Thanksgiving weekend unveils ruthless competition at its finest. If you happen to be in the business of sales, there's even more pressure for you to utilize Thanksgiving weekend to reach your sales goals for the year. Email marketing during this time of year is the best place to invest your time wisely and get your brand recognized.
Use our Do’s and Don’ts list as a guide for anything you might have missed or not yet thought of so you don’t get left out this holiday season!
Make Your Thanksgiving Email a Priority
Everyone is placing their bets on using social media and email marketing this holiday season. According to Retailmenot.com, "a majority of retailers focus on mobile and social investments over other channels." With this in mind, it's extremely important to pick the right times and messages or risk being ignored by your subscribers. Historically, Thanksgiving day can be considered one of the better days to send offers because fewer emails are sent on Thanksgiving and more of them are opened, while compared to Black Friday, where more emails are sent with less being opened (Constantcontact.com).
Since the holiday shopping weekend of Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday basically expands into two weeks of deals, if not more, it's important to get a head start and really utilize each time slot. Some brands will use the entire month of November to run their biggest holiday sales. Using Thanksgiving day to send out offers (if directed at the correct audience) could be really beneficial to catch some early sales or get your subscribers excited for what you have in store for them in the next coming days.
60% of consumers plan to start shopping for holiday gifts before Black Friday in 2018 - RetailMeNot
Leave Off the Free Shipping
Free shipping is regularly used throughout the year for most retailers, so it's something consumers have come to expect. Retailmenot.com suggests that 61% of consumers say they will not complete an online purchase during the holiday season without first securing free shipping. It's also a top reason consumers are likely to spend more with a retailer this season.
If you're providing an offer in your Thanksgiving email and not including free shipping, there's a higher chance of getting lost in the crowd this holiday season. If sales goals are dependent upon the holidays, Thanksgiving weekend being the biggest, then it's imperative that you're competing alongside the best deals being offered.
Thank Your Audience and Provide Offers
Show some humanity in the chaos of the holidays by telling your subscribers what they really mean to you and balance sales with gratitude. Staying emotionally connected with your audience will help retain loyal followers. Therefore, it's important to remember the values of the holidays and let your users know how much you really care about them. After thanking your subscribers, it wouldn't hurt to either present them with an offer or gift they'd really enjoy and appreciate or let them know what you have in store for them in the coming days.
By the time the holidays come around, you should know what your audience is looking for. It's easy to experiment a bit if you already have your audience engaged, but if you're just starting out, it's important to take the time and research what will make a memorable email for them.
People expect a deal, they expect a special offer. It’s more or less mandatory -MailChimp
Overlook Any Links and Make Sure Everything Works
Using the holidays as a sales driver means triple checking that your users are able to correctly link to whatever you are offering or selling. If they can't easily access the correct links and information, they'll quickly find somewhere else to shop. There's just too much competition in email boxes to have room for any errors. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it happens more than one would think. There's a lot going on during the holidays and a lot of emails being planned out so it's easy to mess up. Therefore, it's recommended that multiple eyes are used to guarantee emails are free of any errors.
It's well known that video is becoming part of regular marketing tactics and since it can be easily incorporated into email, it's something that can bring instant joy or humor to your audience and keep them engaged. An email that is completely static just won't be as entertaining, especially when we're surrounded by entertainment all day every day. From animated emojis to GIFs, video and animation is becoming even more appealing than having just imagery alone.
We live in a world of skimmers because there's just so much information readily available to us and only so much we can digest at a time. Imagery and especially video are two mediums that are well known to communicate messages much more quickly and more effectively. Entertain your audience and make your emails stand out with some type of animated element - just make sure to always use email best practices.
50% of marketers who use video in email see increased click rates, sharing, and forwarding. -SocialMediaToday
Leave Yourself Without a Backup Plan
Being realistic could prevent major disappointments and sales from dropping off. So many retailers are dependent upon this holiday weekend to account for a large majority of their yearly sales. So if this weekend is super important for your business like it is for so many others, then there's no point in risking sales using an automated process. There's no "set it and forget it" process that can be used during these top retail weeks. A lot of major companies start their holiday marketing campaigns at the very beginning of the month of November so they can adjust their messaging to find out what's working and what's not, well before Thanksgiving.
There's also the chance that what you thought would work for this weekend, doesn't end up working. If you don't do anything to remedy the issues at the correct time, there's the risk of losing a lot of potential sales. It's also important to mention that a lot of employees aren't working during the holidays, so a backup plan is a must. Who will be responsible for finding out how well your campaigns are doing and if they're performing poorly, who will be responsible for making the correct adjustments?
Use Catchy Subject Lines With a Sense of Emergency
Subject lines are a BIG deal and that's why you'll find so many articles out there stressing the need for creative subject lines. The saying "don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't apply here because everyone judges their emails by the subject lines. A sea of all types of emails bombard people on a daily basis and it's so incredibly easy for yours to get lost in them. Subject lines should hold just as much importance as the email itself since it's the first thing your users will see.
Invest time and research into your subject lines and think about using emojis, humor, or get right to the point of what you're offering. It's also recommended that providing a sense of emergency helps with increasing open rates by creating a bit of mystery, and FOMO (fear of missing out). Since consumers already think this is the time of year to see some of the best deals, they're going to want to open the email to see what all the urgency is about and if it's a good deal. If it's something they're interested in, they're more likely to make a purchase knowing there's not much time left to do so.
As of 2018, there are about 124.5 billion business emails sent and received each day, while there are about 111.1 billion consumer emails sent and received each day. -Radicati
Rely Solely On Online Sales
If you have a brick and mortar store, don't leave those stores out of the Thanksgiving equation. It's definitely a controversial and a personal decision to keep stores open during Thanksgiving, however, according to Retailmenot.com, "while millennials are savvy mobile shoppers, data shows they also want in-store experiences." Millennials are more likely than older generations to visit brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day because 89% of them would like to have gift purchases in hand as soon as possible.
Start building - and sending - amazing emails
Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and begin building captivating emails for your customers. Start creating. Get out there and make the most of Thanksgiving and the holiday season and start driving more sales.
Have questions or need some advice? Drop us a line in the comments section below or join us on social!