This time of year is always exhilarating in ecommerce and email marketing. 2021 is no different, and while many of you have completed Black Friday Cyber Monday, we turn around and shift into the "Holiday" season. Quickly approaching shipping and cultural deadlines, let's chat through what you need to be sending in December.
When I think of this time in December, my two biggest priorities are gifting and shipping related newsletters. Now that doesn't mean those are my only priorities, but they are the tent polls that I end up building everything else around. Especially my last day to ship. If you haven't already, make sure you establish your last shipping day(s). If you're up for it, you may be able to extend some last-minute shipping with local delivery, but that isn't a solution for everyone.
Shopify created a list of shipping deadlines... though with recent delays, you may want to add extra time to these deadlines.
Let's break the month down by week:
The last week of November, first few days of December - At this point you're probably finishing out your Cyber Monday/Week sales. If you have already completed those, then get a start on gifting by creating your gifting collections and sending out a gifting-related newsletters. Make sure to have your shipping deadlines included somewhere in the message.
The first full week of December (5th - 11th) - Focus on gifting and any live in-person events you might be having (such as a pop-up or in-store special). When it comes to gifting you have a variety of newsletter topics you could try:
- Gift Guide - one big collection of all the 'gifts' on your site
- Gift Guides by price or persona - collections that have been divided by specific product characteristics. Example: Products under $25.
- Stocking stuffers - linking to products that are small and a lower price point.
- Treat-yo-self/self gifting - using language that encourages people to buy themselves a gift or product they will want for the holidays. Example: a serving dish that would look good at a family meal.
These are some of the classics, but obviously you can create your own that match your brand's style and voice.
If you're making people aware of a pop-up or in-store event, make sure to list the essential info, when/where. State why the event is important and what benefit will be there if they come. Example: Join us on Saturday from 11-4 for the Holiday Event, we'll be raffling off prizes all day, free gift wrap, and hot chocolate for everyone!
Note: double check your sending deadlines, you may need to have your last shipping date within this week.
December 12th-18th - At this point, most retailers will be starting to express deadlines for shipping. Last chance newsletters can be very helpful in getting subscribers to purchase. Having a deadline reminds people of the urgency of purchasing. Often I see a lot of last-minute sales going on here. Many of the Black Friday sales started very early this year, so it could be that many people have already spent their holiday budget. However, let's face it, there will always be people who waited until the last minute and now are panicking.
Supply people with the date/time they need to order by in order to get their package to the destination by the desired date.
- Last day of Hanukah = Monday, December, 6th
- Christmas Eve = Friday, December, 24th
- Kwanzaa = Starts Sunday, December, 26th
- Winter Solstice = Tuesday, December 21st
December 19th-25th - At this point you maybe past your last shipping date. If you're still doing live events or local delivery fantastic, keep people aware of your hours and keep going. Try sending out a gift card newsletter for those who are still looking for ways to make a few last-minute sales. Promote them as great last-minute gifts and state the dollar amounts that people can buy.
December 26th - 1st - This is typically when people promote their end of year sales to get rid of any merchandise they didn't sell and need to clear room for new products. However, just because that's what many retailers and brands do, it doesn't mean it's right for you. If offering yet another sale doesn't sit well with you, consider doing a "Get what you really wanted" type newsletter.
Don't have time to create newsletters right now? We can help with that. Use the new Campaign Templates to get your holiday newsletters out ASAP. We provide the design, images, copy - all you need to do is add in your products.
December Tip of The Month: Holiayize your newsletters.
We've been in the holiday season for a while at this point. But for those of you who haven't already, I suggest making a few minor tweaks to your newsletters to help get extra clicks and sales for this time of year.
1) Add "Gifts" to your menu bar
2) Consider using .gifs in your newsletters. They can be subtle and short, but a little movement can help attract more clicks.
3) Don't spin your wheels, making the same content over and over again. Make a piece of content and then save the section and use it over and over again.
