Can you believe it? September’s almost done, another year has almost passed us by, and if you are like us – the days just keep getting busier and busier.
With the new year only a little more than a quarter away, it’s important to think about your email strategy going into the last part of 2016. Whether you’re a B2C, B2B, or a B2B2C, you’re hopefully all over your Q4 planning already.
For B2C companies, the holidays are a giant opportunity: the US Census Bureau reported that Q4 2015 saw a 33% rise in ecommerce sales over Q3, followed by a 20% drop in Q1 2016. And according to Statistica:
- In 2015, retail e-commerce sales during November and December amounted to $56 billion during the holiday season, up from $46 billion in 2013.
- On Black Friday 2015, US online revenues amounted to $1.66 billion, up from $1.5 billion the previous year.
Q4 is no less important for B2B
It’s your chance to meet or beat the forecast for this year, and if you made some mistakes and lost ground earlier in the year, maybe you can apply your lessons learned and make it up now. What about your buyers? If you sell to people who have to spend budget by December 31 or lose it for the next year, you’ve got opportunities. If you’ve got people who spent all their 2016 budget and are waiting for 2017 to refresh the kitty, you need to make the sale in Q4 so you can do the contract in Q1.
And don’t overlook your existing customers. They may have year-end funds to spend; can you upsell them? Can you put an attractive, easy-to-buy package together that just extends and deepens your relationship with them?
What this means for your buyer’s email inbox
The upshot? Your buyer, no matter who he or she may be, is going to hear from a great many hopeful sellers. Your buyer’s name may also be circulating on lists that get purchased, meaning your buyer may well get a ton of mail that they didn’t expect and don’t want. They might get a bit more suspicious about unfamiliar email.
You know the competition for inbox placement is going to heat up exponentially in the coming months. That makes it very important that you plan ahead and get your sending in shape for winter.
What this means for you, the sender
With a good sending strategy and best practices, you can tilt the odds that your emails and offers are noticed by your recipients, which in turn can help you lock in crucial end-of-year engagements.
Here are a few tips to help you plan accordingly. Tailor these to your own business for the best results.
1. Segmentation and Engagement
These two factors are already very important in overall delivery, but they become even more important during the holiday send season – as they could spell the difference between a response and a spam placement.