Don’t panic if you haven’t yet gone into Christmas battle; the campaign sweet spot is almost upon us, says Rob Martin.
We’re not even into double figures on the December advent calendar and already the inboxes are overflowing.
The sleigh bells may be ringing but so too are the nation’s cash registers and your incoming mail alerts; ding ding!
Buy this; ding! buy that; ding! look at this amazing Yuletide bargain; ding! more cut-price Santas; ding! 50pc off Xmas candles with a month’s supply of free egg nog. Blah blah blah!
So, you’ve left it a little late and you’re wondering how to add your two cent to the Xmas madness — without adding to the Lapland-sized blizzard of emails already in circulation.
And that’s before you even get started on the wall of Black Friday content still to emerge from gazillions of inboxes.
After the rush, but before the bells ring
It all depends in what you’re trying to do. In some ways, this week and next is the real Xmas sweet spot, a time when frazzled customers and employees may be actually ready to pause and take in a little quality information and content.
We’re in a place that sits between the initial burst of the Xmas marketing rush, but well before the bell tolls on the festive shopping and greetings season.
This is a good time to do a couple of things; to alert people to a real good bargain with a ‘helpful’ rather than ‘frenzied’ sense of urgency that says, for e.g. there are only 10 or 12 shopping days left to land a particularly attractive bargain.
It’s also a good time to catch people who are finally moving into a sense of holiday mode. They’ve got one eye on wrapping up their affairs in 2016 and they’re reflecting on the year that was.
People don’t like being panicked by aggressive holiday hard sells and they sure as hell hate being BOMBARDED by such messages. (At least that’s what we hear down the pub!)
When devising a mid-December campaign, perhaps factor this element of fatigue and dislike of the ‘holiday hustle’ into what you are trying to achieve. With graphics, be tasteful, not tacky.
Also, and this is often overlooked, a lot of people at this time of year just want to receive a simple but heart-felt Christmas thank-you from a brand or a boss. Be authentic. Be nice.
So the rules of our Xmas Email Club are: 1. Don’t be Aggressive. 2. Don’t Bombard! 3. Be Nice!
You don’t be Billy Bob Thornton’s Willie T Soke in ‘Bad Santa’. No, we’re aiming for the warm and fuzzies in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ with James Stewart’s character, George Bailey.
So, if closing the sale and squeezing that extra dollar in sales is not your aim, perhaps a more personalised message, greeting, even one that says a simple ‘Thank You’ for the support shown by customers in 2016, is the way to go.
Data should provide actionable insights; so if your data can show that a customer is loyal; reward them with a authentic, personal Xmas greeting — and a substantial offer that holds genuine value for the recipient.
Reward With A Personal Touch
Apple to some extent have achieved this in recent years with their 12 Days of Christmas offers in which customers are able to download free music, games and even movies. The offers feel REAL. The content feels substantial and worth having.
But for sure, you’re not a business with a $100 billion dollar cash pile. Maybe though you have surplus stock that can be given away at this time of year or significantly discounted – especially for these most loyal of shoppers.
For hard-working employees, there may be something that can be redeemed online; a little gift that’s worth having.
It’s a wonderful life. Make sure you hit send at the right time during the Holiday Season sweet spot. But remember, you’re aiming for a little more George Bailey, less Bad Santa.