With 140 days to go, you’re probably thinking about jetting off on your summer holiday rather than planning for Christmas. However, the festive season is a huge opportunity for many brands but also a time when customers are bombarded with innovative campaigns and promotions, therefore, if you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s time to get in the festive spirit and start planning your strategy now.

According to Econsultancy’s online shopping survey, 2013 proved to be a record-breaking period for ecommerce and the British Retail Consortium reported online sales in December grew 19.2% compared to 2012, the fastest increase in four years. However, Christmas isn’t just a marketing opportunity for retailers and can deliver great success to many service based businesses; providing an ideal time to engage with customers and prospects and make them feel extra special.

Client example: MEPC

MEPC owns and manages seven business parks around the UK and is home to a combined community of over 20,000 people. With customer retention high on the agenda, HMA was briefed to create a Christmas campaign which would engage with MEPC’s existing customers and build a database of individuals on the Estate to communicate to on a regular basis.

Utilising the concept of an Advent Calendar, HMA created an online campaign which provided a prize every weekday on the run up to Christmas. HMA managed all aspects of the campaign including creative, build, email delivery, reports and prizes and achieved an average open rate of 50%, a very impressive average click through rate of 86% and a massive increase in website visitors in December, up by 185% on the previous month.

The first of these campaigns was run in December 2008 and has now become a regular calendar event for customers on the park with specific requests from customers each year to find out if it’s going ahead again. Read the full case study here

Planning is key

So don’t wait until the Christmas decorations go up, do your homework now to ensure you get the best results and deliver maximum impact. Take a look at your analytics and identify just how your target audience are consuming your campaigns. As highlighted in a previous blog post, for many brands, Christmas is the busiest time of year and a time when more people may be away from their desk and reading emails on the go. A survey carried out on 22 major brands last year found that even though 82% didn’t send out a responsive email over Christmas, over 41% were being opened on a mobile. If you calculate the number of email recipients getting a substandard experience because they’re viewing on a mobile or tablet, this could mean the difference between a sale or an unsubscribe.

If you would like support with your Christmas marketing strategy, get in touch.