A Great Holiday eMail Strategy Starts with Better Segmentation

November 26, 2014

By: Magento Partners,


A Great Holiday eMail Strategy Starts with Better Segmentation

If you’re wondering where to begin in planning your Holiday 2014 email strategy, a great place to start is Holiday 2013. How much did you make in the email channel last season? How much did you make per week? Per day? How many emails did you send to make that number?

This historical information will really help you maximize the subscribers you already have. Next, look at where you’re getting the highest conversions. Triggered campaigns, although they may only account for a fraction of your overall emails sent, historically convert at a higher rate than broadcast emails, so make sure your cart abandonment and browse and abandon campaigns, transactional emails and back-in-stock alerts are all in tip-top shape.

Now, take a look at revenue earned in 2013 from segmented vs. un-segmented email. Clearly segmented emails outperform blasts to your entire list, so sharpen your segmentation strategy for the holiday season. Keep in mind the unique dynamics of your customers during Holiday. We recommend segmenting them into three key groups and targeting them differently:

1) Holiday buyers

2) Active buyers and

3) 60+ day subscribers

2013 Holiday Buyers

This group of subscribers purchased last year between Halloween and New Year’s Eve, but have not been active since. Clearly, the strategy for this segment is to win them back.

While leading with a deep discount or great offer may seem like the obvious thing to do, the good news is that it’s not always necessary. In this campaign, for example, Robert Graham simply reminds subscribers why the brand is different and why the subscriber should come back:

The Grommet, on the other hand, takes a different, creative approach by offering a mystery discount and noting holiday savings specifically:

In addition, you may want to target the sub segment of this group that purchased gift cards during Holiday 2013 and remind them about this great, convenient option.

Active 2014 Buyers

The holiday season is a perfect time to recognize active buyers for their loyalty. Remember, even your best buyers can become distracted by a busy inbox this time of year, so now is the time to make sure you express your gratitude for their business and give them a reason to keep coming back.

Pinup Girl does a great job of this—and sees a significant return—with its loyalty campaign: 

Fortunately, often no discounting is needed for this group.

And here’s a bonus idea: While active buyers may be purchasing for themselves throughout the year (even during the holiday season), they may not automatically think of your brand to purchase for others. Naturopathica creatively—and effectively—addressed this situation last year with a social campaign that asked loyal customers to share what they would give as gifts and why, and then used the testimonials in a daily email campaign:

60+ day Subscribers Not Yet Converted

The next important segment to focus on in your holiday planning is subscribers you’ve acquired in the past 60 days who have not made a first purchase. As inboxes begin filling up, it is crucial to get this group’s attention with creative subject lines, and more importantly, with subject lines that inspire them to click.

Of our three segments, this is the one you may need to offer heavy discounting to as well as create urgency. This recent email from Swell features several elements that increase your chances of spurring a first purchase:

With the increased site traffic the holiday season brings, it’s a perfect time to acquire new subscribers, but don’t forget that, with strategic segmentation, your current list can be maximized to boost your revenue this holiday season.

And finally, it’s not too soon to start integrating holiday themes into your emails. At just 35 days, it’s once again a short season, and you can rest assured that other retailers will be working hard to make the most of every day, too.

Be creative, like Pick Your Plum, who recently kicked off the season with this clever promotion:

Or, take a cue from Papyrus, who is rewarding shoppers for starting early:

For more on these strategies and additional resources explore our holiday tookit.

Listrak is a single, integrated digital marketing platform specifically tailored for retailers. Listrak helps retailers go beyond traditional broadcast emails to make campaigns more relevant and engaging by marrying click-stream behavior and purchase history within a big data product recommendations and personalization suite.