for success. It makes it look like you put in the effort to really get to know your customers’ likes, dislikes, and help them come up with a solution to a pain point they are having. Many email marketing platforms allow you to segment your audience with lists and tags. Use them to your advantage. You can segment your audience based on factors such as past purchase history, browsing behavior, geographic location, and more. This allows you to tailor your messages to the unique needs and interests of each group.
Tip: Use automation to help segment your lists. Have it set up to add the customer to a certain list, tag, or label so you can further engage with them depending on the purpose of that list (i.e. abandoned cart - X product, X freebie opt-in, newsletter signups, etc.). This allows you to have your segmentation done on autopilot so you can focus on collecting email addresses and names. Automation is your friend!
Subject Lines That Shine
Your email subject line is the first thing your recipients see, and it plays a significant role in determining whether your email gets opened or ends up in the trash. You need to make it fun, engaging, thoughtprovoking, and emotionally motivated. To craft a compelling subject line:
Keep it short and sweet: Aim for 50 characters or less. There are testers for subject lines. While not foolproof, you can use them to try and get a good understanding of what an acceptable subject line could look like.
Create a sense of urgency: Use phrases like "Closing soon," "act now," or "don't miss out." This uses the idea of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). No one likes missing out, and can help motivate customers to buy now rather than miss out on something because they waited.
Personalize when possible: Include the recipient's name or reference their location or past purchases. Email marketing platforms allow you to use smart fields or tokens to be able to automatically personalize a mass amounts of emails effortlessly.
Highlight the value: Mention the discount, promotion, exclusive offer, or pique interest. (Ex. “Our biggest offer yet,” “My mistake, your gain,” etc.).
Tip: Avoid spam words. Email providers can penalize you by putting your email in the spam and/or junk folder due to spam keywords. Some email marketing platforms can also ban you from sending out emails due to feeling your emails are too spammy. Be mindful of what types of words you are using in your subject line and content.
The body of your email is where you can provide value, showcase your products, and persuade recipients to take action. You can provide value, be relatable, and call people to action in your content. Make it worth the read! Here's how to create engaging content:
Start with a greeting: Begin your email with a warm and personalized greeting. Some people opt to use humor or something silly to get people hooked in. Your hook should be attention-grabbing.
Highlight the benefits: Clearly explain what's in it for the customer. How will your product or service improve their holiday season? This is where you advocate for your product or service. You have the solution to a problem, and here is WHY it is the answer for people.
Use enticing visuals: Incorporate high-quality images of your products, showcasing their best features. Show the best angles, and provide clear views for those who really want to see what your product is about.
Call to action (CTA): Make your CTA buttons stand out, use action-oriented text like "Shop Now" or "Get Started," and place them prominently in the email. Use them to break up the text as well so readers aren’t bombarded with a full wall of text.
Provide a clear offer: If you're offering a discount or promotion, ensure it's crystal clear and easy to understand. Include the fine print somewhere. People do not like being misled. Be clear, transparent, and open. You can also include a link to an FAQ page to answer any questions.
Tip: Keep it short and sweet. Make it a quick read for your audience with a clear purpose. You don’t have to write a dissertation or a book. Emails should be used for simple communication and a way to direct people to where you want them to go (i.e. your website, social media page, blog article, etc.).
Storytelling and Emotion
Telling a story or creating an emotional connection can make your email more memorable. Share a heartwarming holiday story, a customer success story, or the history of your brand. You can even write about a lesson you’ve learned in life, business, or on your own personal development journey. Share hacks and how-tos, or even ask a simple question to your audience. Remember, people buy from people they trust, and emotions play a big role in that trust-building process. Use storytelling to do that.
Tip: Use AI to create a draft email and edit it to sound more like your brand voice and messaging. AI is a tool that can help you create when you aren’t sure where to start. Try it out!
Ensure that your holiday emails are mobile-responsive. Many people check their emails on smartphones, and a poorly formatted email will deter potential customers. You can have a beautifully formatted email for desktop, but it can look weird on a mobile device. Test your emails on different devices to guarantee they look good and function properly everywhere.
Tip: Email marketing platforms have a Desktop mode and a Mobile mode. Toggle between them to see how your emails will look on either type of device.
Personalized emails are far more effective than generic ones. Use the recipient's name, recommend products based on their past purchases, and tailor your content to their interests whenever possible. Use segmentation and tags to identify the parts of your audience that need to receive certain kinds of emails. This personalization makes your customers feel valued and understood, and shows your brand as one that cares about its customers and their needs.
Tip: Utilize smart fields and mail tokens in your email marketing platforms. This makes personalization easy and effortless while making it look like you put in a ton of time and energy into crafting the perfect email that is just right for each person.
Incorporate customer reviews and testimonials in your holiday emails. Think of it as a humble brag. You want people to know what others are saying about you, your brand, your products, and/or your services. Showcasing positive experiences from previous customers can boost trust and confidence in your products or services.
Tip: Share screenshots of positive comments and reviews people give you, and embed them into your email. This is a nice visual that shows people you are worth every penny!
Before sending out your holiday email campaigns, conduct A/B testing to determine what works best. Test different subject lines, content formats, visuals, and CTAs. Use the data to refine your approach and improve your results.
Tip: Email marketing platforms offer A/B testing to allow you to see what subject lines, formats, and other components of your email resonate better with your audience. Use this feature!
Timing and Frequency
Be mindful of when and how often you send holiday sales emails. Too many emails can annoy your customers, while sending them at the wrong time might result in your message getting lost in a sea of others. Consider your target audience's habits and preferences and use email marketing analytics to determine the best timing.
Tip: Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. When do they normally check their email? Try to captilize on this timeframe, and test test test! Use your analytics to identify the best times to send out your emails. Keep in mind, it may differ from someone else’s audience, so try to do it when it works best for YOUR target audience.
Don't forget about post-purchase follow-up emails. After a customer makes a purchase, send a thank-you email and, when appropriate, ask for a review or feedback. This helps build loyalty and trust for future purchases.
Tip: Do this with EVERY post-purchase. You want to get feedback from your customers any chance you get to be able to improve their experience. Use automation to create a post-purchase follow-up sequence so this can be done on auto-pilot!
Just Be You
Crafting compelling holiday sales emails is an art and a science. It requires a deep understanding of your audience, creative storytelling, and a keen eye for design and timing. By segmenting your audience, personalizing your content, and following the best practices outlined in this blog, you'll be well on your way to creating holiday emails that resonate with your customers, boost sales, and leave a lasting impression on your e-commerce brand.
Happy holidays, and happy emailing!