Oct 30, 2014

Holiday Email Marketing for Small Businesses

With 2014 coming to a close, we asked some of our customers about their holiday email marketing plans. We wanted to know more about how they run small businesses so that we could better support them in the future. Our survey got 1,067 responses, and we learned a whole lot in the process. You can take a gander at the results here, but there were a few things that stood out to us.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, 100% of the survey’s respondents (73% e-commerce, 27% brick-and-mortar) said they planned to use email marketing to promote or increase their holiday sales in 2014. The vast majority handle their own email marketing strategy and execution. Most send weekly, monthly, or irregularly, and consider email marketing overall to be “very important” to their business, with email among the top 3 reported sources of revenue for both e-commerce and traditional retail. In both those worlds, a majority of respondents said they planned to use email more in their holiday marketing this year than in 2013. (Y’all really know how to make us blush!)

We were also interested to see what other marketing tactics our customers planned to use this holiday season. Paid advertising (like Facebook ads and Google PPC) is trending downward, but it looks like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook will be more popular in 2014 than 2013.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 12.56.15 PM

Instagram will also be a popular tool—41% of e-commerce and 42% of retail users said they’ll be using it more this year. We were thrilled to see this because—well, have you met our new buddy, MailChimp Snap? It’s never been easier to send simple, photo-based email campaigns right from your iPhone, and you can pull the shots straight from your Instagram account.

One survey question we didn’t include is, “How insanely busy are you during the holidays!?” But we all know the answer. Whether you do retail or e-commerce, MailChimp Snap can save you time. When you get in a shipment of some exciting new product, take a photo and send it to your best customers. You could even have people sign up to be notified when a popular item is in stock, then send off a photo with details as soon as it’s ready for them. It’s a super-simple way to offer that extra level of personal, knowledgeable service you know your customers value. And your reports will show up in your MailChimp account, so you can see what works best for you.

There’s a lot more survey information to dig into, so check it out. And happy holidaying!