Zeta Blog


Posted by Jen Healey, CRM Strategy on December 19

We are only 7 days away from Christmas and the clocks are counting down until December 24th when the last gift is carefully wrapped and placed under the beautifully decorated tree. Are your final marketing messages hanging together by a few fragmented needles or will they be shining brightly as the clock ticks to midnight on Christmas Eve? We’re feeling the excitement of the season building as marketers make their final push with special announcements touting deeply discounted offers – just in time to make our holidays shine.

Will all the sales hype lead to record-breaking holiday spend? Many signs are pointing to ‘yes’. As we reported post-Thanksgiving, retailers saw revenue gains during their biggest weekend of the year. Cyber Monday sales rose 12% and Black Friday online revenue jumped 21% vs. 2015. The Federal Reserve’s move to increase interest rates points to a strengthened economy which may close our Holiday 2016 on a high note. 

Email marketers are certainly doing their part to ride this wave of consumer confidence and ensure we give generously this season. During our annual pilgrimage through Peak, we’ve been diligently monitoring them over the past five weeks. In particular we’ve turned our keenest attention toward the retail industry. We’ve made special note of this year’s approaches and their effectiveness in persuading consumers’ response. With just about a week left, we’re bringing you our top three trend observations:

Segmentation and Personalization are Set Aside as Batch-and-Blast Takes Charge

Even marketers who have been nice to their subscribers throughout the year by targeting the right consumers with meaningful and personal messages became naughty in November. Those brands you have not heard from in quite some time are resurfacing. Have they acknowledged you haven’t been engaging? Sweetened the discount to get you on board? Meanwhile those subscribers who are loyalists don’t seem to be getting the red carpet treatment this year. This is a huge side-step from the modern-day email marketing progression towards contextual, in-the-moment marketing. We can’t help but feel that marketers are missing opportunities to resonate with customers more effectively.

Brands Re-Use and Re-Purpose Content Diluting the Message

In an effort to streamline work, many emailers are using similar, if not identical, creative consecutively throughout the season. While it may save some time from a production standpoint, the redundant message may frustrate your subscriber base and risk an increase to spam rates and unsubscribes. A simple hero swap with refreshed image can go a long way in keeping the message fresh. In these final moments, those who leave room to be more creatively aggressive with stand-out offers are more likely to win those last-minute converters.

It’s Not Just About Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Unless you are like my Aunt Dorothy who does all her shopping in the summer and sits back with an eggnog watching “A Christmas Story” on repeat this week, you’ll be online and in the stores up until the very last minute. Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday this year – a day some now refer to as “Panic Saturday.” It’s the last Saturday before the holiday when shoppers are fighting for parking spots to grab something for the person they forgot on the list. Think about how you can make this stressful time easier for your subscribers. Promote gift cards online or that fantastic gift-wrapping service you’re offering in store. Make the moment special and a little easier for those last minute shoppers – like me.

Topics: Retail, Christmas, creative, personalization, segmentation