Multichannel campaigns

Christmas marketing campaigns: the ecommerce guide

Written By Louise
On Sep, 22 2020
6 minute read

E-commerce stores that have a great selection of products and a solid Christmas marketing strategy have always seen a surge in profits throughout the holidays, and 2020 will be no different.

In fact, with customers around the world turning to online shopping for all their gift-giving needs, the 2020 holiday season is set to be the most lucrative yet for ecommerce.

But don’t rejoice just yet, because the competition for customers will be fierce. It’s time for e-merchants to stock up on their most popular items, optimize their website, and launch a first-grade Christmas marketing campaign to snap up all the holiday business.

In this guide, we’ll provide Christmas marketing ideas to help brands drive traffic and increase sales. We’ll explore best practices for email, SMS, and Funnels holiday campaigns, and throw in some Christmas ecommerce ideas to help e-merchants get started.

How to formulate a Christmas marketing strategy

Competition between brands is fierce during the holidays, so for a Christmas marketing campaign to be successful, it needs to stand out from the crowd.

Let’s take a closer look at the finer details brands need to consider when planning and executing a Christmas marketing strategy.

An e-commerce store fit for the ho-ho-holidays

Optimizing an online store for usability, design, and content is arguably the most important aspect of a successful Christmas marketing strategy. Here are some key things to consider:

Place the best content above the fold

Above the fold is an old journalistic term that refers to the top section of a newspaper. It’s where readers find the headline and all the most important information. In internet terms, it refers to the section of each website landing page a visitor sees before they scroll down.

This section’s job is to be attention-grabbing, relevant, and encourage visitors to take action. This section holds particular significance when building an e-commerce Christmas marketing strategy. E-merchants need to revisit this section and make sure it highlights top holiday offers and is divided into easy to navigate product categories. Here are some key things to consider:

  • Is it eye-catching?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Can people see all the top Christmas offers and items?

Christmas ecommerce marketing

Design a festive Christmas menu

For e-commerce websites with a large selection of products, it may be worth adding a new section on the menu highlighting all the special Christmas offers. This will help people navigate to the deals and gifts section more easily and reduce friction when visitors are searching for a specific product.

Create a sense of urgency closer to Christmas

Time is an important factor for holiday shoppers. The last-minute rush to buy gifts can work to an e-merchants advantage, as people are less likely to “come back later.” Be sure to explicitly tell visitors the date they need to order by to get their presents delivered on time. For example:

“Order by December 14th to guarantee your delivery by Christmas eve!”

Give unexpected Christmas gifts

What could be more fun for customers than receiving a free gift from their favorite online store? Get into the festive spirit and give customers a small present along with every purchase.

For e-merchants looking for a more affordable option, “spin to win” wheels can be a nice addition to landing pages and a great way to spread the Christmas joy without breaking the bank. Customers click on fun widgets and watch the wheel spin for a chance to win a free gift, discount, free shipping, or vouchers for future purchases.

Christmas marketing campaign

Increase AOV during the holiday season

Customers love a bargain at Christmas. It’s a great idea to introduce a free shipping option on orders over a certain amount or to offer a limited-time-only free shipping offer. These options not only encourage customers to add more to their baskets but also reduce the number of visitors abandoning their carts when they see the order’s final cost.

Have fun with Christmas visuals

While e-merchants shouldn’t go too off-brand with their Christmas marketing, they also shouldn’t be afraid to have some fun when designing holiday visuals. E-merchants can add small design details, like snow falling over the header or Christmas lights hanging on the footers, to add a Christmas touch to their existing branding. Some brands even design a special Christmas logo with added tinsel or Santa hats.

Send a festive Christmas email marketing campaign

E-merchants with a good-sized mailing list need to invest some serious time and effort into newsletter campaigns over the Christmas period. Here are some tips to build a festive Christmas email marketing campaign:

Curate a Christmas email marketing audience

Repeat customers are worth their weight in gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Make sure you send out a Christmas email campaign to get past, existing, and future customers excited about the upcoming Christmas promotions.

A Christmas email campaign is a great way to re-engage lost customers, so be sure to include any inactive customers or cart abandoners and turn them into repeat buyers.

Christmas marketing email

Grab attention with unique subject lines

Email subject lines should be sharp, to the point, and have a good Christmassy message. Research shows marketers should aim for 41-characters or under for optimal results. Words like “sale”, “%-off”, or “deal” all work well to catch attention, but avoid using “free” as that can end up in junk mail folders.

Throughout the holiday season, customer inboxes will be full of branded Christmas messaging. To stand out from the crowd, e-merchants should mention something unique to their brand, such as a best-selling product now on sale.

Add some color with Christmas emojis

Christmas emojis are a fun way to help an email stand out in a full inbox. Use emojis sparingly as to not overpower the message, and remember not all email platforms support them, so put them at the beginning or end of subject lines to avoid formatting issues: 🎅 🎄💫 🎁 ❄️, etc.

Thank customers with gift vouchers

E-merchants with a decent marketing budget can give customers time-limited discounts on future purchases as a thank you at Christmas time. Not only is it a nice gesture, but it also encourages customers to come back and buy again.

Give gift recommendations to increase AOV

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, customers are rushing to tick loved-ones off their Christmas lists. E-merchants who offer a one-stop-shop for their customer’s gift shopping needs see a big uptick in orders.

Use marketing emails to recommend relevant gifts (for him, for her, for the kids) and encourage customers to buy things they weren’t even looking for. A similarly effective tactic is to recommend similar or complementary products on the add to cart screen or the checkout page.

Spread Christmas cheer over SMS

Did you know that the open rate of SMS marketing is 98%, with 95% of these opened within 3 minutes? SMS is the perfect channel for e-merchants who want their Christmas messaging opened by a wide audience and read fast.

Thank loyal customers with Christmas discounts

The holiday season is the perfect time to thank VIP customers for their loyalty with special discount codes. A promotional Christmas SMS grabs customer’s attention, drives spending, and increases customer retention in the long term.

Customers use discount codes sent over SMS 10x more than codes sent via any other marketing medium, making SMS an imperative channel in any Christmas marketing strategy.

Run a festive competition

For e-merchants not able to offer Christmas discounts to their entire contact base, an SMS competition is a great way to achieve the same buzz and excitement without breaking the bank.

Offer clients the chance to win something with an SMS such as: 

Christmas marketing SMS

Wish customers a happy holiday

It’s important to remember that everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so send customers an SMS wishing them a happy holiday instead. A festive SMS is a good way of staying top of mind when customers are compiling their shopping lists. Just be sure to include a link to any seasonal offers or special gift pages.

Have a clear call to action

Every marketing SMS should have a clear next step for customers to take. A CTA could be either a link to a specific product, a website page, or to return to an abandoned shopping cart.

Don’t leave customers in any doubt over what to do next, include a link with a simple, easy-to-understand message, e.g.

Click here for your free Christmas shipping offer!

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