Christmas is just around the corner which means the pressure is on for retailers.

At this time of year email marketing volume increases by 25% (MarketingTech, 2016). In retail it’s all a desperate bid to bring customers in and meet those end-of-year sales targets.

We take a look at inspiring and commercially savvy ideas for Christmas retail campaigns. We know that retailers are constantly reviewing and adapting their campaign plans in this busy period which is why we’re giving you food for thought throughout the festive period.

In part one we’re sharing ideas for Christmas email campaigns you can send before the threat of last delivery deadline approaches. Campaigns that will spark interest, re-engagement and deliver sales without having to rely on the infamous discounts of cyber-days.

And remember – all of these suggestions can be easily managed, targeted and automated using PureIntelligence and PureTargeting.

Gift suggestions

Many customers will have a hefty list of people to buy for this Christmas. Use what insight you have on customer behaviour and purchase history to send gift suggestions. List products that are bestsellers, suitable for certain members of the family, teachers treats, secret santas or budget bargains to spark ideas. Look at what others with similar profiles to customers have browsed and purchased. A simple email such as this guides the consumer through the myriad of options and prompts a purchase.

Wishlist reminders

If you offer customers the ability to save items to a wishlist then now is a great time to create an email campaign reminding them what they have on their list. Turn your ‘send to a friend’ button to ‘send a cheeky hint’ and encourage them to forward the message to others. It’s a great way to turn your existing email subscribers into referrers while inspiring people with gift suggestions.

Send back-in-stock emails

As some point every retailer will find themselves out-of-stock of a customer bestseller. Remember every cloud has a silver lining – let people sign-up to receive an alert when an item is back-in-stock so you can create a sales spike with automated emails as soon as the item is available again. If there’s stock available in your stores then send an alert to customers telling them where they can find your nearest outlet.

Optimise abandonment and browse campaigns

Christmas means an influx of visitors to your site who you may never see again. Maximise your chances of re-engaging them by making sure your browse and abandonment campaigns are in tip-top condition. Make sure they’re working across your mobile sites, apps and desktop sites if you offer different digital touchpoints. Remember that these emails offer a great open rate compared to typical broadcast campaigns, so they could be your secret weapon in fighting for attention in a bulging inbox as Christmas ramps up. Take at look at

Remember that these emails offer a great open rate compared to typical broadcast campaigns, so they could be your secret weapon in fighting for attention in a bulging inbox as Christmas ramps up. Take at look at our recent blog post on optimising cart abandonment campaigns which can be managed with ease through PureTargeting.

Create flash events

There’s no reason you can’t create your own cyber days outside of the well-known Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Use flash events to promote 24hr discounts for loyalty members or people who have made larger purchases with you throughout 2016. Promote these via email using alerts and don’t forget to send people reminders if the event is coming to a close. Use promotions such as discounts, gifts and free or upgraded delivery to tempt customers in and increase urgency by making sure it’s only available for a limited time.

These are just a few examples of great email marketing ideas for the festive period. Things you can do to quickly capture attention and increase sales when needed whilst creating great customer communications that capture their attention and imagination.

And don’t forget – the people visiting your site and stores now may not consider shopping with you again you until Christmas 2017. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to capture email address so you can contact them and encourage them back before then.

Read part two of our Christmas retail campaign series to learn how to keep your customers shopping longer.

Download the Pure360 Guide to the Email Maturity Model