Start planning for holiday e-mail campaigns today!

As the holiday season quickly approaches, it's time to start thinking about your marketing strategy.

E-mail is still the work-horse of holiday marketing. E-mail marketing has many advantages over the alternatives. It's cheaper, faster, and provides feedback almost instantly. Direct mail and other forms of marketing can't do that.

Other forms of marketing, such as text messaging, are beginning to come to fruition, but they don't have the reliability, accessibility and time-tested rates of success of e-mail. E-mail marketing has the highest ROI and the holidays are the best time to use e-mail to cash in.

Consumers are looking to buy during the holiday season. If there is any time that your offer will be welcome and have a high chance of being acted on, it's during this short period of time. One great thing about starting a campaign during the holiday season is that it can get you off to a very good start with your email list.

If you provide an exciting offer during the holiday months, you can start a very positive relationship with your list members that can last all year.

One way to make the most out of your holiday marketing is to start early and do some A/B testing. By that I mean segmenting your list and sending out two or more different campaigns to different segments to see which gets the better response. This will give you insight into what your customers are looking for and will help you narrow down your most effective material. Starting early gives you the chance to fine tune your campaigns before the big push closer to the holidays.

This is also a great time of year to kick off a social media campaign through e-mail. Many companies have been providing offers solely to their Facebook or Twitter page members. Holiday exclusives for your social media customers and fans will help you build your connection with your customer base. The most common way this is implemented is by offering a coupon or online price only to those who have agreed to follow you on Twitter or are "Fans" of your friend page on Facebook.

The holiday season is crunch time for retailers all over the country, don't let your competition beat you to the punch, cash in on the holiday buying frenzy with an effective and easy e-mail campaign from

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