Holiday Action Saves a Sour Shopping Season

Usually, U.S. retailers earn 20-80% of their entire yearly
gross during the holiday season. But this year, things are
different. The sluggish US economy has prompted Deloitte
Research’s Carl Steidtmann to fear “the worst Christmas
ever” in the retail sector.

Short of going door to door in a Santa suit, how can
businesses increase profits and prevent a blue Christmas?
Despite economic gloom, industry leaders have found that an
e-mail follow up strategy can increase sales by a cheery
35%! To weather the ailing economy, use a follow up
autoresponder during your holiday campaigns.

What Does It Do?

Follow up autoresponders follow up with your leads for you.
You create a series of messages, and decide when they should
be sent, (daily, weekly, etc.). Your autoresponder will
send the messages to each new lead automatically. With no
further intervention from you, your leads will remember you
throughout the winter chill. And this regular reminding
will mean more sales during the all-important holiday
shopping season.

Give yourself the gift of a higher conversion rate! Follow
up automatically using these simple steps:

* Offer Useful Information
* Personalize Your Messages
* Track Your Leads
* Broadcast Tailor-Made Offers

Offer Useful Information

Write your follow up messages for your leads – not for
yourself. You want to talk about your great service, but
your leads just want to know what they’ll get out of it!

At some point, you must have purchased something like your
product. What were you looking for then? Was it
information about pricing, styles, or holiday gift wrapping?
Maybe just a clearer explanation of the product? Figure
that out, and put the answer in your follow up messages.
That’s what your leads want to know.

Personalize Your Messages

You don’t open postal mail addressed to “Current Resident”,
and your leads aren’t going to read e-mail addressed to
“Dear Internet Friend.” People are simply more likely to
read messages that address them by name.

Autoresponders let you use variables to personalize your
messages. This way, you write just one message, but Lenny
Lead reads “Happy Holidays, Lenny!” while Kate Customer
reads “Happy Holidays, Kate!”

Names are only the beginning of the personalization features
available, though. In addition to full, first, and last
names, some autoresponders let you add e-mail addresses,
dates, or an ad category. The best even correct the
capitalization in your leads’ names, giving your messages a
much more professional look.

Track Your Leads

Get even better results from your snowballing list of leads
by experimenting with follow up content and timing. Your
experimentation will be much more successful if you have
access to proper statistics.

Only use a follow up autoresponder that offers detailed lead
statistics. Look for live, graphical stats that show your
incoming leads broken down by day / week / month, all of
your active leads, and leads who have requested removal from
your list.

Broadcast Tailor-Made Offers

To get more bang for your holiday buck, look for an
autoresponder that also lets you broadcast extra e-mails to
all of your leads. Some even allow you to send tailor-made
offers only to leads who meet certain criteria.

For instance, send everyone who’s been on your list for a
month a special discount. Or, notify all leads interested
in a certain product when a new shipment comes in.

Follow up messages keep leads warm. Use periodic broadcasts
to convert them to sales!

Prevent a Crummy Christmas

Businesses of all sizes have seen their sales grow by leaps
and bounds because of automated follow up. Implement your
follow up strategy now to make the best use of holiday
leads! Then, enjoy the season – your autoresponder is
following up for you!

Beka Ruse is the Business Development Manager at AWeber
Communications. Find a free article archive, and more
about automated e-mail follow up at:$PUBLISHER_ID/lhs.htm

Sydell, L. (2009, October 23). Holiday Online Retail,
National Public Radio’s Marketplace
Covert, J. (2009, October 23). NY Fashion Designers Launch
Bid to Revive Holiday Sales, Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Beka Ruse is the Business Development Manager at AWeber
Communications. Find a free article archive, and more
about automated e-mail follow up at:

Written by: Beka Ruse

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