The retailer’s guide to planning Christmas 2017 – Part two Published August 10, 2017 Part two of our retailer’s guide to planning Christmas gives you the lowdown on maximising your returns from CRM and email during the festive period. It may seem an age away but when summer is over Christmas will be just around the corner. And for retailers who are hoping for bumper trading to prop-up their sales performance in 2017, the process of planning for the festive season begins now. In air-conditioned offices throughout the UK, marketing teams are meeting in their Summer gear to discuss plans for the winter months—trying the products, agreeing on messaging, and assigning budget for their Christmas campaigns. In part one of our guide we looked at the general themes and considerations of Christmas retail marketing. In this second part, we’ll dive deeper and look specifically at how to get the most out of CRM and email. Increase your database Before Christmas trading begins encourage as many potential customers to give you their email addresses to build your database. Offer free gifts, samples, and downloads—or use tools like PurePromotions to run data-capture competitions and sweepstakes in return for their contact details. Once you have their email you can then start warming them up, nurturing the relationship before Christmas trading begins. One of your prime objectives in September and October should be to build your database in preparation for Christmas. Use email to nurture relationships with your customers in the run up to Christmas. Segment, target, and re-target Some shoppers are highly organised early-bird shoppers whereas some people leave it to the last minute. Use previous years’ data to create different segments of shoppers and target them accordingly with relevant messages, content, and offers. Customer insight software such as PureIntelligence will let you easily segment your database by demographics, purchase history, and other behaviours to create effective segments quickly. Last minute gift hunters, teacher’s treat or secret Santa buyers, generous high-value gifters and early-bird shoppers—everyone will be motivated by entirely different content and price points. Make sure you identify your segments and target them accordingly using behavioural targeting software like PureTargeting to create relevant and specific messages that motivate them to buy. And don’t forget to re-target visitors to your website during the run-up to Christmas and gently nudge them towards conversion. Take advantage of the seasonal uplift in traffic and tempt casual visitors back to purchase with automated cart and browsing abandonment campaigns. Segmentation allows you to differentiate your secret santa gift shoppers from your high-end present buyers and target them accordingly. Balance frequency with engagement People tend to expect more emails in their inbox over the Christmas period but don’t push your luck. Suddenly and dramatically increasing the frequency at which you send emails will get you blocked from inbox providers such as Gmail, who may see it as an indication of suspicious activity such as spam. Ramp up your activity slowly, continually monitoring delivery and engagement levels to make sure you don’t get blocked. The frequency of your Christmas communications is generally not a problem unless your recipients stop engaging with it, which is when they become unwanted spam. Make sure your sends are delivered at a steady speed so you don’t suddenly bombard inboxes and get blocked. By focusing on these areas you’ll make sure your email marketing is both engaging and efficient, reaching the right people during the festive period. And don’t forget to read the first part of our guide which covers the foundations you need to put in place for a solid strategy before you execute any plans. In the last of our three-part series on Christmas planning, we’ll take a look at Christmas commercials—the promotions, customer service and those all important cyber days. Until then, download The Pure360 Guide to Christmas Email Strategy below and start planning for the festive period today!