October 2009
Xpresso Break Newsletter
In This Issue
Get Your Email Campaigns Ready For Christmas
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TopGet Your Email Campaigns
Ready For Christmas!

Advent Calendar
Every year around December 23rd or so, I promise myself that next year I'm going to do things differently. I'm going to buy my Christmas presents early.

Well this year I'm finally doing it, and your gift is the first.

The first half of your gift is the online calendar with step-by-step instructions to help you get your emails ready in time.

The second half of your gift is this article. It will give you some marketing strategies for your Christmas email communications.

Set Goals for Christmas Emails
Your goals will depend on the kind of business you have. If you have a retail business, your goal will be to help your customers make holiday purchasing decisions that include you.

If you have a service-based business not dependent on holiday sales, your goal is more about good customer relations. You'll want to remind your customers that you're around to help them now and in January, when things get back to normal.

In either case, you'll need to determine the following:
  1. When And How Often Should I Email?
  2. What Do I Want To Communicate?
  3. How Do I Get My Clients To Open My Emails?
  4. How Do I Get My Clients To Take Action?
When And How Often Should I Email?
For Retail Sales, you'll want to email throughout the season to make sure you catch early birds and last minute shoppers. While it's OK to send more often during the holidays, you still want to avoid over communicating.

So what's a good number? The email calendar I'm including is based on sending 3-5 promotional emails during the season. You could do more, but it should not exceed once a week.

For Customer Relations, your job is easier. You just need to acknowledge your clients and reward their loyalty throughout the year. So 1-2 emails is fine.

Constant Contact Email Tip: Schedule your emails in advance. This way you won't miss a deadline and you can concentrate on other things as the holidays approach.

What Do I Want To Communicate?

Whatever you're actually sending, you'll want to show that you care about your customer by giving them something they'll find valuable. Here are some ideas:
Send them a holiday card. You could send Thanksgiving or Christmas cards to thank them for their business. Include a gift certificate or free giveaway they can redeem during the holidays or after.

Help them out. The holidays can be stressful. Help your customers by giving them valuable information to make the season easier and more enjoyable. For example, an interior decorator could offer tips on how to decorate for Christmas.

Sweeten the pot. Give them special savings such as discounts or free shipping. Include gift ideas in your emails.

Invite them to visit. You've got special events taking place in your store? Let your customers know in advance by sending them an invitation.

Constant Contact Design Tip: Add variety to your promotional emails by choosing a holiday template with different image selections. That way you can change the look of your emails by changing the images.
How Do I get My Clients To Open My Emails?
Let's face it. You've got stiff competition for your client's inbox, especially at Christmastime. You'll be jockeying for attention with emails from Macy's, Target and the like.
But don't let that intimidate you. Their emails have the same real estate you have - a "From" line and a "Subject" line. These are the two lines that will influence your customer to open the email - "Who is it from?" and "What's in it for me?".
"From" Line: If you've been emailing your customers on a regular basis, use the same "From" line. If it's your first time communicating, choose something that your clients will easily recognize. That may be your name or the name of your business. Use that same "From" line every time you send out an email.
"Subject" Line: This is the equivalent to the headline of an ad and should convey the main benefit to your customer. If you are an including an offer in your email, say so in the subject line. If it's information, let them know why they should open it. Just keep it short, around 5 - 8 words (that's about all the space you'll have). Here are some ideas:
  1. Free Shipping On Purchases Through 12/15
  2. 3 Easy Christmas Crafts For Kids
  3. Gift For You: $10 Off Your Next Purchase
How Do I Get My Clients To Take Action?
Although we can get pretty hung up about open rates, getting our customers to open our emails is not really the goal. What we really want is for our customers to do something, whether it's clicking on a link, making a phone call or attending an event.
The best way to get your clients to do this is by making your call to action clear and easy to find. Place it in a prominent spot. Make it bold, put it in another color or in its own box. This way your customers will have an easier time finding it and acting on it.

Well I hope these ideas help you get your holiday promotions off to a good start. Here's your calendar. Enjoy!

>>Download Christmas Countdown Calendar

About the Calendar: The tasks are based on sending 3 - 5 emails during the season. It's pretty loaded in October, but gets lighter as Christmas approaches. Also, I've broken down the tasks into bite-size pieces - from as little as 5 minutes to no more than an hour.

Xpresso Marketing
Sandi Abbott
Xpresso Marketing

Let's Stay Connected:
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Christmas Song
Christmas Song
Here's a little carol to kickstart your Holiday cheer.

Free Resources

>>Constant Contact Webinar
Thursday, October 15
11:00 - 11:45 am
"Holiday Promotions Planning & Design"

>>Helpful Newsletter Articles
Constant Contact's Newsletter, Hints & Tips, has some very helpful articles regarding Holiday Email Marketing.
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Don't miss this opportunity to promote your business during the Holidays. Sign up using the link below:

>>Free 60-Day Trial

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>>"Get Started With Email Marketing"
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Christmas Gift
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Christmas Gift

Here's your Christmas Countdown Calendar to help you plan out your promotional holiday emails. The tasks are based on sending 3 - 5 emails during the season. Enjoy!

>>Christmas Countdown Calendar

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