Denise Chan


You just packed away your sunscreen and beach chair yesterday and already are bombarded with the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Halloween decorations everywhere you turn. Hate to break it to you, but the holidays are just around the corner. eMarketer predicts that US retail sales will increase 5% in the core holiday season: November through December. Have you started planning your email marketing strategy to break through the inbox? We spoke with some ecommerce email experts on some tips and tricks they swear by for the holiday season to help you break through the noise and keep your customers engaged. Here’s a few of the top insights we gathered, in their exact words:

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season1

During the holiday season, so much of the ‘noise’ is around GIFTS: messaging frequently about being the best destination for     the ‘perfect gifts’ FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST. I always think this is the best time to swim against the tide: message less frequently, throw selective punches, and talk about self-purchase and newness. When the entire space is screaming the same thing in your customers’ face, the best way to be heard is to sneak up next to them and whisper something different in their ear.”

Christopher Fleming, Director of Marketing, Ann Inc., @anntaylor

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season2

“Get the message out earlier. It takes seven repeats of impressions to get a message crossed. Integrate and coordinate email with web, social, online marketing, and branding teams to amplify your message. Also mine your data with extra diligence. Find that one-time, big holiday spender in your database and make sure you create targeted communication to invite them back.”

Catherine Brueggemann, CRM & Email Marketing Manager, The Body Shop, @thebodyshopusa

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season3

“Segmentation is key! Segment your email list with attributes like geographic location, gender, age, interests, etc. Sending to these niche customer groups will lead to increased open and click-through rates. Recipients will find your campaigns more relevant and it’ll show in your ROI.”

Liz Fella, Marketing Manager, Fetch For Pets @lizfella  

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season4

“Two key points: tell a story and know what’s relevant for your customers. For those in retail, work with the merchants to have a cohesive plan to tell a story this holiday season. This will not only enhance your brand reputation, but also improve engagement from your customers. The second point, more relevant to a broader ecommerce audience – use segmentation. As we get deeper into the holiday season, be sure to know who and what your customer shops for so you can have a more effective gifting strategy. By knowing their purchasing behavior, we can segment the customers so they can receive more relevant messages in their inbox.”

Eunice Chung, Email Marketing Coordinator, Ralph Lauren @RalphLauren

The most important thing I’ve learned is to be sure you know your customer before you begin your campaign. Despite the pressure of an ever competitive marketplace and sales targets to hit – be mindful in your communication. It can be tempting to try to outrun competitors in volume of emails sent, but remember more is less. Listen to what your customers want and give it to them. What other tricks have you found success with in your holiday campaigns?