Vocus Questions: DJ Waldow on Holiday Email Marketing

So you’ve mastered the art of pitching to reporters, gathered up some really compelling content, and engaged customers using effective social media strategies. Time to sit back, relax, and watch the leads roll in with a cup of hot cider.

Not so fast. Do you have a holiday email marketing plan in place yet?

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach customers and prospects. DJ Waldow, an email marketing consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, and co-author of The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing, shared some advice on holiday email marketing with us.


Vocus: What are some key things to keep in mind about holiday email marketing?

DJ: There is always an increase in email volume over the holidays. Inboxes started filling up a few months ago. Things are more crowded, especially on the retail side, with people sending out discounts, coupons, and other promotions.

Want more holiday email tips? Check out our Holiday Marketing Guides here.

How is email content different at holiday time?

The content is more a single call-to-action: “Open this email” or “Get free shipping.” Or it’s theme-based, such as the 12 Days of Christmas or 8 Days of Chanukah, where you get a new email every day.

What email content works best during the holidays?

I believe you have to do what works for you and test what works for your audience.

Everyone is offering free shipping and discounts. You have to stand out. Why not offer 21% off instead of 20% off? You have to stand out in the subject line, and using an unusual number is a great way to do that. Something that’s not your standard is a great way to get attention.

Another thing that I find helpful are gift guides with personalized, specific suggestions; gifts for your wife, for your children, for your parents.

I believe that best practices are practices that are best for your audience. For the most part, if it works for your audience and gets more opens and clicks and gets people engaged, why not try it?

How can a smaller business use email to rise above their competitors during the holidays?

I tell my clients to have a little bit of fun with their emails. Be human, and stay away from the corporate speak. Small businesses can be a lot more flexible with the content they’re providing. Offer value that’s relevant to the holidays – whether that’s videos, webinars, or something else – even if you’re in the B2B space.

What should a small business owner do if they’re stuck for email content?

Subscribe to the email lists of your competitors and other people in your industry, and see what they’re doing.

For more advice from DJ and other marketing experts in our Holiday Guides, click here.




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