If you’re anything like me, the sudden arrival of pumpkin-flavored beer in grocery stores and piles of Halloween decorations on the shelves of Michael's these past few weeks may have rubbed you the wrong way.
Don’t get me wrong: I love fall and all of the wonderful things that come with it. But fully embracing the season before Labor Day feels a bit premature… right?
When it comes to your marketing strategy, maybe not. Nailing these next few months is especially crucial for marketers – especially anyone working in e-commerce. Considering the stakes, it’s really never too early to plan your fall campaigns. So what are the most important dates and messages to consider? Get your calendar and your pencil ready, folks.
1. A Halloween invitation or promotion
When: By October 31st
The holiday season has a reputation for generating big bucks from eager shoppers, but did you know that Americans spent 6.9 billion dollars on Halloween alone in 2015? Capitalize on the Halloween buzz by sending an email invitation to a spooky in-store event or a fun promotion to save online. After all, every dollar spent on email marketing brings a forty-three dollar return on investment on average.
With scary good stats like that, it's worth carving out a little time between now and then to put together a special Halloween campaign. Just don’t pull a Crate & Barrel and jump the gun with an email like this one they sent on August 3rd (the exact opposite of a timely send).
2. A cheery opportunity to save when Daylight Savings time ends
When: Around November 3
We all dread that time of year when darkness sets in early. So why not brighten your subscribers' days by enticing them to do a little shopping? And it doesn't have to be a big discount, either.
Take a note from Krispy Kreme, who offered a free doughnut to every customer a few years ago when we all changed our clocks. And who can possibly leave Krispy Kreme with a mere single doughnut in hand? So this fall, consider inviting subscribers to "fall into savings" or "save time and money." Wordplay is not required, but it can help.
3. A thank you, just because
When: Early-to-mid November
It goes without saying that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to... well, say thanks. A well-timed, authentic expression of your appreciation means a lot to your subscribers and helps foster long-term customer loyalty. It's also a great time to highlight your organization's giving back efforts and get your audience involved in the good work you’re doing.
But here’s a thought: Why not get ahead of the competition? If you send your seasonal “thank you” just a little earlier than usual, it will still feel timely, but you won’t be competing with a million other brands all saying the same thing at the same time. Plus, by freeing up the week of Thanksgiving (when you’ll want to be promoting your Black Friday offers), it’ll give you the perfect opportunity to offer a sincere thank you rather than a thinly veiled sales message.
4. A mobile-friendly Black Friday promo
When: By November 29
Guess who's checking their email under the dinner table at Aunt Mildred's annual Thanksgiving potluck? Yep, it's your subscribers. And they're doing more than checking.
Last year, more than a third of Black Friday online shoppers used their phone to make a purchase. And according to one study, 76% of marketing emails were opened on a mobile device during Black Friday 2015. So, yes, you should absolutely be sending a Black Friday promo – and you better make sure you have a solid mobile strategy in place.
5. A well-timed Cyber Monday campaign
When: As early as possible (but before November 28th at the latest)
Brace yourselves… Cyber Monday is coming. Are you ready to take on the biggest online shopping day of the year?
Here’s what we know for sure: You’ll be dealing with a ton of competition, and holiday shoppers are getting started earlier every year. A study by Google found that 48% of shoppers have the majority of their holiday shopping completed before Cyber Monday. Hitting your list with emails early will allow you to close early sales.
A perfect example? One of our customers, Canyon Ranch, ran a month-long Cyber Monday email campaign last year – and it ended up generating millions in sales. Yep, you read that right. See their story here.
Any big dates we missed? What emails are you prioritizing this fall? Share away in the comments!
About the Author
McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.Follow on Twitter More Content by McKenzie Gregory