4) Add in holiday/gift-related imagery to your newsletters. This is a visual reminder to your subscribers to purchase gifts and get into the season.
Unfortunately, spooky season has passed us by, and we're now rapidly approaching Thanksgiving and the holiday season. BFCM is on the top of everyone's mind, so let's dive into this month's episode.
First, we need to acknowledge that November is a very busy time for cultural, retail, and personal dates. Meaning that you'll want to pick and choose what you want to focus on. It's unrealistic to try and capitalize on everything happening this month. I'd suggest focusing in on what's most important for you and your audience. For example—November 11th is:
- Veterans Day (USA)—This typically utilizes a patriotic-themed message and includes an incentive/discount to shop. Similar to President's day/Memorial day/Labor Day. Check out the Seguno template store for examples.
- Remembrance day (UK)—A day of respect and charity for those military members lost in foreign wars and to continue to support those who have survived. Not associated with large sales, but cause marketing to benefit related charities would make sense.
- Singles day (China)—A record-breaking day of sales from prominent ecommerce site Alibaba. This event continues to grow every year and has seen more popularity in the west. It's not nearly as popular as BFCM or the holidays. But worth looking into if you think your audience would respond well. More information and examples can be found here.
If you're trying to decide if you should promote one of these days via email marketing, I would think about your audience and if they would truly expect/benefit from such a newsletter. If you know you have quite a few subscribers who enjoy Alibaba or Singles day, I would consider creating a Singles day newsletter and making the most it. On the other hand, if none of these dates have significance with your audience, feel free to focus your efforts on newsletters that will make sense.
Let's talk about Thanksgiving newsletters.
Want to know "What do I send on Thanksgiving?". Thanksgiving is right in the middle of BFCM and can be overlooked, I'll admit that I don't think it's a necessary message to include in your BFCM plan. However, it can be quite useful for some Shopify Merchants and really help you connect with your audience. In the episode we talk through a few examples, and you can see and learn more about them in our Thanksgiving Day Message ideas post.
Next up, it's Black Friday/Cyber Monday - BFCM!
Have you seen our new Holiday Hub and the different resources we have for BFCM 2021?
Here's a quick rundown:
- BFCM Lookbook—great for finding ideas on how your emails marketing can look this year
- BFCM Course—This course is a great way for you to find your BFCM strategy
- BFCM Webinar—Join us for this virtual event as I walk through our BFCM course and answer your questions LIVE!
- Holiday Hub—the central resource for all things BFCM and Holiday. We're adding more all the time.
Use these resources to prep for BFCM and be ready. It's a great time of year to make sales, and we don't want you leaving any money on the table!!
Tip of the month!
This month I want you to take a moment to think about your automations. Do you have your welcome series and abandoned cart series up and running?
- Yes—great, consider double-checking them to make sure they include links to any holiday/BFCM themed collections/sales.
- No—Set these up! You are going to be putting a lot of effort and money into getting people to your site. These automatons are KEY to making the most money possible this holiday season.
Want to take it to the next level? Get your post-purchase newsletters set up as well. This is a great way to make your new customers feel taken care of and helps set you up for your next sale.
Want more help on this? Take a look at this webinar we did with Shopify on the Top 3 Automations to set up.
It's well into the Fall season and soon spooktacular savings will be visiting your inbox. Let's take a look at some inspiration for this month.
First up we'll take a look at some more fall newsletters. This time specifically those that while are focused on the season, are taking a more subtle approach. This can be good for brands who want to keep their brand aesthetic front and center. Remember we have more Fall Season email examples in last month's video, feel free to take look below.
Next, it's my favorite time of year, Halloween. There are many different ways to approach this popular cultural tradition. You aren't locked into a childish version of the holiday, take a peek at some of the examples in the video. One major thing to remember is if you sell products that people want for the 31st (or that weekend), you'll want to make sure to send out your promotions and list out shipping info so that people can get their products in time. Don't feel like you need to re-invent the wheel for content here. There's some great copy in these examples that can inspire you.
