At the risk of alienating you, dear reader, I have to tell you that in the last week the ‘C’ word has been used a lot around here. Mainly by Steve, and with good cause I hasten to add.
There’s no easy way to break this to you folks, but Steve just said
It’s inexorable – Strictly’s back, X-Factor’s back, Dr Who’s back – all these point inevitably toward the jingle of a bell and a ho ho ho.
A Man with a Plan
Steve gets a bit giddy about Christmas (though he tries to pretend he doesn’t) as he’s a sucker for novelty socks (anyone who’s met him will appreciate this!) and the cheap, plastic contents of a cracker. However, when it comes to Direct Marketing and the Christmas season, he’s unstoppable! He might leave buying me my pressie until the VERY LAST minute, but when it comes to email marketing, he’s all about the effective planning and implementation of seasonal direct marketing campaigns.
Steve’s philosophy is that from a direct marketing point of view it is very nearly Christmas. It’s well worth having a think about how your products/services promotion can tie in with the festive season. What opportunities are there for your business at Christmas? How do you make your brand stand out from the crowd? Make a plan that covers:
Aims and objectives – What is it you would like to achieve? More sales? More subscribers? Whatever it is, make sure it’s measurable so you can assess the success of your campaign and make any adjustments for next year.
Engagement – How will you design your content so that it engages the reader so that they open your email?
The offer – How are you going to attract your customers? Free downloads? Special offers? Free delivery? Extended returns policy?
Get creative – Christmas is a fun and often a gloriously cheesy time for marketing – why not make the most of it!
Tie-ins – don’t forget to plan how your email campaign can tie in with your website, landing pages and social media platform
Now you’ve made a plan it’s time to implement it!
Schedule – make a detailed plan of how and when your communications will run.
Follow up – keep assessing the reach of your communications every time they run so that you can make adjustments or re-think your approach for the next one if needs be.
Deliver your message – whatever you are promising, make sure you are delivering on it. If your campaigns are successful you are going to get busy so make sure your planning includes your ability to deliver on your promise.
When you are creating your ‘run-up to Christmas’ campaigns, consider the following for campaign success:
- Make your headlines attention-grabbing but avoid SPAM trap words such as FREE
- Personalise and target your emails to make the most effective.
- Make your content unique and engaging – make it worthwhile opening an email from you.
- Schedule your messages so that they land at a time your target customer will most likely read them.
- It doesn’t hurt to throw a little festive decoration into your emails and on your website!
- Collect the data you gather in order to grow your list of contacts for further campaigns but don’t forget to action all unsubscribe messages.