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You need a little Christmas in your marketing plan now (Yes! Already!)

Preparing for the new holiday normal 

Planning for the holidays in 2019 was pretty straight forward with predictable patterns to follow when setting the marketing calendar. But this year is different, and we don’t know if what we consider business as usual will return in time for the holiday.

There is a possibility that bricks-and-mortar stores will be forced to close due to lockdowns in the face of a resurgence of coronavirus. There is also the possibility that customers who have shifted to online ordering this spring will not want to return to the crowds in stores even if they have the option.

In the absence of store visits, shoppers will look online for their holiday inspiration. That’s where eCommerce sellers have an opportunity to offer visually-rich content on their sites, blogs,  social media, and newsletters.  This is relevant for a number of verticals identified by consumer searches, including fashion, beauty, and general retail.

Remarkety allows you to reach out to them with trigger-based automation to deliver one-to-one level personalized holiday messaging. The powerful combination of  Remarkety’s advanced segmentation and built-in variable data codes ensures each of your recipients is treated as an individual. They are addressed by name and shown what is of interest to them rather than getting a generic message that doesn’t reflect what they’re about.

With time on your side, you can plan ahead and gather the customer data points that will enable you to make holiday sales to both your established customers but to new customers who came on board during the lockdown. The way to do that is by reaching out to them on their terms, not just thanking them for becoming a customer but with personalized communication that shows an awareness of their preferences and taste.

For a detailed look at personalization and segmentation for holiday marketing, see Dos and Dont’s – Holidays Season Email Marketing

Consumers felt they need a little Christmas now

Of course, Christmas is always on December 25, but in terms of being on the mind of both sellers and customers, it started in the spring. That’s the finding of Pinterest’s report,  Earlier Than Ever Holiday 2020 .

Pinterest admits that its audience is a bit earlier to the holiday party than most people, meaning they start their holiday activity in September. But in 2020 they started that as early as April. Pinterest assumes it’s  because they were stuck at home, dealing with a scary situation,   and “craving the comfort of the holidays.”

The glimpses of Christmases yet to be that consumers are indulging in now can be a gold mine for businesses that can capitalize on the indications of interests to prepare for the holiday season.

Planning ahead for a successful holiday season 

Marketers can plan ahead using insight based on data. You already have some first-party data your business has on your customers’ purchase history and can augment that by using data about general trends to launch your holiday marketing campaigns.

See Remarkety’s Ultimate Guide to Holiday Email Marketing

For example, 40% of the people Pinterest surveyed indicated they would need to curtail spending this year. Such customers could be responsive to special early promotions that come ahead of standard holiday sales starting in November.

Remarkety can help you deliver awesome looking automated #EarlyBirdSavings email campaigns that convert. 

One advantage of early holiday promotions is that it allows sellers to pace themselves and not be overwhelmed by everyone placing their orders in late November. Another is that these orders identify what people are interested in. Registering that interest early on allows sellers to ascertain they will have enough on hand when the real holiday crunch arrives.

This is particularly important in anticipation of more online shopping this holiday season with more consumers relying on eCommerce to deliver their holiday needs on time. Businesses have to make sure that they will not be disappointed in that.

“Be the brand they discover first this season and you’ll be their first choice when it’s time to shop,” Pinterest advises

By gearing up for holiday sales now, online sellers can get to know their new customers better to be able to segment them appropriately, build up their connection to them, serve as their source of holiday inspiration, and assure them that their orders will be safely delivered on time. When it comes to successful holiday sales, it’s all about the planning that underlies effective communication with your customers.