The 2013 Holiday Season is off to a running start with many large and small retailers starting their advertising already. I've heard many different news outlets say that the holiday season is shorter this year, but it's still the same number of days between today and Christmas.
Actually, it's really only the US market that is looking at this year as a "shorter" season because we have a self inflicted border on the calendar (Thanksgiving) that sends everyone into a shopping frenzy the next day.
I've been tracking email marketing campaigns for the last 3 years and every year I'm seeing "holiday" emails earlier and earlier. This year the "holiday super sales" and "doorbuster" emails were already hitting my inbox at 4:24 AM on November 1st.
WHEW, I'm pretty sure some people were just getting home from Halloween parties at that time!
Here are some of the emails I've received so far.
"Celebrate Forever - Leave her speechless this holiday with the ring of her dreams."
Notice how the stud earrings and the rings were shot with a shiny background rather on pure white. This is an editorial shot that ties into the theme of the season. Both photos linked to gift pages on their website. In fact, notice how it says "Shop Holiday Gifts" next to the studs. The page it linked to actually said "Christmas Gifts"
As you can see in the image below, on November 2, 2013 Brighton threw out any hint of subtlety and went right for "All the Trimmings."
Notice the hashtag below their logo on the website, it says #BrightonYourHoliday.
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers
The email I'm showing below is similar to what I would expect for a Black Friday ad. Each of those red dots linked to a different page on their website.
JeGem Artisan Jewelry
The jegem.com website always has interesting photography. They always use some type of stylized background instead of pure white. My personal recommendation is always to include at least one pure white background when selling restockable items, but their items are all one of a kind.
The email image below shows the first 2 items from their list of 8. Notice the attractive editorial quality of the photos.
Even though these are one-of-a-kind items they still take the time to shoot photos for each. They probably have an experienced photographer, a good camera, and a great lightbox. I recommend the PhotoCubics Flashox.
It seems like Pandora is really jumping ahead with this one. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin on December 25th and end on January 5th. Pandora started sending these daily emails on November 4th.
H. Samuel, The Jeweller
The emails I've shown so far all link to various subtle holiday themed websites. This jeweller has already gone to the extreme with their email and the website home page you see below. They are located in the UK where they don't have the imaginary border on the calendar like we do in the States. Their holiday season is already here without any worry of someone hastagging #tooearly.
I've enjoyed watching how J.R.Dunn crafts their emails and weaves their website over the last few years. They recently redesigned their website and they are off to a head start with their email marketing campaigns this year.
The red ad you see below is from JR Dunn last year on November 23, 2012. That was their first email about the holiday season. The blue ad below is from November 5, 2013. They started their holiday marketing campaign 18 days earlier this year.
A few years ago it was strange to see any holiday emails before Thanksgiving. In fact, my tracking from back then has many generic ads, Fall ads, and Thanksgiving ads. Holiday emails in November certainly would be hashtagged with #toosoon.
That's all changed now. This year the holiday season isn't actually shorter; but in fact it's already begun. So decorate your store and start those holiday promotions today!