3 Holly Jolly Holiday Planning Meetings for June

  |  June 6, 2013   |  Comments

While it may seem like there's plenty of time on the calendar to get your holiday act together, the clock is ticking. Creating the foundation of your holiday plan now will position you for success this holiday season!

Can you believe there are only 200 days left until Christmas? On the one hand, that sounds like a long way off, but if you're a retail marketer, the time to start planning is now. Well, more like yesterday; but if you haven't started, no need to panic - yet! After the gifts have been shipped, wrapped, and opened, we can look back and spot the obvious mistakes we made and things we could have done differently to help sales soar higher than Rudolph. Start Holiday 2013 off right by beginning your planning now with three meetings that should be on your calendar this month.


"I don't have enough resources to________" is one of the most frequently recited reasons, dare I say excuses, for many brands to not enhance and evolve their email marketing programs to apply lessons learned from the previous holiday season that can improve performance for the coming year. The truth is that you have extended teams with your partners like your email service provider and e-commerce platform provider. Just like you, your marketing and e-commerce platform partners get incredibly busy during the holidays. They also go into code freeze and many of the ways they can help you enhance your program and drive additional sales will take time. Your first thought may be, "time and money," but the truth is your marketing and commerce partners likely have tools, strategies, and tactics to enhance your holiday marketing programs, streamline processes, and provide a better customer experience with little or no cost. Now is the time to put your heads together, ask them for ideas, and bring a few of your own.

Review automated processes like triggered messages (abandoned cart reminders, order/ship confirmations, welcome series, etc.), and determine how they could be more effective and how they should change during the holidays. Remember, your customers will begin to shift from shopping for themselves to shopping for others as the holiday season approaches, so it's important for the tone of these messages to reflect that shift.

Internal Team Development

Everyone on your team will have their day-to-day jobs amplified during the holiday season, but the holidays also require going outside of those daily roles to keep holiday campaigns rolling along. Anticipating these situations now and preparing the team will help make crisis situations more manageable. Build an emergency contact list (including your internal team and external partners) that details roles (IT, analysis, deliverability) and when they should be contacted (technical issue, design issue, poor performance). Define roles for aggregating reports across your email service provider and e-commerce platforms. Do dress rehearsals to ensure processes are efficient and productive. Tweaking the processes now will help you get the marketing, sales, and ROI data insights you need in a timely fashion. A subject line team can be essential. Course-correcting low open rates on your jam-packed marketing calendar can be a stressful situation. Having a team in place closely monitoring both pre- and in-season subject line performance will help you achieve optimal results.


Holiday season (not tax season) auditors are essential. You need to go into the holiday season with a complete understanding of last year and with every "i" dotted. Compile performance reports for last year on a campaign level focusing on key holiday periods including Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the lead-up to Christmas. Identify sales trends, peaks, and valleys. Develop plans to combat those low periods and build on the successes. This may sound like a chore or you may be thinking, "I already know how we did last year," but there's always something to learn.

Additionally, audit all of your forms and your checkout processes. Remove extraneous data fields in forms and ensure that they are designed to help the customer opt in and/or check out as quickly and easily as possible (while giving you the data that you must have). Confirm that forms are functional in multiple web browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices. Modifying these processes could take time, so starting now will ensure all the gears are turning during the peak season.

While it may seem like there's plenty of time on the calendar to get your holiday act together, the clock is ticking. Creating the foundation of your holiday plan now will position you for success this holiday season!

Image on home page via Shutterstock.


ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!


Jim Davidson

As an expert in email, mobile, and social strategies, Jim Davidson brings over 13 years of experience in online marketing, managing email and cross-channel programs for top retail clients. From strategic vision to implementation, Jim has led clients to successfully meet aggressive revenue and performance goals. As Bronto's manager of marketing research, he regularly publishes industry-focused white papers, research reports, and contributes to the Bronto Blog. Jim's articles frequently appear in leading retail, e-commerce, and marketing publications.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Email newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.



    • Sales Planner
      Sales Planner (Verve ) - New YorkAbout Verve   Verve is the leader in location powered mobile advertising. We manage one of the largest mobile...
    • Systems Analyst/Support
      Systems Analyst/Support (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreIRIS (Increased Revenue Intuitive Software ) is proprietary software that helps marketers...
    • Client Services Support Specialist
      Client Services Support Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - Delray Beach OVERVIEW:  This position requires a highly motivated and resourceful individual...