We are just ten weeks away from 2016.

It’s important whether this is your “off season” or your very “in season” to stay in touch and keep communication going. That way, when you have a big announcement you’ve got an audience ready to hear it. That’s what is wonderful about email campaigns – in fact, why it is a better investment than social media of your time and resources. By creating a series of messages, you easily reach current and potential customers across their different devices right in their in-box.

Here are some suggestions on messaging for the next ten weeks. Please note if this is your “off season,” you may want to only do four or five for the season.

  1. Got meeting space or a large dining space? Send out reminder to local companies to book their holiday party at a unique venue. You may also want to send to nearby planners and caterers whose clients may be seeking a place and looking to them for ideas.
  2. Before Thanksgiving is the best time to have your “Thank You for Your Business” email read not after when it will be lost with the avalanche of emails.
  3. Make a gift certificate available and promote via email. Even if you do not use online sale system, setting up a Paypal button is quick and easy. You can design a certificate with a Microsoft Office template and either physically mail it or create pdf version to email people.
  4. Promote a “Private Sale” about a week out and then send to more follow up emails – one the day before and then the day of. Make the Private Sale only available for a day or two, exclusively to the email list. Give good discounts as well as plan a giveaway, gift wrapping included, free gift with purchase, etc. Here’s a beautiful example of Tory Burch’s simple email.
  5. Like a Private Sale, you can offer a Holiday Preview Event allow list subscribers to beat the holiday rush. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, make it very festive with light snacks, warm beverages and a free gift or gift-wrapping as part of the evening. Hire a local musician to play acoustic background music for you. Encourage people to bring their friends.
  6. Share a list of places you’ll be shopping locally this season. Or your top ten gift list which can give readers gift-giving ideas and make it feel personable.
  7. Share a family recipe or if your organization typically prepares foods for crowds, share a fan favorite recipe that serves 20 or more. People will not only be grateful, that’s the kind of email that gets shared. You might want to consider sending into the local paper as well for some free PR.
  8. Keep your email subject line brief. Adestra found that subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%. That’s pretty dang low, I know, so try for 30-50.
  9. If this is your “off season” show
    • how what your staff is doing this time of year
    • how the place like a camp or retreat center looks this time of year
    • how you are decorating/celebrating the holidays
  10. Create a video of holiday wishes and send to customers (for fast loads, upload to YouTube and then embed in an email). Make it fun by singing a favorite holiday tune, standing with decorations and /or being in costume.
  11. Avoid sending emails between Dec. 25-30 unless you are doing something similar to this Barney’s email and holding an “After Christmas” sale. Instead plan an email for January 2nd about your own excitement for this year and new offerings/plans/ideas planned and you wish them a great 2016.

Need ideas? Check out the 100 Best Email campaigns of 2015.

Here’s a great “How to” on setting up an email campaign with a system like MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Remember, to share any email content on your website and post excerpts to your social media accounts. That’s the best and easiest way to stretch your content!