Retail Email Campaigns to Snare Last Minute Shoppers

Public holidays.  They are a sociological exercise in separating the wheat from the chaff.  The prepared customer versus the dreaded last minute shopper.  If you are the latter, don’t worry you are in good company.  I too will blundering around a December mosh-pit-market cursing my own lack of preparedness.  You need killer retail email campaigns to capture people like me.

If there was a cure for procrastination, I would probably take it tomorrow.

There are so many of us though.  We are all looking for a quick win.  Anything that will save time, space, and sanity.  The last minute shopper needs to make decisions quickly and spend as little time as possible in each shop.  So with that in mind, here are some email campaigns ideas to help idiots like me who like to live dangerously.

The last minute shoppers’ Advent-ure

Do you remember the excitement of December as a kid?  Searching for the right number so you can eat chocolate before breakfast.  That countdown to Christmas, trying to guess what shape your treat will be today.  We all looked forward to the double doors of number 24.  Who says advent calendars are for kids?

Treat your subscribers to a retail email campaign that offers a new deal every day.  On Christmas Eve create a seductive bundle of gifts to get the last minute shoppers through the door.

Give your subscribers something to look forward to, as they await your next advent offer.  Furthermore, on Christmas Eve, if there are any shoppers leaving it to the eleventh hour, being able to tick many people off the list in one shop is like a gift from the Gods of procrastination.

Add a last minute delivery option

What saves time and space better than a delivery?  No bumbling around with bags hanging from every bump, lump or shelf that the human body provides.  A last minute shopper may spend a few pounds extra to have Christmas arrive at their door.

Those retail email campaigns advertising a late shoppers delivery option stand to do very well.  If you can guarantee to have gifts and food delivered to their door before Santa snaffles all their mince pies, then you are the messiah of the last minute shopper.  It is definitely an advantage.

A loyal retail email campaign

Trust is an important part of any business relationship at the best of times.  But if you are preparing to run into a holiday stampede, having faith in a company is a distinct bonus.  However, your subscriber might also trust a competitor.  What if that competitor is geographically more accessible?  Are you the only retail outlet selling your products, or something similar?  This is the time to reward loyalty.

Offering a good discount to your loyal subscribers will tempt them into your store.  They are aware of you. Moreover, they are interested in your products.  The difference between you and the competitor situated right in the middle of a bustling mall, may be the discount you offer.  If your subscribers feel appreciated then they are more likely to revisit you.  More importantly, if you get the last minute shopper’s attention and they visit you, they probably don’t have time to shop around.  If they come through your door, they are more likely to take advantage of your rewards than they are to go and visit your competitor.

What’s that ringing noise?

Return Path released an illuminating article succinctly titled Mobile is Now the Preferred Platform for Reading Email with More than Half of All Email Opens. I wonder what mysterious point this article is going to make!  Jokes aside, this eloquent article elucidates one fact.  Your email is more likely to opened in the palm of a hand than it is on a desktop.

It stands to reason that all email templates would be mobile responsive by now, and if they aren’t now is the time to start.  However, there is a mobile facility that you could seriously take advantage of when sending out your retail email campaigns.  Remember a mobile, the mini-computer/games console/walkman/instant messenger/etc, also has this cool function.  You can make phone calls.

It might be handy for last minute shoppers to call and ask for product specifications.  Or give them the option to call and reserve a product that may be of interest them.  By sticking a “click-to-call” button in their retail email campaign. They won’t even have to spend time looking for your number.  If they need quick answers, the option to call might save more time than a long winded email conversation.

The gift of email marketing

More and more, people are buying gift cards and subscriptions for Christmas.  Increasingly more common are amount of concert tickets and travel tickets that are being sent by email, as opposed to actually having to mail something out.

The perfect Christmas gift: send them out to choose and get their own present.

Software platforms such as TicketCreator will allow you to send barcoded gift vouchers or tickets through email, and all your customer needs to do is print it off.  Or, for the truly lazy last minute shopper, it can be forwarded on to their intended recipient.

Wrapping up the gifts

Something that you well-prepared shoppers (with your strolling along in September) might not factor in to our dilemma, is that the shopping isn’t the end of it.  You can’t wrap presents you haven’t yet bought.  Also, if we haven’t bought enough wrapping paper for it, then we don’t find out early.  We will find out when our heart is already palpitating.  Some of you may have found this out in November and felt mildly inconvenienced by the leisurely stroll into to town to pick up the last of the tags and sellotape.  We don’t have that luxury.

Last year, Amazon literally saved my Christmas with their gift wrapping service.  And, I unabashedly admit, they did a better job of it than I could.  I didn’t mind spending that small amount extra on having the presents wrapped and tagged waiting.  All I had to do was hand them out.  This is an invaluable service.

In your retail email campaign, offer to wrap the last minute shoppers presents for them.  Not only do you stand to make that little extra money by doing this, but you are also buying yourself some trust and loyalty.  More than a pretty package, this is an exercise in absolute convenience.

Actually wrapping up

You are probably already sending out those early Christmas email campaigns.  It is good that you are getting it sorted early. Don’t forget that group of people who won’t get out until December is in its twenties.

I have perhaps been unfair to the last minute shoppers.  We say every year to ourselves that we will start earlier.  We will plan Christmas in October and shop before tinsel touches anything.  But, it just doesn’t work out that way.  People aren’t finding the time, with longer working hours, and more weekend work being undertaken.  Believe it or not, most of us don’t want to hit shopping centres and become unable to move for other irate late shoppers.

Your email campaigns need to be mindful of this.  It is about saving time. The time it takes to make important decisions, or the time it will take to get to your retail outlet.  And, yes, it is about space.  Having the space to carry all the shopping around the town centres, or having space in the car for everything.  If your email marketing campaign can save your subscriber either of those then you are most definitely winning this Christmas.