How To Use Email Marketing To Increase Retail Sales In December

Bob Phibbs By
December email marketing

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Are 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.

Customers are out there shopping for a once-in-a-generation spending spree, but how focused are you on 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 consumers 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. 

Here is a month-long schedule of email and social media messaging

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 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.
  • Tue Nov. 30 - Follow up on Cyber Monday promotions (say you've extended one day)
  • Mon Dec. 6 - Last day to ship through USPS ground. It really is December 15th but tell your customers that day so they can not be disappointed.

Week 2 – Shoppers started shopping for gifts early and are nearly 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 mark down slow movers and seasonal items.

  • Fri Dec. 17 - Next week is Christmas! 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 pickup, 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 downtime.

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

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

  • Mon Dec. 20 - Last-minute gift ideas. The first email should feature last-minute gift ideas; maybe feature different countdown timers to Christmas.

  • Send follow-up emails early in the day 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

You have a choice during the holidays - you can settle for the crumbs of people who happen to come to shop in your downtown location, your strip center, or mall location... or you can enjoy the feast by using these email ideas and social media tips as reminders to loyal shoppers who already know you of 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 - especially to get ready for a great 2022. 

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