Whether you like it or not, the festive season is upon us. So as we brace ourselves for unbearably busy high streets, the rush to get the last advent calendar and the arduous, lengthy process of choosing a present for Grandad, marketers should be looking to utilise their data streams to target the end user and drive business growth at Christmas.
Email marketing ensures your Christmas message lands straight in your prospect’s inbox – but that’s only if your email database is clean, segmented and the content is personalised. Any email campaign should include cross channel promotion, to widen the reach of your brand and encourage engagement on social media. Email remains the most popular activity on smartphones, with 78% of 18-44 year olds claiming they use their mobile device to check email.
For cooking product manufacturers, for example, an email campaign could be a series of specialist Christmas recipes and if they share the recipe with a friend via email they get enrolled into a prize draw. In our connected world, all email marketing campaigns should be integrated with social media. Fail to do so and you’re missing a massive trick. A seriously creative way to align the two channels is to run retargeting ads on Twitter for people who clicked on your emails. It’s not stalking, it’s smart.
To acquire more email addresses, look to create a compelling content offer that requires data capture. Landing pages direct users to a form where you can include as many or as little mandatory fields as you want. This data capture ensures you can personalise emails with their first name and send them targeted content that speaks to their specific job role or topic preferences. A compelling offer at Christmas could come in the form of a competition, exclusive webinar or limited edition product giveaway.
Analysing your open rates and click-through rates is a fundamental part of your data-driven marketing strategy. Why? Because it tells the stories behind the behaviour of your prospects that will help you improve your overall marketing communications. If Jane Doe opened email A, but not email B, you need to draw comparisons against the time of day each was sent and the language used in the subject line. If she opened email A but didn’t click through on your call-to-action (CTA), you need to examine the layout, where the CTA was positioned, the colours used and whether the CTA itself was relevant to the email content.
Social Media Integration
We’ve touched on this lightly already, but we feel it deserves its very own section. A recent study on a particular company found out that just 50% of their social media following were also subscribed to their newsletter. Although the purpose of these digital platforms are different – email is more transactional whereas social media is about sharing information – combining your owned and earned channels together creates for a more immersive experience for your audience.
You own your prospects’ email addresses, but you must earn social engagement through strong brand communications and compelling content. That’s why using social media to acquire more data is an innovative venture that opens up more opportunities to get target prospects into your funnel.
An ‘advent calendar’ theme for Christmas content may seem a little cliche, but there’s so many angles in which you can approach it. Using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – whichever is you more prominent social channel – you can encourage signups by promising an email newsletter series that will release exclusive insight in the 25 days lead up to Christmas day.
For added interaction, another idea is to create a social media quiz/poll that calls for your audience’s’ opinion. There’s nothing more empowering than a brand that listens to its customers. To incorporate this into your email marketing strategy, you can reveal the results of said quiz/poll via email, incentivising those who participate to subscribe.
However you acquire the data, the most important thing is that you’ve now got their email addresses in your system – you just need to keep them there.
For more email marketing tactics, check out our blog post Email Marketing: Getting Your Automation Sorted With the Right Tactics