Businesses are standing by to launch their holiday campaigns, while many have already started their pre-holiday marketing initiatives. Consumers are going to expect much more from you this season. Social media has made them more involved and aware and they expect you to fire on all digital channels - email, mobile, and social.
To help you perfect your campaigns, here is a quick reminder of all the components that can help drive you toward perfect engagement.
I hope you have been capturing preferences. Do you know your consumers' interests - both stated and implied - so you can serve them better? Do you know their ideal frequency for opening your campaigns? Leverage past transactions and interactions to recognize them so you can serve them better.
Monitor your deliverability. Check the reputation of your IPs to make sure that you're in an acceptable sending area. You have to realize that you're going to scale up your campaigns during the holiday season. Have a backup plan in place - I hope you have been nurturing a backup IP address.
Plan your holiday streams. Many businesses have planned a series of campaigns to engage with their consumers. Some have planned multiple campaigns sent daily across different channels to target consumers. Be wary about overdoing it and make sure that you're not badgering the consumer with the same message across channels.
Let them say it with a card. Offer your consumers the ability to send out greeting cards to their inner circle. It would be ideal if there were no strings attached. Your consumer will appreciate the gesture. Let the consumer access these cards via email or via social media.
Offer gift receipts. Do it with a twist - offer the recipient the opportunity to step into your digital domain. The gift recipient might opt in to your digital marketing programs.
Invite your consumers to join your party. Host special events on your social media site - games, trivia, holiday activities, or simple conversations will go a long way to drive engagement.
Don't forget about your physical channels. Do more to tie your messaging into your physical channels. If you have QR codes or mobile bar codes in stores or on self-service devices, make sure they take the consumer to the right place. Above all, don't forget your people channels.
Offer gifting suggestions. Help your consumer out by assisting them to choose the perfect gift. It saves time and opens up a bunch of ideas. Let them maintain wish lists.
Don't complicate offers. Keep it simple and keep the fine print to a minimum. If you promise to price match, give the consumer the difference via a gift card.
Tell your people first. Let your staff in on what you're planning on doing this holiday season. Let them know what you're updating on Facebook or Twitter. Tell them about the videos that you have. Train them to greet people and tactfully share your digital domain with consumers.
If you run marketing for a financial institution, travel, or entertainment company, keep in mind that the gift of cash or gift cards are just as well appreciated. All the same principles apply to you.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a great start toward a very successful holiday season!
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Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.
He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.
Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.