How to keep your email campaign alive after the holidays

Getting back into the rhythm of working after the holidays can be tough.

You need to close out everything that ended the previous year and make sure things are ready to go in the new year for your 2019 email marketing plan.

But don’t consider a fresh start for absolutely everything—that holiday email campaign you ran to perfection last month can still bring in revenue for your business.

This article will explain how to use your post-holiday marketing emails to nurture and convert your leads.

Holiday email campaign best practices

If you followed holiday email marketing best practices (and we know you did), then we’re sure you weathered the craziness of Black Friday and beyond, filling customers’ inboxes with seasonal cheer and promotional information. Analysts predicted that customers would spend 4.1% more this holiday season compared to last year, and we hope that means you’re reaping the benefits of your success.

A big piece of your team’s holiday marketing guide probably involved collecting new email addresses and trying to convert those leads. This is a great tactic especially during the holiday season, when customers are looking to make several purchases and find just the right gift for everyone on their list.

Hopefully, you’re also targeting your existing customers, but this could have also taken a back seat during the hustle of promotional marketing. Now is the time to refocus on that, because repeat buyers are more likely to make a purchase than a new customer, and that boost jumps an additional 17% at the end of the calendar year.

The holidays are over, so what now?

The holidays are now over, so the big question is what you should do to keep your new leads and customers engaged. Whether they made a purchase or not, you never want to bombard them with messaging or, alternatively, not send them any messaging.

Here are three strategies you can start using today to convert more of those leads from your holiday email campaign.

1. Make sure your new campaigns target and include your new contacts.

You originally targeted these contacts to be a part of a holiday promotional campaign, but you may need to adjust your next campaign to include your new contacts and make sure they remain engaged.

The first quarter of the year isn’t traditionally known as a hot time for consumer purchases, but there are a few upcoming holidays that are still popular with B2C audiences. On the other hand, your B2B clients have a brand-new budget for the year and money to spend. There are plenty of opportunities for you to send a different type of holiday email message to those clients.

If you’ve been tracking your customers’ interactions and purchases, you can now create new segments and target them with personalized and automated emails about similar products.

Check out these post-holiday marketing emails that can keep converting your leads.

Winter sales

The holidays may be over, but winter has just begun. That means there are still a handful of weeks that you can run winter sales emails.

It’s no secret that emotion is a major influence on sales. In fact, ads that trigger an emotional response generate 23% more sales. This is the perfect opportunity to speak to your customers’ emotions by trying one of these strategies:

  • Use urgency: Let them know your store has popular or hard-to-find items back in stock.

  • Make them feel known: Encourage your customers to purchase what they really wanted to receive as a gift.

  • Create exclusivity: Give your customers the chance to be early adopters of new trends.

You can also create an end-of-season sale, just like this one created by Impossible:

Impossible end of season sale
Image Source: Really Good Emails

This email example does two things really well. First, it clears shows the discount that customers will receive by taking immediate action. Second, it shows that these prices are only good for three days, which adds a sense of urgency for customers.

Valentine’s Day

If you’ve been to Target recently, you know love is already in the air.

Valentine’s Day is the next big holiday for consumers, and retailers are already starting to push their deals. Consumers spend almost $19 billion for Valentine’s Day, so this is a prime opportunity to retarget your holiday email campaign leads into another promotional campaign.

Take a look at clothing retailer J. Crew’s Valentine’s Day emails:

J. Crew XO promo email
Image Source: Pinterest

Just like the Impossible winter sale email, this J. Crew email hits the mark with its limited-time offer and discount code. Plus, readers immediately know this email relates to Valentine’s Day because of the images used.

President’s Day

Retailers are hitting the jackpot this year because Valentine’s Day weekend and President’s Day weekend are occurring at the same time.

If your leads don’t convert for your Valentine’s Day sales, considering sending the segments who didn’t convert a re-engagement offer for President’s Day. Generally, it’s not holiday email best practices to send too many messages in such a short period of time. However, President’s Day is known as a big weekend for sales and your customers are more likely to forgive you. Especially if you’re offering them something of value.

Check out this great Pottery Barn email that entices customers with free shopping and deals up 60% off:

Pottery Barn coupon emails

Image Source: Pinterest

President’s Day is also a great time for you to reach out to your B2B clients. Research shows people send 44% fewer emails on the Thursday and Friday before President’s Day weekend compared to a regular week. But email reply rates on those days are actually higher than usual.

This could be because your clients are hoping to clear out their inboxes before the long weekend, or because there’s less competition in the inbox. However, if you want to engage with your clients, this might be the best time to do it.

Another option for your B2B emails is to send them on the holiday itself. Many businesses are closed that Monday, but people are still checking and sending emails. Send rates on President’s Day are only down about 40% compared to a regular Monday.


2. Add your customers to loyalty programs.

If your customers made a purchase during your holiday email campaign, add them to your loyalty program.

Start off with a welcome email that explains how they qualified and the additional benefits that they’ll receive. This email alone will help improve your engagement. Welcome emails have 50% open rates and are 86% more effective than standard newsletters.

Consider this example from beauty retailer Sephora, which perfectly explains everything customers need to know about the loyalty program.

Sephora loyalty program


Image Source: Campaign Monitor

3. Offer your holiday email campaign contacts new blog content or newsletters.

In addition to adding your customers to other promotional email campaigns, consider nurturing those leads with effective drip campaigns. For instance, if you know your customers purchased specific items, segment them by their interests and send relevant educational information or blogs.

Shopify does a great job with its newsletter emails that promote original and curated blog articles.

Image Source:

Remember, your customers are more interested in building a relationship with your brand, not just a one-time purchase. Buyers will trust your company more if you provide content that solves problems rather than always sending sales pitches.

4. Re-engagement campaigns

Not everyone who joins your holiday email campaign list will end up making a purchase, but there will be some people who don’t even open your emails. If you retarget these contacts with an additional promotional campaign, chances are you’ll see similar results.

Don’t add these inactive contacts into your new segments and risk driving down open rates. Instead, create a re-engagement email campaign specifically for your inactive customers.

The main purpose for these campaigns is to encourage your customers to confirm if they would or would not like to receive emails from you. You can accomplish this by simply asking them to click on a button or even suggesting that they update their email preferences. After all, they might still want to receive emails from you, just not the type you are sending.

You could also even offer a discount to persuade your customers to come back, like in this re-engagement email from Blue Apron:

Blue Apron re-engagement email
Image Source: Blue Apron

The meal delivery service uses creative and emotional language to connect with its audience. It also includes a large CTA above the fold with a clear discount offer. There’s even a few other CTAs as you scroll down the email.


Wrap up

Just because 2018 is over doesn’t mean you should be putting those holiday email campaigns to bed. Use the data you collected during your holiday campaigns and create new segments for your leads and customers and then retarget them with additional products or information that they might find helpful.

And if your leads were not engaged during your holiday campaign, don’t immediately give up on them either. Run a re-engagement campaign to make sure they still want to receive your emails. If they stay, add them to a new retargeting campaign. And if they decide to unsubscribe, that’s beneficial in the long-run, too.. You may be losing a lead, but you’re improving your overall list quality.

Are you ready to make the most out of your e-commerce post-holiday marketing emails? Request a demo today and see how Emma can help you build the messages that are right for you and your audience.

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our​​ powerful automation and personalization features, you can create and send email campaigns that reach the right customer at just the right time. It's email marketing that works for you.

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