How To Use Email Marketing Now To Increase Retail Sales In December

Santa using a laptop

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Updated June 17, 2024

Ready to transform December's holiday shoppers into loyal patrons through email marketing? Make this season unforgettable for your customers and successful for your retail store by tapping into these email marketing techniques that attract customers and ensure repeat visits.

Are you focused on reminding your shoppers that they should buy from you?

At this increasingly busy time of year, you must frequently email your loyal customers 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 declining, but it is 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 still shop with competitors because you let them forget you exist. 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 receive jammed with too many products, discounts, and 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. 

30 Days to Holiday Retail Success: Your Customer Email and Social Blueprint

It's about engagement, conversion rates, and 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.

  • It all starts on Cyber Monday, so 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. If you offer online sales, ensure you have follow-up emails that feature just that Monday's promotions.

  • Update your Facebook page and other social media with pictures of easy gift ideas. Don't just do transactional emails with a broad discount - everyone does that in their marketing campaigns. Instead, use buyer personas (like if you were a toy store, what would grandparents buy for their grandchild? That should differ from what a new mother would buy). Keep the copy short and engaging; tell why it makes a great gift and give the price.

  • Tuesday - Follow up on Cyber Monday promotions (say you've extended one day)

  • Mon. Dec. 4 - Remember the USPS ground holiday shipping deadlines so packages arrive on time. Tell your customers to ship earlier so they will 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 hold it in their hands and imagine it's theirs.

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

  • Next week is Christmas! Send an email again with a big picture. Give them last-minute shopping tips and 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 Insta or TikTok with happening-at-the-moment tips - easy parking now, no waiting in line, special events. Think temporary. Don't pre-schedule these.

Week 4 – Depending on what day of the week Christmas falls on and the resulting urgency level, send one or two.

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

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

    Don't miss 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.

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 prepare for a great start to next year.