Updated for 2019
With the holiday season around the corner, marketers are busy making sure their campaigns are ready for launch. For some marketers, this is the most stressful time of the year. To ease the pressure, we’ve come up with a list of common mistakes that, if fixed, can sky-rocket your holiday marketing campaigns to success.
Take a look the top holiday email mistakes of 2019:
1. Not having a store search bar
More and more big-name e-commerce stores are featuring a large search bar right in middle of their headers. There is a reason for this—an increasing number of people are searching eCommerce websites for one product in particular. If you want your customers to find the products they’re looking for, add a search bar. They’ll thank you for it by buying your products. An expert tip: make sure to track the items being searched to see what products are in-demand.
2. Recycling last year’s campaign
A lot of brands have a set strategy for the holidays that they don’t really change much from year to year. Big mistake. Huge (channeling Julia Roberts here, obviously). Just because you can re-use a holiday journey doesn’t mean that you should. Marketing automation—despite the name—isn’t a hands-off tool. More than just changing campaigns based on how they did last year, you also need to make campaigns that change as your customers go through them.
3. Not segmenting enough
Segmentation is used to leverage customer data to pool customers into similar groups. Based on the data collected, personalized messaging can be delivered. If you are not segmenting your audience, you’re losing out on the opportunity to personalize the messaging: a recent study from Mailchimp found segmented email campaigns have a 14.31% higher open rate and a 100.95% higher click-rate than non-segmented email campaigns.
Make sure that you’re collecting demographic data such as age, gender and location to leverage for dynamic segmentation and personalization. If you’ve successfully collected that data, send personalized emails based on the data to ensure high opening and click rates.
4. Not personalizing enough
A lot of online stores forget to take into consideration the customer’s previous buying history when sending email campaigns. By leveraging the customers’ purchase history, you can discover hidden data that will help convert into more sales.
Here are types of data that you can leverage to personalize your emails:
- Previous products added to cart or purchased
- How much did they spend
- Shopping behavior – how often a customer buys items on sale or waits for a discounted price
5. Not taking advantage of automated cart abandonment emails
Email marketing automation is a great way to improve your over-all marketing results for a variety of reasons. If you set up your automation properly, you won’t miss any leads that didn’t miss a purchase. Automation can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to following up on your leads. In fact 6.1% of people open cart abandonment emails, 13.3% click inside the email, and of those clicks, more than 35% end up buying something.
6. Not following up with existing customers
It’s said that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. An often-repeated rule, it becomes all the more important with holiday campaigns. If you have a list of existing customers, it is worth your time to analyze their purchase habits and specific triggers. This analysis will lead you to specific content recommendations which will encourage repeat purchases from customers who already know and like your brand.
7. Not having a strategy for sales and discounts
Flash sales and discounts are great but remember that your customers will be bombarded by other brands as well during the holiday season. In such a case, it’s good to have a smart strategy while offering discounts. Maybe you can offer an early bird or additional discount to your valuable subscribers or an added incentive like free shipping to new customers who also sign up to the newsletter when confirming the sale.
8. Not leveraging your loyalty program
If you have a loyalty program, the holidays are a great way to remind your customers about it. If you don’t have a loyalty program, it’s a great time to start one. This holiday season, remind your customers about the benefits of joining your loyalty program. You can encourage users to review your product, follow you on social, refer a friend or even create an account for a special holiday discount for members only. Leverage emails and segmentation to target repeat purchases to boost your sales for the holiday season.
9. Not tracking or acting on the data present
Tracking conversions and attribution is extremely important for eCommerce stores. It’s important to not only track traffic and conversions, but it’s also important to act on the data. For example, are you tracking conversions by channel? And are you shuffling your ad budget to reflect the results from your data? Are you tracking conversions by time of emails? And are you sending emails during the times that show better results?
The better your tracking is the better you’ll be able to optimize for the future.
10. Not testing and optimizing campaigns
So, you’ve come up with a great idea for your campaign. It involves animation and a lot of interactive elements. That’s awesome! But, have you designed a safe fallback for devices where CSS and interactivity aren’t supported? It is critical to do extensive testing for rendering and other issues in order to ensure an optimal experience. Testing is often overlooked in the planning stage but comes up during execution and with the pressing deadlines, you surely don’t want that on your plate. So, test now!
11. Overcomplicating things
With the flood of emails in your customer’s inbox during the holiday season, you should ensure that your email is not a puzzle to crack. Because honestly, during holiday season, no one has the time. Simplification of the message and the buyer journey is an ongoing process which you need to perfect over time. As a rule of thumb, the fewer clicks it takes to the payment gateway, the better the chance of wrapping up the sale.
12. Not having your storefront speak to your marketing platform
In today’s world, it is critical for your online store to speak to your brick and mortar through automation. Not doing so, leads to bad reviews and makes it harder to retain customers. For example, if you don’t have a holiday item left on the shelves, the customer should have the option of getting it shipped to their doorstep by ordering it on your website. On the other hand, if a customer has picked up a product from your physical store, it’s a nice touch to send them a thank you email as they step out and a follow-up email after a few days for a review.
These are all mistakes that can tank your marketing campaigns. If you want to blow your marketing campaigns out of the water this holiday season, ensure that you’re covering all the holes mention above. However, the biggest struggle that most companies have is a stack of marketing technology that doesn’t communicate with each other. If you’re looking for a unified marketing cloud build check out Maropost for Marketing here.
Want to see how your customer experience fairs against some of the biggest brands in the world? Download the Consumer Expectations guide below.