Many large retailers and department stores have started a new trend of promoting online sales on Thanksgiving day and even opening their retail stores late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day. Responsys.com tracked a 32% increase on Thanksgiving day email traffic in 2010 and according to comScore, online sales for Thanksgiving Day 2010 jumped 28% to $407 million.
With this data it's obvious to us that that people are reading emails from their smartphones after their Thanksgiving dinner. They might be relaxing on the couch with the family, even watching the big game on TV, but secretly they are planning their holiday purchases.
You don't need an e-commerce website to benefit from a Thanksgiving Day email blast. You could use the email to plant an early thought and/or direct the person to your mobile website so they can view your jewelry catalog.
The following are some sample subject lines for Thanksgiving Day holiday emails. The samples come from the holiday email research published by the website Responsys. During the Holiday 2010 season, Responsys tracked emails from more than 100 large retailers and published a report of holiday email trends. We've modified them so you can see how they could work for your jewelry store. Also note that some of these examples are only for e-commerce jewelry websites.
"Thanksgiving Sale Online Only: Up to 20% Off"
"[Today Only!] Thanksgiving Day Special – Buy One Charm, Get One 50% Off!"
"[THURSDAY ONLY] – 25% off everything at Smith Jewelers"
"Online-only Thanksgiving Sale + Free Shipping"
"Browse Our Jewelry Catalog Today + 20% Holiday Coupon"
"Sneak Peek at Black Friday Specials + 20% Holiday Coupon"
"Thanksgiving Deals Start Today Online + 10% off Coupon"
"Black Friday Deals... The Savings Start Now!"
"Black Friday Specials online now + Ship for Free every day!"
"Shop Black Friday Deals Today + In-Store Coupons for Friday"
These examples are heavy on the coupons and discounting ideas. In 2010, we saw a large percentage of customer interest in couponing and deals. Many jewelers refuse to advertise coupons or discounts because it will cheapen their value, however we feel that a select group of jewelry could be used as the loss leader for coupon marketing.
We suggest that you do not simply email the coupons to your list. If you'd like to make it easy on your customers, you could send a coupon with a specific expiration date, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. However, we recommend setting up a special form on your website that the email would link to.
This special form is part of a strategy that has worked well for jewelers we've previously helped. Customers filling out that form would see on their screen and then print a special discount offer with a December 24, 2011 expiration date. They can redeem the Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday offer any time during the Holiday Season without rushing to your store. They would present the printout when making their purchase.
The added benefit to the customer is the longer expiration date, but the added value to you is that you now know who downloaded the offer and can contact them individually with reminders. As the expiration date draws near, you can send reminder emails that their special offer is about to expire.
On a technical note, you should include a list of exclusions on the discount, things like "does not include diamonds" and "excludes Pandora charms." You should have your programmer include the printout date and some other unique code so you can track it.
We will continue reviewing more of Responsys' email research tomorrow, starting with Black Friday email subject suggestions.