Today we're going to give you some ideas for email and website content that you should launch on the Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. That's 2 weeks from today, so if you jump on this right now, you can still get it done.
To begin, we'd like you to take a moment and think about all the emails your vendors have sent you in the past week or so. This year it seems like many vendors are promoting their low-cost jewelry lines. These low-cost lines include silver charms, woven jewelry, alternative metals, and we've seen a few specials on traditional jewelry including pearls.
Black Friday shoppers will probably be more interested in finding gift items for people on their list than directly interested in spending time looking at your expensive ring showcase; so stay focused on the holiday buyers on Black Friday and give them a reason to go to your store. Take a close look at those recent announcements from your vendors.
Some of your vendors will have their own "Lookbooks" or holiday catalogs, and if possible you should get your hands on digital copies of these for your website. Just in case the term "Lookbook" is unfamiliar to you, it usually refers to a printed (or PDF) portfolio that represents a product line or fashion collection. Prices and product descriptions are usually not included in the lookbook and the photos focus on the clothing or jewelry rather than on a specific background or model. A price and description page can either be included at the back of the book or provided as a separate sheet of paper.
As internet connection speeds increase, more people are enjoying large quality photographs. These Lookbooks can create wide interest as eye-candy for your jewelry buyers. We recently saw the "A\W 2011 Lookbook" from the jewelry vendor Thistle & Bee, it was quite stunning with the large photos and sharp details. Your Facebook fans would "Like" and fall in love with many of these photos if posted there.
If your vendors don't have holiday preview catalog, you should be able to easily put your own together following our suggestions here. For this project you probably shouldn't rely on your own photography because the lookbook photos should be extremely high quality and taken with a macro lens to show the finite detail. You will have to request high quality the photos from your vendors, ask them specifically for 300dpi photos for print even though you will use them online.
Choose 30 to 40 items, perhaps even a few suites of jewelry to fill out that number. Depending on your target audiences you might want to gather photos from a few price points or create a few different lookbooks; perhaps one in silver, beads, mens, bridal, and then the dedicated book to your "holiday specials."
You could put all your images together as a PDF and offer it as a download, and you could take that PDF and turn it into an online flip-book, but we're recommending a simple online photo gallery on your website, or Facebook, or Picasa, or Flickr, or even Google+. Yes, we're actually stretching the real definition of the lookbook from a printed catalog to an online photo gallery using one of those website methods.
Normally we would recommend to keep your product image sizes lower to maintain fast load times, but in this case, when you're advertising a "Holiday Preview Lookbook" you can throw out that recommendation in favor of overwhelming your visitors with large, crisp photos. You can't achieve "eye-candy" status with small photos.
So load all those photos up to your favorite photo sharing site. We have to break further from the normal lookbook approach and advise you to include the piece's name or brief description as the caption of the photo. We don't actually recommend including the exact style number because that would allow for online price comparisons, so just include the name or description. We also don't recommend linking these photos to the product catalog page of your website (assuming you have one) because the online photos will surely outlive the current version of your website. You don't want to create broken links 18 months from now when you refresh your website, so if you feel compelled to link, just link to your home page.
Getting back to the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving: You should announce your Lookbook, perhaps even call it a "Holiday Preview Lookbook from [Jewelry Store]."
Here are some suggestions for Facebook posts, Tweets, and email subject lines.
"Jewelry Store Holiday Lookbook - A Special Sneak Peek"
"Pre Black Friday Holiday Lookbook"
"Pre Black Friday Holiday Gift Ideas - View Our Jewelry Lookbook"
In the body of your email you should include 1 or 2 of the photos from the lookbook; you may need to PhotoShop them together as a single image. Ad text for the email could include ideas like these:
"View our special Holiday Jewelry Collection on Facebook"
"Explore the Lookbook online"
"You're among the first to receive this Holiday Lookbook Preview"
Make sure to include a link to the online photo gallery inside your email, Facebook update, Tweet, and Google+ update.
So that's it; you're off to a non-sales-y start with your online marketing. Tomorrow we continue with some ideas for a Thanksgiving Day email.