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3 Easy and Effective Last-minute Holiday Email Marketing Tips With Salesforce Marketing Cloud

3 Easy and Effective Last-minute Holiday Email Marketing Tips With Salesforce Marketing Cloud

The holiday season is fast approaching.

You’re under pressure to design and deliver an amazing holiday email marketing campaign that impresses your audience and gently nudges them towards conversions. Since Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) is your ESP of choice, you and your SFMC specialist are confident that you can deliver astonishing results with holidays in the United States email campaigns.

You’ve done everything right so far:

Segmented your audience

Chosen the best Salesforce email templates

Written dynamic, personalized copy

Designed attractive creatives

So far, so good!

But is there anything else you could do to maximize the customer experience this holiday season?

Here are 3 last-minute tips to create your best holiday email campaign with SFMC!

1. Add special “holiday giveaways” to your campaign

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, spending time with loved ones and of course – presents! 

Then why not be the brand that pleases its customers with surprise gifts? Giveaways in emails are a great way to do this.

A great reason to add giveaways to your holiday email marketing campaign is that it can help increase the average order value during the holidays. Bonus – customers tend to remember brands that offer unique holiday giveaways and are more likely to stay with them for more holidays over the years. Set the giveaway just above your standard order value size and you can increase the chances of customers adding more items to their shopping carts.

If you already send emails with special offers, discounts or free gifts to loyal, recurring and long-term customers, you can continue to do so. Simply modify the copy and creatives to make the email look festive and holiday-ey.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use a recognizable theme reminiscent of the holiday (e.g. red for Christmas) and doesn’t clash with your brand’s personality
  • Create “gift guides” to help your customers select gifts. Make the copy engaging, and use high-quality and appealing creatives that remind them of the upcoming holiday
  • Offer a free gift with a purchase to encourage greater spends
  • Heighten awareness of certain products with limited-time or special savings deals

Make sure to set up fulfilment channels to deal with order surges. Also, when it’s time for shoppers to retrieve their orders, communicate instructions clearly, send timely alerts and include all necessary details.

2. Give every experience a personal touch

Today, personalization is the key to attracting, retaining and converting customers via email marketing. And this is especially true if your goal is to create the best holiday email campaigns for your brand. 

SFMC includes a number of tools to help you personalize every element of your email, from content and design, to subject lines and even delivery times. And SFMC’s Einstein AI can play a key role in facilitating personalized customer journeys, all the way from product discovery to checkout:

  • Einstein Engagement Scoring: Use historical data to assess how each subscriber reacts to your emails, and to create tailored messaging for them based on their unique personas
  • Einstein Send Time Optimization (STO): Analyze and predict the optimal engagement time for each customer, leading to maximum conversions over the holiday season
  • Einstein Content Selection: Do a deeper audience analysis and uncover new personas that will receive personalized messages
  • Einstein Copy Insights: Create engaging subject lines
  • Einstein Email Recommendations: Observe customer behaviors and build preference profiles

You can also do some other things to make customers feel special with your holiday email marketing campaigns. These are not time-consuming or complex – your SFMC email specialist can guide you if you need last-minute help:

  • Sort products online: Customize the order in which products appear on your eCommerce store based on their behavioral or shopping history
  • Include product recommendations: Design emails with personalized product recommendations based on prior shopping behaviors
  • Create product bundles: Analyze customer data to gain insights into products typically purchased together, and create product bundles
  • Send post-purchase emails: Deploy post-purchase emails with relevant new products

You can also use Live Weather Content Block in SFMC Content Builder to deliver personalized images based on local weather conditions when a subscriber opens an email. Real-time email marketing is powerful and Live Weather Content Block is a great way to leverage it and stand out from the holiday email noise.

3. Manage the technical details

This tip is important if you have an e-commerce store and your campaign is designed around boosting holiday purchases.

Collect common performance metrics such as site speed and load time, as well as experience metrics like conversion rates and bounce rates. Also determine peak traffic thresholds. Identify gaps and understand how you can address them. Ideally, you should do all of this on an ongoing basis. But if this is not possible, at least do it before launching your campaign. Give yourself a few weeks to understand realities, analyze data and take necessary corrective actions.

Some more tips:

  • Confirm support levels with third-party vendors so any issues can be quickly mitigated. You don’t want a crashed site just when people are looking for a last-minute gift!
  • Mitigate stress on your system with a governance policy
  • Set automatic notifications to your team if do problems occur

It’s also crucial to manage the technical details of your holiday email campaigns, particularly those around deliverability. To keep deliverability rates up:

  • Configure your Sender Authentication Package (SAP): This will ensure that email providers see you and your domain as legit so emails don’t bounce.
  • Manage email reputation factors: These include sending frequency, blacklists, subscriber reactions, compliance with CAN-SPAM regulations, and spam traps
  • Manage subscriber data: Only email people who have specifically opted-in.
  • Remove ‘spammy’ words: Content Detective in Email Studio is very helpful

Also, warm up your IP address. Keep sending volumes low a few weeks before launching your holiday email campaign, and then increase frequency gradually over time.. Finally, set up email authentication with systems like Sender Policy Framework, DomainKeys, or DomainKeys Identified Mail to ensure that fraudulent senders can’t imitate your brand.

Wrap Up

In 2020, U.S. online sales are likely to reach $794.50 billion this year, up 32.4% year over year and accounting for 14.4% of all retail spending. To take advantage of these trends, it’s important to prepare for your holiday email marketing early. But there are things you can also do as you get closer to the season. Try the ideas in this article and the best holiday email campaigns that stand out in the cluttered holiday marketing landscape will be yours!

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices.

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