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Seasonal | 5 MIN READ
The holiday season is fast approaching. As brands gear up for the biggest revenue-driving quarter of the year, they are stepping up their holiday marketing game to encourage repeat traffic both in-store and online. But the retail landscape is constantly evolving and marketers who want to stand out from the competition will need to understand the numerous factors influencing consumers’ decisions where to shop for the holidays. Marketing and promotional messages specific to the holidays are an important part of holiday planning, but standard marketing campaigns (when appropriately tweaked) can also be leveraged to boost holiday sales.
Here are 2 ways marketers can make the most of their existing marketing programs to drive sales during the holidays and beyond:
According to a recent consumer study, 73% of consumers typically shop with retailers who have reached out to them consistently throughout the year and worked to build a relationship, while only 27% said they shop with new retailers during key periods such as the holidays and back-to-school season.1
Savvy marketers understand the importance of keeping that fine balance between customizing marketing messages to stay relevant to their audience and adhering to their brand’s identity regardless of the message. Consistently delivering relevant communications will keep you top-of-mind, so when the time comes to shop for the holidays, your audience is already primed for conversion.
A great example of a brand doing this well is The Body Shop. As shown below, the brand’s email marketing program seamlessly incorporates relevant and unique content while adhering to its brand identity throughout the promotional, triggered, and seasonal messages.
1) Subject line: Meet Our Newest Charity Partner!
Date sent: May 30th
The Body Shop takes a break from their standard promotional messages to reaffirm their support and commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, a.k.a To Enrich Not Exploit™ - and be a leading ethical and sustainable global business.
2) Subject line: Keep Calm! Our NEW Fall Favorite Has Arrived
Date sent: Sept 10th
Sent towards the end of summer, this well-timed message aims to relate to subscribers by posing a skincare remedy for something many of us may have been guilty of - over exposure to the summer sun.
3) Subject line: Thanks for your order
Date sent: Nov 19th, following a product purchase
During the holiday months, the brand not only incorporated holiday themes within their standard promotional emails but also updated their triggered messages to provide more relevant information specific to the season. This email, triggered by an online order, offers updated delivery times due to increased holiday traffic and helping customers adjust their expectations.
4) Subject line: Enchanting Christmas Gifts Have Arrived!
Date sent: November 3rd
And speaking of incorporating holiday themes within promotional messages, the brand did a great job of amping up their festive theme with fairytale content and complementing copy with beautiful accents depicting scenes of an enchanted forest.
Gone are the days when consumers just considered product quality or price as the primary factor when making purchasing decisions. Findings from recent consumer studies show that 3 in 4 consumers now place customer experience as a critical factor in their purchasing decisions. Furthermore, about two-thirds of the respondents indicated that a positive experience with a brand is more valuable to them than great advertising.2
In-store visits, customer service support, and connecting to a brand via social media channels are all are contributing factors in forming the customer’s experience - be it positive or negative. While providing consistent customer experiences across multiple channels may seem like a daunting task, the good news is that marketers don’t have to return to the drawing board in order to deliver great customer experiences this holiday season.
For instance, marketers can use the lessons and customer feedback from the previous year to determine which aspects of the customer experience need attention for the upcoming season and then tackle them. Marketers can take a cue from the customer experience enhancements, effectively adopted by the following brands:
Butterball: The Turkey Talk-Line
For many households the brand Butterball is synonymous with Thanksgiving. To hold their ground as the most recognizable turkey brand in the country, their team goes through great lengths (and many customer support calls) to perfect the customer experience. What started out as a customer support call line for anything and everything to do with preparing the perfect turkey dinner, Butterball’s Turkey Talk-line has expanded to other channels to remain relevant in the changing times. Their recent move that enabled customers to connect with Butterball via Amazon Alexa is a great example of the brand’s continuing commitment to making meaningful customer experiences accessible to anyone every Thanksgiving season.
Target - Honing in on customers’ pain points to increase in-store traffic.
Many would agree that navigating through holiday crowds and waiting in long (and seemingly endless) check-out lines are two of the least fun parts of holiday shopping. During the 2018 holiday season, Target made a noteworthy attempt to eliminate this annual holiday plight by introducing a service called Skip-the-Line. The service allowed in-store employees to use mobile devices to complete a shopper’s checkout transaction from any location within the store. Not only were shoppers able to completely skip the registers but those who shopped in the busiest parts of Target stores, such as the electronics department, got quicker access to employees with mobile-checkout devices during peak holiday shopping hours.3
These two holiday tips are just a few of the many examples that can help marketers drive a successful holiday season. and since consumer expectations for convenience and relevant communications will only grow, continuously revisiting marketing programs and refining various elements of the customer experience will help fuel brand growth during the holiday season and beyond.
To get a comprehensive report on data-driven strategies to help plan for a successful holiday season, download our 2019 Holiday Marketing Guide.