How To Improve Your Email Marketing To Increase Retail Sales During December

By Bob Phibbs

how to use email marketing DecemberAre you looking for how to use email marketing in December to lure holiday shoppers back to your store again and again? You've come to the right place for ideas.We've officially begun the holiday season and retailers are all over the map with their holiday retail sales predictions.

Here's mine: I expect we'll have a 3% increase in sales.

Customers are out there shopping, but how focused are you in reminding your shoppers that they should buy from you ?

At this busy time of year you have to frequently send email blasts to your loyal customers.You have to say, "We have this product in stock right now and you can take it home today!".

One of the most obvious ways to market your message to your retail customers is to use those services that don't cost you anything, especially email and social media. And yes, email marketing opens are on the decline but still the best way to reach shoppers who have purchased from you.

We often forget how necessary reinforcement is to your audience of shoppers who like and prefer your store over Amazon, but who still shop with competitors because you let them forget you exist. And a lot of that comes from other retailers and email marketers building brand awareness while you take your own for granted.

The more impressions you can consistently make with your fans at this time of the year, the more they will remember they like your retail shop, reinforcing their beliefs about why they chose your brand in the first place.

And that can't be another message your email recipients received jammed with too many products, too many discounts, and too many images. Keep it simple with one idea.
Good emails update your customers' email boxes with highly targeted messages aimed at those loyal customers who already know you.

These messages, done correctly, will drive customers back through your doors. And make sure you schedule these important marketing efforts this week when you still have an extra hour...

Here are the next four weeks with what your messaging should be to your email list and social media accounts.

It's about engagement, it's about conversion rates, it's about sending the right message at the right time.

Week 1 – Shoppers realize they have less time to shop and are armed with their “for who” lists.

  • Send an email with one big picture at the top. Have a call-to-action that tells them to visit your page and shop, come into your store, or bring in the email for a free gift, but make sure you tell your holiday shoppers to respond in some way. It also starts with Cyber Monday so if you offer online sales, make sure you have a follow-up emails that feature just that day's promotions.
  • Update your Facebook page and other social media with pictures of easy gift ideas. Don't just do transactional emails that feature a broad discount - everyone does that in their marketing campaigns. Instead, use buyer personas (like if you were a toy store, what would a dad buy for his child? That should be different from what a new mother would buy). Keep the copy short and engaging; tell why it makes a great gift and give the price.

Week 2 – Shoppers started shopping for gifts back in October and are probably done so remind them to gift themselves.

  • Send an email again with one big picture. This time use wording urging them to splurge for something for themselves.

  • Update your Instagram or Facebook page with pictures of best-sellers along with a call to action come in to play with it, try it on, or just hold it in their hands.

Week 3 – The week before Christmas is panic week! Think “mission” shoppers. It’s also the best time to markdown slow movers and seasonal items.

  • Send an email again with a big picture. Give them last-minute shopping tips, parking secrets for your store's downtown area or mall. Remind them if you offer online ordering and in store pick up, that you offer free gift-wrapping or versatile gift cards - all are good to mention this week.

  • Update your Facebook page with one or two tips per day. Schedule these in advance during your down time.

  • Update Twitter or Insta - even Tik Tok with happening-at-the-moment tips - easy parking now, no waiting in line, special sales. Think temporary . Don't pre-schedule these.

Week 4 – Because Christmas is on a Wednesday, the week may be problematic as some shoppers will have to go back to work on Friday so send two.

  • The first email should feature last-minute gift ideas; maybe feature different countdown timers to Christmas.

  • Send follow-up emails on Christmas Eve touting your big clearance sale with hours you'll be open and some specifics of what will be on sale.

    See also this blog post, 9 Best Practices To Get Shoppers To Buy During the Holidays

In Sum

The National Retail Federation says consumers are planning to spend $1,048 on average, 4 percent more than they said they were going to spend last year.

You have a choice during the holidays - you can settle for the crumbs of people who happen to come to shopping in your downtown location, your strip center or mall location... or you can have the feast by using these email ideas and social media tips as reminders to loyal shoppers who already know you all that you offer in bite-sized marketing messages.

And to do even better, learn how SalesRX, my online retail sales training can help you with every sale, every day of the year. 

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