So how did last years' Christmas campaign go? What would you do differently? These questions and more are the ones to ask of last years' campaign to make the most of the holiday season for your store. Campaigns that are left until the last minute often look that way and rarely produce results that are meaningful. If you did run a campaign last year, now is the time to review the results and the approach taken. Ask tough questions about each part of the campaign and decide what can be done to improve it.

It's also a great time to ask questions of your customers. Getting product reviews now can help shape your inventory or order plans and add to your customer's preferences. Perhaps your customer took up cycling and is now in the market for a new helmet or bike? This is good to know if you are a sports retailer, right? Carefully construct a survey that will update your customers' preference and product feedback; then use the survey results in the campaign. Be sure to thank them for their feedback with a coupon or discount. Protip: Use the Dynamic content feature in your email platform so that the message contains the data stated in their preferences.

If you have not done so already, make sure you are collecting data from your customer at POS and by that, we mean both online and offline. Coupons and special offers that are specific only to the Holiday season should be considered today and incorporated into the Holiday plan. Once they have opted in to your email communications, you can keep them up-to­date on new deals or offers especially on the countdown to the Holiday season.

An email series is a great way to automatically remind customers on a schedule. The Advent calendar and Post office deadlines are popular scheduling guides as they are a credible source for delivery times. Use these to remind subscribers that by acting now, they can save money and avoid any shipping delays. Protip: With an email series it's easy to set a schedule ahead of time and autosend different messages over the season making sure that no one gets the same message twice.

Now what about Facebook and Twitter? Timely posting is important and make sure it coincides with your plan. There are tools available to do this and of course you can post to Twitter/Facebook directly from most email platforms too.

It's a common schoolboy mistake to assume the endgame of your Holiday season marketing is Christmas Day. Including Thanksgiving, Boxing day/St Stephen's day and New Years are all important milestones in the Holiday season too. Looking back at last years' email campaign, you will have noticed that many of your subscribers opened the email on Christmas day. So do not forget to include a series of emails over the holiday for Boxing day/St Stephen's Day and New Years deals. Protip: Look at your email analytics dashboard to determine which days were most active for your campaign. Use this information to create an even better schedule this year.

Are you ready yet !?

Pat CARROLL
VP Business Development
http://newsletter.co

pat@newsletter.ie
t 0203 086 9938

Published on: 10:38AM on 5th October 2012