The biggest shopping weekend of 2015 is here! Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales are expected to increase 6-8% over 2014 (in the US) and $105 billion will be spent. (Source: National Retail Federation and Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The biggest driver of sales? Email marketing.
"Email was by far the primary marketing channel driving e-commerce orders, accounting for 27.3% on Black Friday, 23.9% on Cyber Monday, and 23.1% during the Thanksgiving weekend overall. When it really matters, consumers turn to their inbox." (Source: Marketing Land)
Here are a few email tips to increase your holiday sales:
1. Use words that increase conversions.
Campaign monitor A/B tested subject lines on 3,941,735,015 recipients, from 360,872 campaigns and 11,207 lists.
Here are some of the top words to use in subject lines that can boost your conversions:
You'll notice that each of these words evoke an either a feeling of connection, urgency, connection, or interest — all of which are necessary to help you make holiday sales.
If you want to make the subject line more playful, consider using an emoji in your subject lines. The playfulness of an emoji are a good complement to the holidays and can help your subject line stand out in a sea of emails.
2. Include holiday words.
Now that you know the list of data-driven words that convert, tie them in with holiday words to remind subscribers you're offering deals only available during the holidays.
Here is the list of holiday words that stand out:
When you can, work with both lists to create an excellent subject line.
3. Create custom gift guides based on your customer list.
Tailor your emails to segmented lists. Not only is it important to offer promotions in your subject lines, but it's also important to offer solutions to holiday shopping problems. For example, some people may not know what to get the dog lover or coffee addict in their life.
To find your customer list on GearLaunch, click on the 'Customers' tab in the left menu bar. If you use tags, search for a specific tag to segment the customer list. Download CSV list and upload the list to your favorite email marketing provider.
This example from Give A Fluff helps alleviate holiday stress by providing links to their holiday shop with gifts broken down by breed.
Here are a few more holiday gift guide examples:
I don't often get animated GIFs in my email, so this email from Tory Burch really stands out from other gift guides.
Start using animated GIFs and unique imagery in your holiday emails, especially if it matches the tone of your brand.
4. Create scarcity in your email marketing.
Learn to create scarcity in your email marketing, especially on Black Friday. Greats gives their customers a Black Friday report on their inventory.
A few key words they use to create urgency: "Moving fast," "Almost Sold Out," and "No time to be on the fence."
If there's a limited time to get a discount or up-sell before the holiday deadline, be sure to communicate that! Use your emails to remind customers that a design or sale will be ending soon.
5. Open and clicks decrease during the holidays
If your open rates aren't as high during the holidays, don't worry! According to MailChimp user data, open and click rates tend to decline around the holidays.
People are getting a lot of email and it's hard for them to pay attention to all of it.
Below are MailChimp's email sending volume projections for this year:
That's why subject lines are so important— they determine whether or not a reader will engage. Take advantage of the subject line and be clear about the promotions or gift guides you are offering.