Because there’s so much to do in preparation for the holidays, it can be difficult for customers to keep track of various deadlines for making a purchase in time for Christmas. This can be good news for retailers, since keeping customers aware of deadlines builds urgency to act and keeps holiday shopping manageable while improving customer satisfaction.
When planning your email marketing for the holidays don’t forget to include timed discounts as well as deadline notices, including shipping and refund policy cut-off dates. Most shoppers will set aside information they find in an email for later use, or refer to an email at a later date; use your digital marketing to keep them from procrastinating until it’s too late by encouraging them to act now before a holiday deadline.
Whether you’re offering timed sales, daily deals or notifications on shipping deadlines, capture customer attention to alert them to things they don’t want to miss. Urgent subject lines go a long way to encourage readers to open and click through, so use them to your advantage by letting shoppers know that time’s almost up on an offer:
- Early birds save 20% on ornaments this weekend!
- Last day for HUGE savings—don’t miss out!
- Act NOW for free shipping!
Invitations to Act
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you may also consider throwing a holiday event to demo products, give away samples and feature special discounts. Your email list is an excellent way to alert customers with a digital “save the date”—let them know whether they need to RSVP by a certain time, and invite them a couple weeks beforehand (along with a quick reminder days before the event). Let your digital marketing contribute to your in-store sales too!
Daily deals bring a little bit of excitement to each day and encourage consumers to act quickly before a sale is over. It’s a good idea to segment your list into demographics so you can target consumers based on their unique needs and interests.
Keep an Eye on Shipping
Shipping is a big factor for online conversions; 68% of carts are abandoned due to a long delivery wait. During the holiday season when every second counts and stress levels are high, you can imagine how much shipping options matter to your online shoppers.
Customers love free shipping:
- 93% of shoppers take action to qualify for free shipping, and the leading action to take is adding items to a cart (58%).
- 83% of customers say they will wait an additional 2 days or more to receive free shipping.
Offering free shipping is a great way to boost customer satisfaction and conversions but don’t forget to alert customers on shipping deadlines. Often times free shipping is slower than premium – fast shipping, so build a sense of urgency by telling customers to act fast if they want to take advantage. In the days leading up to the final deadline, shipments—free or premium—are guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas, alert customers ahead of time so they know time is limited.
Redirect Last Minute Shoppers to your Physical Store
While you may want to drive e-commerce sales with your email marketing, don’t forget your physical store! After your shipping deadline has passed, offer shoppers to come into your physical store for their last-minute purchases and order pick-ups. If you’re offering different hours for the holidays, be sure to let customers know—extended hours make it easier for customers strapped for time to get through the door.
Online, you may want to make a final push for gift certificates in the final hours or days before Christmas, perhaps offering cash back for shoppers purchasing one for someone else.
Christmas Isn’t the End!
Even after the holiday deadline has passed shoppers are still looking out for sales. Last year, 22 million Britons visited offline stores on Boxing Day. In the spirit of the holidays, gift your loyal customers timed discounts or coupons that they can use to get themselves something special after Christmas.
You may also expect a great deal of gifts to be returned following the holiday. Analyse your customers’ online behaviour and purchase patterns to upsell and cross-sell. You may also want to keep them informed on your return policy so they can make the deadline for returns.
To wrap it all up, here are five 5 second suggestions for you to consider:
- Consider keeping your customers informed about holiday deadlines throughout your email marketing.
- Take advantage of your subscribers list to invite your audience to special holiday events at your physical store.
- Consider offering free shipping during the holiday season but make sure to inform customers about delivery dates.
- Invite your last minute shoppers to your offline store to pick-up their orders or last minute gifts.
- Make sure your online and physical stores are ready to accommodate the increased traffic after Christmas.