Whether you are someone who dresses up in an elf costume and goes door to door caroling or a bah humbug dreading annual family get-togethers, there is no denying the holiday season affects us all. For both publishers and advertisers, the end-of-the-year holiday season can be an excellent time to engage prospects.
Whether they are selling vacations, consumer goods or any other product or service, many consumer-facing companies realize this is one of the most important times of the year for generating some last-minute sales before the end of 2014. People will be going all-out purchasing gifts for their loved ones, with one poll conducted last year by the American Research Group suggesting the average adult spends as much as $801 during the holidays. Although that figure is still down from the pre-recession high of $1,004, it has made a remarkable comeback in recent years.
For brands hoping to make it big during the holidays, advertising can be one of the most effective ways of generating some exposure. People spend a lot of time shopping and thanks to the Web, they can skip the cold weather and long lines by simply buying at home. This makes display advertising an incredibly influential tool for promoting brands, products and services and encouraging customers to at least consider purchasing items from companies they may not have heard of in the past.
Ringing in the holidays with themed newsletters
Advertisers are not the only ones eagerly anticipating the holiday season – publishers too will be able to get in on the action, depending on their area of focus. For example, a travel magazine could write about vacations to take during the holidays, while a consumer electronics outlet may write about gift ideas. Not only is this content highly valuable and pertinent to newsletter subscribers, it can also significantly lift engagement and interaction levels.
For publishers, the even bigger draw is the potential revenue from email advertising. Because the holidays are such an important peak period for so many businesses, they are willing to pay even more than normal for display ads. Combine that with the fact that email is a channel that can be easily accessed from anywhere with mobile devices – even while in retail stores – and many publishers have a winning channel that can help their advertising partners reach customers in a meaningful way.
Embracing the holiday spirit
It may seem like the holidays are are still months away, but now is the perfect time to start planning festive email newsletters. As ClickZ noted, publishers want to have their campaigns and editorial calendars planned in advance so they can make the most of opportunities.
“Thanksgiving Day, which has continued to grow into a major shopping day independent of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will fall in late November again this year (November 27),” the news source added. “This means there will be fewer days between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day to promote sales.”
Although exact preparations for the holidays will change depending on the publisher in question, here are a few ideas and considerations:
1. Consider the template being used: A festive template with green, red and white colors can help subscribers reading holiday newsletters get into a festive mood, which may enhance engagement and involvement.
2. Embrace gift lists: If publishers cover consumer goods, they may want to consider writing gift list content. This helps direct customers toward certain gift ideas and also makes ideal fodder for advertisers.
3. Mind the schedule: Although there may be 12 days of Christmas, the actual holiday season lasts much longer. In fact, some people even start shopping well before Black Friday. While publishers probably do not want to start celebrating the holidays too soon, it is just as important they do not start too late.