Tip of the month
What are your subscribers interested in? You know what they buy, but what got them to click through the email? You can check the links that were clicked and get a better idea of what got the interest of your audience. You can use this information to build out smarter newsletters in the future. Just like website performance data, email click data helps you understand what motivates your audience.
September marks the end of summer and the official preview to Fall. As many of you have already noticed retailers and merchants are already taking advantage of this change in season.
In this video, we'll cover Labor Day and Fall-related newsletters. PLUS we've got a great tip of the month for Shopify Merchants on how to use customer reviews in newsletters.
Within online e-commerce, the Fall season not only marks a season change but starts us down the path to the Holiday season. At this point, it would be too soon to mention holiday shopping, but consumers are aware of the change in season and are poised to shop for it. This is why this season has traditionally done so well. Take a moment to figure out how you can mark the change in season and relate that back to your target audience.
Tip of the month
The importance of gathering reviews is something that every Shopify Merchant is well aware of. What if you could use those great reviews as content within your email messages? I suggest you give it a go. Reviews offer up genuine thoughts from other customers and will be more relatable than anything you can come up with. There are plenty of ways you can put these into your messages watch this month's episode for examples and ideas.
We're in the dog days of summer folks. While there aren't too many specific dates in August that Shopify Merchants are concerned with. It is a VERY big retail month. That's because we have 3 major shopping events happening.
- End of Summer Sales
- Labor day prep
In this video, we cover them all and show off examples. PLUS we've got a great tip of the month for Shopify Merchants who want to send more targeted messages.
Back-to-School/Back-to-Collage: This season is expected to bring in over $100 billion dollars in revenue. We know people are looking to spend, and it's likely that Shopify Merchants who present their products in the right light will make money off any Back-to-School campaigns. What's the key? To understand how your product can solve a problem for kids/young adults going back to school, or for their parents. This means Back-to-School is not limited to only merchants who sell pens/paper. It means that if you have a product that can solve a problem for the season, you should consider putting together an email marketing message that includes Back-to-School. FWIW I really love the examples we put in the video.
You can check out more information on our templates for Back-to-School here.
End of Summer Sales: For some Shopify Merchants this is a great chance to heavily discount stock so they can clear the way for Fall products. There is no pressure to do this and it's not obligatory for all merchants. If it fits your brand then go for it, people love a sale and it will get their attention.
Labor day prep: Yep, that's right! Labor day is the first week of September, you'll want to prep whatever you need to in August to get ready. Just like how we did for the 4th of July. Labor day is another regional holiday that is focused on straightforward promotions. You don't need to overthink this message. If you do a discount make sure that it's something that helps your business and doesn't cost you money.
Note: Keep your eye on the template store, we already have a lot of patriotic templates that will work and we'll be releasing more soon.
I've just listed 3 promotional events to consider for August. However, don't consider doing all three mandatory. Back-to-School is very powerful, and if you can tie your product into the season, then it's a smart thing to put in your emails. You do NOT need to have a discount with it. You can simply present your products and how they help the "Back-to-School" season. Yes, discounts do drive sales, but please always be cautious of over discounting.
A note on discounts: Remember you can set a minimum threshold, create bundles, or use a free gift. Check out this post from Shopify.
Tip of the month
Sending messages to targeted customer groups. This is a popular question for our support team so we made it our tip of the month. You can easily create customer saved searches and then send to them via Seguno.
Seguno already lives inside your Shopify Store, so all the data is easy to access. Once you have created a customer group, then you can customize the recipient list with a few clicks.
Your saved searches are based on your customer data (this is the proprietary 1st party data that you own) such as the number of orders, value spent, or date of first purchase. You can use this data to find VIPs, people who haven't shopped, or people who haven't shopped recently.
You can also use customer tags to create saved customer groups. This can be useful if you've been tracking customers and now want to send separate messages to separate groups.
Comments or questions? Here's the link to the YouTube video, leave a comment there and we'll see it. For app questions feel free to use live chat or reach out to us at Help@seguno.com