Whenever the holiday season approaches, retailers and e-tailers (online retailers) kick it into high gear and prepare for the mad rush of shoppers. But in today’s business climate, the competition for that holiday spending dollar is fierce. With only a limited holiday shopping window and a world of options for customers to choose from, how can a business make sure it gets the most out of consumers’ holiday spending spree?

Good email marketing software can be the magical ingredient, giving your marketing plan an extra edge over your competitor. With the explosive year-to-year growth in email marketing and the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) once again validating the extraordinary ROI that this medium can yield, it’s no wonder businesses are using direct email marketing as a key tactic to target holiday shoppers.

With email marketing firmly lodged into your marketing mix and some quality email marketing software in your arsenal, you can accomplish some very powerful and effective one-to-one communications. As the average consumer is bombarded by marketing messages (especially during the holidays) it can often be difficult for smaller businesses to get their message through the clutter. After all, while the bigger outlets are pumping tons of cash into TV ads, billboards, print ads, etc, how is the smaller vendor supposed to tell the consumer “Hey, do your holiday shopping with me!”?

With a good mailing list, any small business can use email marketing software to create a compelling and dynamic campaign that showcases its products and offerings right in the consumers’ inbox. Best of all, while the bigger companies are spending huge dollars on their TV campaigns, you can reach out and connect with your customers for a penny per person. (With that thought in mind, it’s no wonder why the DMA is preaching the big ROI you can expect from email marketing.)

Good email marketing software will even give you feedback in real-time, so you can know exactly which promotional elements (For example, product A or product B) are getting more traction. When your software reports back to you that a certain item is seemingly more interesting than another, it lets you tweak your marketing campaign, so you always get the best possible results. The retailer or etailer doesn’t have to have a degree in marketing to understand that more of their email marketing recipients are clicking on a certain link or opening the email with a certain subject.

Any small business can also reap the timely benefits of email marketing software and send out ‘holiday blitz’ type campaigns, where you offer a certain item on a special sale for only 24 hours (or any period you wish). In the past, such a complicated time-sensitive campaign might have been difficult to orchestrate. But today it just takes a few more clicks. There is no doubt that it’s highly effective to reach out to your consumers and tell them that, with 20 days to Christmas, they should take advantage of your ‘super special’ offer happening right now.

Every business is looking for that extra edge during the lucrative holiday season. While competition may be fierce, it’s important to put your best foot forward and if your marketing plan is equipped with some direct email marketing software that packs a punch, then you’ll be reeling in extra customers in no time.

Robert Burko is President of EliteEmail.com, the email marketing software trusted by thousands of businesses around the globe. Robert has consulted for both small and large organizations on how to best utilize direct email marketing solutions to boost sales and customer loyalty.
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