Should You be Theming Your Newsletters for Festivities?
30 Jan 2019

Should You be Theming Your Newsletters for Festivities?

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and Easter creeping up before we know it, should we be using festival themes in our email campaigns?

This is an interesting dilemma. We know email marketing works – studies show it has an ROI of an incredible 3800%. However, we also know that personalisation is the central key to a successful email marketing campaign. Go over the top with the theming to fit a festivity and you run the risk of losing personalisation.

This is particularly important when we consider that the vast majority of email revenue (75%) comes about on the back of triggered campaigns. This means that the personalised campaigns kicked into action because of a specific action by the recipient are the most powerful.

Therefore, if you use a generic festival-based theme without any personalisation, or thought to the relevance of the content within, you’re not going to get very far.


The appeal of themes

That said, there is a huge appeal to theming. It’s useful for marketers to ‘hang’ their emails on. This is particularly true for retailers who are keen to push particular festival based products. For example, with Valentine’s Day coming up, retailers will be pushing chocolate hearts over chocolate eggs and fluffy teddies over fluffy chicks. Come February 15th that will switch as retailers move towards promoting their Easter stock.

We also know that festivities – particularly the big whammy of Christmas – are times when consumers are more likely to part with their cash. It’s a ripe time to market.

Using holiday or festival based themes make the task of creating the email design and message easier. It’s not uncommon for those in charge of email newsletters to sit down to create that much needed email and they are quickly stumped by designer and writer’s block.

So, given that it’s appealing, how can you use festival angles effectively in your email newsletters?


How to use themes in email newsletter campaigns

Firstly, consider the nature of your business. Whether you’re a retailer or a different type of business, will greatly affect how you use festivity theming. Retailers can go in hard and use it with glee. Service-based businesses will want to be a little more cautious. In these cases, your festivity hook can be used to promote discounts, sales and special offers.

Next, you need to put considerable effort into the planning phase. You shouldn’t be leaping onto the bandwagon of festival peg a day or two before the date. You need to plan this in your email campaign schedule several weeks, if not months, in advance. You need to pique your customer’s curiosity well in advance of the festival date.

Also while planning, you should consider how previous holiday campaigns with your email newsletters has worked. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and refine your approach accordingly.


Utilising themes in your email marketing campaigns

Let’s consider the emails themselves. As we repeatedly remind you, the subject line is of paramount importance. We don’t wish to sound like a broken record, but we keep reminding you because it is vital. The same applies with festival theming.

A festivity will help you out with the creativity – an area where you may usually become stuck. However, don’t use it at the expense of personalisation, or failing to intrigue.

Assuming you’ve succeeded with the subject line and are getting click-throughs, your next focus needs to move to the content. Festival and holiday angle is great fun to produce, but you need to be careful that it doesn’t detract from your message. Use it as a tool and a framework to appeal to the current thoughts of your audience.

There’s another clever trick to using festivity theming with your email newsletters. If you can, you can try incorporating something ‘real time’. Perhaps that’s a countdown to Valentine’s Day or an advent calendar for Christmas. The idea here is to motivate people to take action, quickly, before they miss the moment. It’s all about creating a sense of urgency.


Take care

Don’t forget what it’s like with your own inbox. Each festival that comes round, you likely become king or queen of the delete button. Your inbox is swamped with themed promotional emails.

Therefore, never forget your audience. Are they the types who will appreciate a fun and jovial holiday email, or will their loyalty wobble if they feel you’re patronising them? If you’re unsure, you can use a rating/feedback feature within the email to gauge what the recipients really think.


Don’t forget about the copy

As with the design, it’s easy to get carried away with the theme. Some campaigns can take all the festival puns and still work, while others need to be a lot more careful and creative with their wording. Again, keep your audience right at the front of your mind. If in doubt, use a professional copywriter.

Within the copy, don’t neglect the call to action (CTA). The CTA should be a loud shining beacon, and not lost because of dazzling design features or trying-to-be-clever copy. Perhaps you want to entice them into a competition to count the spiders on your website in the lead up to Halloween? Maybe they could enter a contest to think of a name for the company’s new furry bunny in the lead up to Easter?


And finally…

Remember that the most successful email marketing campaigns are unique to the individual business and their audience. There is no one size fits all. The same is particularly true for theming email newsletters for festivities. You need to consider your unique relationship with your recipients, and use the theming to help, rather than evade.

Don’t forget, you can always make things easier for yourself by using Postman email newsletter templates.

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