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Your step-by-step guide to getting more leads from your email marketing during the holiday season

Your step-by-step guide to getting more leads from your email marketing during the holiday season

6
min read

The holiday season is prime time for businesses to score more leads through an effective email marketing campaign.

With an average ROI of $36 for every $1 spent, it's a marketing strategy you certainly want to take advantage of.

That's why we've put together a step-by-step guide that'll help make sure your emails are relevant and engaging, so your brand can leverage one of the most effective strategies for reaching customers during this busy time of year.

Let's dive in.

<a href="#holiday-campaign-schedule" class="anchor-link">Holiday campaign schedule</a>

<a href="#segment-audience" class="anchor-link">Segment your audience</a>

<a href="#offer-perks" class="anchor-link">Offer free shipping, discounts, and other perks</a>

<a href="#create-urgency" class="anchor-link">Create a sense of urgency</a>

<a href="#improve-open-rates" class="anchor-link">Improve open rates</a>

<a href="#leverage-retargeting" class="anchor-link">Leverage retargeting tactics</a>

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="holiday-campaign-schedule" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

1. Prepare a holiday campaign schedule

The first step to planning your holiday email marketing is creating a schedule well before the holiday season starts.

Planning ahead makes sure that your message reaches your target audience with enough time for them to resonate with it and take the appropriate action.

Start by building a content calendar for each month leading up to Christmas and New Year's Day (or the dates that are relevant to your business). Then plan out which email campaigns, newsletters, or product launches will be most effective during each stage of the buying process.

Your leads can better plan what, where, and how to buy with the proper information in hand. 

For example, if you provide a debit card for teens, start a campaign in October by sending an advanced Black Friday offer of a $100 signup bonus. This strategy helps improve your chance of scoring these leads before the actual Black Friday sequence kicks in. After all, Gen Z needs access to a debit card before the holidays start to purchase gifts for friends and family.

You can also automate specific email sequences on essential dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday by working with a third-party service provider such as MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, or by using Streak's mail merge feature in Gmail.

Sending the right email at the right time sets you up for the highest chance of scoring leads in a crowded inbox.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="segment-audience" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

2.  Segment your audience

Sometimes lead generation feels like you are throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Segmenting your audience gives you the best chance of sending relevant information at scale without manually crafting each email individually.

For instance, if you manage an app that helps users lose weight with the keto diet, you might segment them by location so you can share local restaurants with keto-friendly meals or by weight loss goal to share specific recipes. 

Why? Because segmented, personalized automated email messages have an average 46% higher open rate than traditional marketing messages, boosting your chances of generating leads.

Then, once you have a list of leads, you can use lead scoring software to rank them based on the likelihood that they'll purchase your product or service so you can prioritize the warm leads with tailored messaging once again.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="offer-perks" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

3. Offer free shipping, discounts, and other perks

Who doesn't love a coupon code or free same-day delivery?

Research shows that consumers are four to five times as likely to purchase if you offer free shipping and 75% of consumers scour their inboxes hoping to find relevant discount codes.

The numbers speak for themselves. Don't disappoint this holiday season — stick to the tried and true email marketing strategy of sending valuable offers, like this example, for 25% off everything at Bombas with free shipping.

An email template of an early access sale for the holiday season plus offers of free shipping and discounts

(Image source)

One email is all it takes to push a lead one step closer to pulling the trigger on a purchase. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="create-urgency" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

4. Create a sense of urgency with your messaging

There's a reason companies use urgency in their messaging: it works.

Urgency helps you create a sense of scarcity and importance with whatever it is that you are offering. Plus, it can spark FOMO in most consumers.

Here are some examples of how to use urgency to spark consumers to take action:

  • Use time-sensitive calls-to-action or limited-time offers (e.g., "order now and get 20% off").
  • Emphasize that there are only 50 spots available for your product launch (or any other event).
  • Remind readers that they don't want to miss out on something important by not taking action.

Take Tailor Brands, for example. They use the wording "clock is ticking" to entice leads to lock in the offer for 50% off, but only for the next 24 hours. 

An example of an email that creates a sense of urgency to the subscribers to act immediately, with its wording such as "Clock is ticking."

(Image source)

Here's another example from Blink Fitness that uses the word "hurry" to show the urgency of a flash sale ending on November 15.

An email example that creates a sense of urgency to its subscribers to act immediately, with its wording, "HURRY!"

(Image source)

Putting a deadline on the offer encourages people to take advantage of it before it disappears forever.

Also, notice how both brands include eye-catching imagery to draw and keep attention to their limited-time offers.

Follow suit by using an online collage maker or photo editor to create custom images (instead of relying on overused stock photos) this holiday season.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="improve-open-rates" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

5. Improve open rates with enticing subject lines

Subject lines can make or break your email, with research showing that 69% of email recipients determine whether an email is spammy or not by reading the subject line. 

You want to avoid finding yourself in the spam folder (or worse, the trash) before your audience can read the meat and potatoes of what you have to say.

A good email subject line should be short and concise, with Mailchimp suggesting a subject line between 9 to 60 characters.

Don't be afraid to use creative holiday language like "Secret Santa gift ideas" or "Best offer of the season."

Try incorporating emojis for extra pizazz and to increase open rates by as much as 56%.

A Gmail inbox showing enticing email subject lines

It's safe to say that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to email subject lines, so leverage the power of an AI writer to generate hundreds of compelling email subject lines in a matter of seconds.

Then conduct A/B testing to determine what subject lines perform best. Rinse and repeat, and you'll have a complete list of effective subject lines that drive the best results.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="leverage-retargeting" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

6. Leverage retargeting tactics

People search high and low for the perfect gift for their loved ones during the holiday season.

They consume content on numerous sites to help them decide on the best products. But only 2% of online shoppers convert during their first visit, according to AdRoll.

Retargeting helps you market to people who have visited your website, but haven't converted by using a customer data platform to securely collect and store customer data. 

For example, someone visits your travel website looking for holiday events in Tulum but leaves before purchasing tickets to the annual festival of lights.

Now that you have collected this insightful piece of data, you can retarget them with an email a week later by sharing the event poster and offering a discounted ticket price or a complimentary offer for a hotel accommodation package.

By sending the right offer at the right time (for something they're already familiar with), there's a 70% chance that they'll buy from you over your competition.

Wrapping it up (with a bow)

The holiday season is an excellent time to generate more leads with email marketing.

It's a cost-effective way to automate and send personalized content to the appropriate audience during the busiest time of the year.

Time is of the essence. Use these six tips to generate more leads from your email marketing campaigns and boost your company's bottom line to end the year on a high note.

About the author

Joanne Camarce grows and strategizes B2B marketing and PR efforts. She loves slaying outreach campaigns and connecting with brands like G2, Wordstream, Process Street, and others. When she's not wearing her marketing hat, you'll find Joanne admiring Japanese music and art or just being a dog mom.

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