Marketing automation for the Christmas business: 7 ideas for last-minute campaigns in e-commerce
Marketing-Automation (MA) is particularly effective and efficient on top of year-end business. Once set up, automated campaigns can be used not only to win customers, but also to sustainably increase sales potential – and that practically all by itself.
A campaign consists of several prepared e-mails that are sent as a sequence to a previously defined recipient list. The trigger for this – called a trigger – can be found in a Marketing-Automation-Software and can be either time or action related. At the end of the year, therefore, the beginning of Advent, St. Nicholas Day or “ten days until Christmas” are suitable as time triggers.
But the interest of potential customers in events, promotions or content related to Christmas can also be an action-related trigger to start a campaign and increase e-commerce sales again in the last few weeks of the year. So that the marketing automation software registers all relevant triggers – such as the click on Christmas offers or seasonal products – it is advisable to connect the shop via interfaces, for example, and thus allow automated data synchronization.
In this way, for example, an order that has been placed is recorded directly and assigned to the corresponding profile in the employee’s system, so that this profile can be sent with the campaign or e-mails.
The following five campaigns should definitely be on the radar for online retailers and shop owners for the Christmas season:
It’s not too late to start an advent calendar! Who says there has to be a door every day ?! The anticipatory excitement and of course the chance to get a real bargain makes many customers willingly reveal their contact details, such as their email address, one way or another. Such an advent calendar campaign is an autoresponder whose trigger can be December 1st, but does not have to be. Instead, the days until Christmas can be counted down and the starting point is then the remaining 20 or ten days until Christmas.
Autoresponder, automailer or drip or dripping campaigns usually all mean the same thing: automated campaigns whose content “trickles out” bit by bit. The aim is for the campaign to start an automated dialogue with the customer, send him information and offers – and ideally encourage him to buy – but above all to strengthen the relationship with the company or the brand. Autoresponder campaigns can transfer their recipients to further campaigns or run parallel to other campaigns.
A newsletter is the communicative leased line between the recipient and the company. The recipient regularly receives relevant, useful or promotional content – in a reliable cycle and in a familiar setting. For the Christmas season, too, it is a good idea to send out information and offers as part of the regular newsletter dispatch that additionally promote the Christmas business. Personalization is crucial here – after all, a subscriber expects (especially if he has been loyal to a newsletter for a long time) that an online retailer knows and understands him.
Shop operators are therefore well advised to either inquire about areas of interest when registering for the newsletter, so that a subscriber only receives information for certain topics or product groups, or to determine the preferences of each subscriber based on their reading and clicking behavior. A marketing automation solution not only ensures efficient data collection and translation into categories of interest, but also allows the recipient to be segmented in order to display content precisely.
Transaction campaigns are – as the name suggests – triggered by a transaction, for example by an order. Transaction campaigns are primarily used to answer an incoming request or order. However, they offer potential for more – provided that the customer has given the advertising consent. Assume that after an order has been placed, the transaction is confirmed via email and a delivery date is forecast. How about simply surprising the customer at this point? For example, the delivery could be guaranteed again before the party or a different desired date could be requested.
An online retailer could also grant discounts for a subsequent delivery subscription for consumables or offer a voucher for the next order. A modern MA software can generate the codes, assign them to the profiles and send them. Thanks to marketing automation shop integration, the redemption can in turn become an occasion for further campaigns. Placing a small early Christmas present under the transaction fir should really push online sales again at the end of the year.
The highlight: A transactional email is really expected. Most recipients also consider an update on the delivery time or the request for feedback after the purchase to be a service. Real woohohoho effects can be achieved here, promoting customer loyalty and increasing cross-selling and upselling potential.
Real classics are lead nurturing campaigns that automatically accompany interested parties in their decision-making process and gradually develop them to readiness for purchase – ideally in such a way that it is not too obvious to the addressee. The content is therefore primarily useful and tailored to the recipient and the respective phase in the purchase process. In addition to the acquisition of new customers, Nurture campaigns can also be set up as a follow-up for abandoned shopping baskets or as a reactivation campaign to encourage shop visitors who have been absent for a longer period to buy again.
The common denominator of all nurturing campaigns is that they develop recipients towards a specific goal. Of course, this can also be done in a Christmas context – or an existing campaign is given a new start with seasonally appropriate content. In other words, new prospects are turned into contactable leads via a topic appropriate to the Christmas season and then qualified with a nurturing campaign. Professional marketing automation software not only automates campaigns, but can also differentiate recipient profiles within the framework of integrated scoring and evaluate their activities.
A few or even individual mailings within a limited period of time are called “stand alone” campaigns. They are unique and separate from other campaigns.
A standalone campaign can push sales in e-commerce parallel to newsletters, lead nurturing and transactional mailings. A Christmas party for customers, a factory outlet on Advent Sunday or a one-off discount for the festival – every occasion is welcome to make attractive offers and to announce them in a stand-alone message. In terms of content, the stand-alone approach can be used to target any target – even at short notice – and then align the campaign accordingly. Templates or quick start sets stored in MA software quickly get a campaign on the road. In terms of language and design, stand-alone campaigns can sometimes be out of the ordinary, i.e. something special or even festive.
If you want to push your Christmas business quickly, you should set up one of the aforementioned campaigns. The advantage: Automated campaigns are effective in all phases of the customer journey, convey knowledge, enable decisions and accompany the entire life cycle of a customer. They can be automatically played out to all potential customers. In addition, through legally compliant tracking and profiling, they offer valuable information that will enable not only marketing, but also sales, customer service, product management and many other departments to better align themselves with the customer. A preferred Christmas present for everyone!
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