Three Marketing Tactics I’m Thankful For This Year

Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude. So often marketers get wrapped up in all of the campaigns, data, and technology they’re exposed to on a daily basis that they grow numb to it and forget to acknowledge their own work and that of their peers. Therefore, I decided to compile a list of the three marketing tactics that I was most thankful for this past Thanksgiving weekend.

1) Welcome emails: 

If you’re like me, Thanksgiving weekend is a time of psychological turmoil. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, I battle between being financially responsible and giving into temptation.

That sweater is on sale, I think. I have to get it. I’m saving a ton. Plus, I haven’t gotten a birthday present for myself yet. But then my responsible, and admittedly less fun, side kicks in: Of course, I’ll save even more if I don’t buy anything at all.

This internal debate often results in me staring at my laptop screen trying to rationalize a splurge.

Thankfully, J. Crew Factory made my decision a lot easier this year. After perusing the apparel brand’s site on Black Friday, I decided to make a wish list of all of the items I was drooling over. I’ll just keep my favorite items right here, I told myself, I don’t have to actually buy them. To make a wish list, I had to create an account and give the brand my name, email address, and birthday. I then left J. Crew Factory’s website and decided to check out the other deals my favorite brands were offering. The next day I received an email from J. Crew Factory offering me 15% off for signing up for their email list. The 15% off discount plus the 50% off Black Friday promotion was all the convincing I needed to click purchase.

As Custora CEO Corey Pierson noted in a previous article, consumers are more likely to check their inbox for deals from their favorite brands than search for promotions for new ones. Still, brands must be prepared to target both new and existing customers throughout the holidays and have a distinct strategy for each.

2) Extended promotions:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are turning into week-long affairs. On the one hand, this makes the whole Thanksgiving weekend a bit of a gambling experience for consumers. Knowing when to buy and when to hold off for a better deal can make shoppers feel like they’re playing a game of Black Jack. On the other hand, this lengthy retail holiday helps consumers cross a few extra items off their wish lists early.

For instance, my boyfriend and I like to send a Christmas card every year (truth be told: our most recent holiday greeting is a picture of us in a West Elm store holding up signs that were part of the home décor retailer’s social promotion—talk about turning a social campaign into a direct mail piece). We had already received a few Christmas cards ourselves so we knew that we had to order the cards soon if we wanted our friends and family to receive them on time. So on Sunday we went to Snapfish, a web-based photo printing service, and were pleasantly surprised to see that the brand’s Cyber Monday deals were already up. We ended up saving 55% on our holiday cards.

When determining the length of a promotion, marketers need to consider what makes the most sense for their consumers. In Snapfish’s case, the brand probably knew that consumers have a tendency to switch into holiday mode immediately after Thanksgiving. And because many people travel for Thanksgiving, giving consumers a full week to order their prints (the deal runs until December 7) allows shoppers to have extra time to purchase this holiday staple.

3) Reminder emails:

To say that consumers get bombarded with holiday emails Thanksgiving weekend would be an understatement. The avalanche of 30%-off and limited-availability messages can cause emails from preferred brands to get buried.

Every Thursday, for instance, I receive an email from online styling service Stylit filled with weekly outfit recommendations based on my body type, budget, and preferences. I usually look forward to receiving these emails and click through them the day they arrive. But because I received so many emails Thanksgiving Day, I automatically went into triage mode and skipped Stylit’s message. Thankfully, the brand sent me a follow-up email that Monday reminding me that I hadn’t viewed my weekly outfits yet.

Another example would be the email that I received from Macy’s on November 26 reminding me to tune into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade the next day. Not only did the email include the date of the parade, but is also included the start time, channel, and official parade hashtag. My family and I watch the Macy’s Day Parade every year, so having that information right in front of me to reference was convenient.

The holidays are a busy time for everyone. To stay top-of-mind, marketers must do everything they can to ensure that they’re placing their brands in front of consumers—instead of forcing consumers to seek out brands themselves.

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