"Want to get beautiful gifts?"
"Beat the Rush with these Early Christmas Gifts"
"Just in time for holiday parties!"
"Ready for the Holidays?"
"Start Planning Your Holiday Gifts"
"Early Cyber Monday Deal!"
"New Early Black Friday Specials Online Now"
There's no doubt about it this year. In the United States is seems like every big brand launched their holiday marketing campaigns exactly at the same time on November 1, 2012. In fact I received a cute email from Tiffany & Co. at 5:07pm on October 31st with the message "Happy Halloween, Pumpkin," and then almost 12 hours later, at 4:41am on November 1st Blue Nile sent me an email saying "Start Holiday Shopping Now."
The 8 headlines I quoted above were all received in emails over the last 14 days. Each of the emails presented some type of advanced holiday offer and a link to a website page which elaborated on the offer.
I've also noticed that all of the big brands are very careful about their phrases. The websites and ads are very specific to recognize that we are still in November and have used words to express that.
Seven days from today is the Eve of Thanksgiving. If you're planning a big Black Friday event you will need to have your website set up for it by next Wednesday. Your Black Friday email should also go out on the 21st or the 22nd.
Any marketing you do over the next 7 days on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, email, and your website should include phrasing that expresses "early" or "planning ahead" of some type. Also, remember that it's mostly the ladies that plan ahead so your phrasing should be targeted towards "her" and what she might need to buy as gifts.
At about December 5th you can switch your marketing to target ads for "him."
Email marketing is an important part of today's digital world. If you haven't sent emails recently then it's time to dust off that list of customer addresses and send something out this week. Don't know what to send? That's easy! Grab the information from next week's ad along with a Thanksgiving story.
I'll assume your newspaper/direct mail/billboard ad for next week has something to do with Black Friday or the official launch of the holiday season. Use the image from your existing ad at the top of the email. Make sure to link that ad to a page on your website that gives more detail.
Below the image you should include a story about Thanksgiving. It could be a cooking story, a family story, or a love story. The story doesn't have to sell anything, your goal it to start the process of engaging your customers.
Although it might be rushing it, if you can get an email sent within the next 7 days you should continue to send one every week through December 21st.