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3 Key Crosschannel Email Strategies for the Holidays

Here's an article I wrote for Multichannel Merchant:

Recently, I heard a friend say that they’ve already had to use the “Santa’s watching” story to keep their children from misbehaving, and it’s only October.

As we are approach the holiday season, there are some key things to consider in designing your holiday email marketing campaigns, and creating a successful cross-channel holiday experience for your customers this season should be one of them. Are you as prepared as you’d like to be at this point?

Consider these key strategies as you prepare for this holiday season:

Optimize your campaigns across multiple channels
The success of your holiday email campaigns relies heavily on whether they are optimized and properly designed for consumers viewing your messages on multiple devices. StrongView’s Marketing Services Team recently helped a large crafts retailer undergo a complete email template redesign to get them fully mobile optimized.

The brand wanted to make sure their messages were mobile-friendly, so we helped them reduce the number of offers and resized images accordingly as an initial place to start. We also created content with less prose and more calls to action, and emphasized the brand's most compelling content.

Properly organizing the content made it easier for their customers to engage with their messages on mobile devices. By taking a proactive approach early on, their email campaigns are now fully optimized and ready for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Before launching your own holiday campaigns, take a look at your messages and try to make a purchase from your phone or on a tablet. What are the obstacles you find? Take note that if it's difficult to complete a purchase because customers have to scroll or scan multiple pages, you should consider optimizing your templates.

Don’t forget who’s using multiple channels
Last holiday season, 18% of consumers made a purchase on their mobile devices, and we would only expect this to increase this year. Currently, 68% of shoppers are using mobile sites, and 76% of shoppers are using smartphones. Keep this in mind when targeting consumers this holiday season.
Remember that consumers viewing your email messages on mobile are usually “on the go,” and they can be easily distracted.

Maybe their kids interrupt them while shopping, or they have an early meeting to start and they can’t look at their phone, tablet or laptop. In order to engage mobile customers, you need to make your compelling content/call to action easy to see with next steps clearly defined and easy to implement. Make it easy for them to engage quickly and easily.

Keep in mind that 4 out of 10 people are purchasing from tablets. Tablet users more often have higher purchase rates, and it’s primarily due to the fact that the screen is larger. With tablets, consumers scroll less than they do with their mobile phones. If you're targeting tablet users, remember that most purchases are made while customers are at home in the evenings – often while watching TV.

Understand the crosschannel holiday consumer buying cycle
Consumers often use their smartphones to research products and other deals while in-store. How can you enhance your customer experience to make purchasing with your company more immersive? Why do they want to interact with your email messages? What are the goals you’re looking to achieve with them?

You want to understand and take note of the consumer buying cycle. The funnel is still the same, but the way consumers go about researching and purchasing is changing. Support the shopping activities of customers, who increasingly are looking for access to a retailer when and where it’s convenient for them. Informative and engaging content needs to be present in your holiday campaigns across all channels to facilitate a customer researching and ultimately buying.

Think about the content people may be seeking out about your brand – it’s the holiday season, and consumers are looking for the best sales from brands that are top of mind. Consider sending SMS alerts to keep them updated about new sales events over Thanksgiving weekend. Use mobile location data to target consumers who are at relevant retail locations and email them coupons while they are shopping to use at checkout. Ask yourself “How are my customers buying from these devices, and how are they using them as their mobile wallet?”

With the holiday season fast approaching, remember to “make your list, and check it twice.” With 57% of consumers owning a laptop, 53% owning a smartphone, and 19% owning a tablet, it’s important to make sure that your holiday email campaigns are fully optimized and properly targeting all of these channels.

So remember this year to know what devices your customers use to engage with your campaign and take the time to understand their buying cycles. And don't forget to create engaging, relevant and innovative crosschannel strategies to keep your brand top of mind this holiday season!

Posted by: Brittany Landenberger at 8:44 AM
Categories: crosschannel, email, strategies, email strategies, holiday email