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Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Marketing Lessons from the 2007 Holiday Season

By Robert Gorell
January 24th, 2008

Holiday marketing lessonsWhat, you thought the holidays were over just because you’ve cleaned the pine needles off the floor, scraped the the candle wax off the kitchen table, and neglected to thank your in-laws for that $20 gift card you’ve been ignoring?

Don’t worry. It’s almost done. But now that the dust has settled, it’s a good time to reflect on how to best prepare for November before September rolls around and you wish you’d made some different decisions back in January.

Linda Bustos and the team at Elastic Path Software’s Get Elastic blog have compiled a list of their favorite B2C marketing optimization posts from the holiday season. Linda was even kind enough to include Future Now’s 2007 Retail Customer Experience Survey as well as the holiday shopping webinar they hosted with our own Melissa Burdon.

So, toss out those stale candy canes and read the “Ecommerce Holiday Marketing Guide“:


• Full Holiday 2007 post-mortem from
• OneUpWeb’s 2006 Holiday Online Retail Buying Trends white paper – excellent resource.
• Marketing Experiments has a great merchandising calendar that you can download.

Choosing the right promotions

Valentine’s marketing ideas that can be applied to any holiday.
• Offering free shipping to Canada? How to optimize your site for it.

Off-site messaging

Examples of Facebook marketing creative and landing pages.

On-site messaging

• Future Now’s 2007 Retail Customer Experience Survey results.
• Examples of Christmas home page designs.
• Palmer Web Marketing’s post on saving stockout sales.
• Trigger email tip for recovering abandoned shopping carts with email, you can use this for low-stocked items sitting in an abandoned cart.
• Detailed post on shipping cutoff dates.
Store locator usability examples and tips.

Building trust

User Reviews: The Power of Social Commerce webinar replay and summary blog post.


• Example of the word-of-mouth effect that Zappos-type return shipping policies can have.

Essential email

12 Can’t Miss Email Strategies for Online Retailers
webinar replay and summary blog post.
• Net-A-Porter’s example of emailing your wishlist.
• If you’re looking for inspiration on a particular season, check out RetailEmail.Blogspot’s seasonal archive. From Breast Cancer Awareness Month to Earth Day, you can see screenshots of email campaigns and scan subject lines.

Masterful merchandising

Cross-selling dos and don’ts with examples from top online retailers.

Capturing last minute shoppers

We have several posts on this:

Last-minute holiday marketing tactics for online retailers
Optimizing your store for last minute shoppers
Tips for converting last minute shoppers
In-store pickup usability tips is the service that allows you to add gift notification services to your e-store.

You’ll also enjoy our Webinar with Melissa Burdon of Future Now: 7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Holiday Conversion Rate.

Other holiday marketing posts from Future Now:

UPDATE: Elastic Path’s “12 Things Every Retailer Must Learn from Christmas ’07” webinar is now available for your viewing enjoyment. 8)

Add Your Comments

Comments (6)

  1. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for joining us today and spreading the link love. I’m really enjoying GrokDotCom and I love having solid research to reference in our posts and webinars. Keep it coming :D

  2. Hi Robert,

    Holiday season is sometimes a bit hectic and I’m sure these links will be helpful! I think I’ll have to save these links for the future as I don’t think I need them now.

    Do you have any links or advice on e-cards? Do you think they are a bit tacky?



  3. Camper Van NZ,

    I don’t know of any helpful posts that address e-cards directly, but I wouldn’t say that they’re categorically tacky.

    Is it possible to do a tacky e-card? Absolutely. Just as it’s possible to do a tacky email. In fact, I’d say there probably isn’t much difference, other than an e-card should…

    -First and foremost, focused on wishing a happy holiday to the customer.

    -Second, the person should have actually been a customer at some point, or else it’s not permission marketing, it’s spam.

    -Finally, there should be some type of friendly promotional offer for the customer. It’s nice to just wish someone happy holidays, but a lot of people (like me) find it tacky for a business to send an email if they’re not actually offering something. A great example of how to miss out on a huge e-card opportunity is the OfficeMax Elf Yourself campaign. If you have a chance, read my piece on How to Elf Yourself Out of Millions. That should clarify a few more points.

    Thanks for writing in!

  4. Hi Robert and Sarah.

    I’ve always used e-cards as a way to say thank you to our clients. It is especially relevant to our business as we do animations for our clients. I think e-cards can be tacky if they are not received in the right context. Just depends how you present them.

  5. When it’s holiday. Many people were happy.
    shoebuy coupons

  6. This is really good, even in 2010. Remember that 2007 was still peak retail, so remember those lessons for the future.

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