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Multichannel Emarketing Egg Nog Part One: Five Tips for Preparing for the 2006 Holiday Season
by Ryan P. Allis, CEO of IntelliContact

With September approaching, thoughts of the upcoming 2006 Holiday Season near. While some are dismayed with thoughts of colder weather and having to see their estranged family members yet once again, retailers, and especially e-retailers, are once again seeing sugarplums dancing in their heads. As an email marketer, it is a fair question to ask how you can prepare a campaign centered around the Holidays that will help your business grow during the fourth quarter—and further, how can you use new emarketing channels like RSS feeds and blogs to increase hits to your site and sales to your topline.

Here are five tips that will help you plan your Holiday campaigns as an IntelliContact user:

1. Check Out Our Library of Holiday and Product Templates.
IntelliContact has 14 Holiday-themed templates for you to choose from and 27 product-feature templates designed to showcase your top selling items. Take a look yourself by going to Create > Create a Message > Create a New Message Using MessageBuilder™.

2. Plan on Using RSS as well as Email Newsletters.
Many of your customers may prefer to receive their updates from you via an RSS feed instead of via email. Create an RSS feed by going to Create > RSS Feeds and then link to your feed URL in your newsletter and on your web site. If you need any help with this you can check out our RSS Feed Video Tutorial. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is an additional channel that you can publish your content, news, and promotions within to gain additional readers and exposure.

3. Publish Your Content as a Blog.
Starting in just a few weeks, you’ll be able to use IntelliContact to publish your e-content as a blog—either via a seamless and easy integration with Blogger or by selecting an IntelliContact blog template. Once you’ve created your company blog, make updates every few days about specials, discounts, or what’s selling especially well this season. Give your entries a personal flair and ask those who blog about your industry to link to your blog.

4. Start Early.
Many shoppers start their online Holiday shopping around November 1. So start planning your campaigns over the next 30 days and start sending out information on discounts, specials, and coupons in early October to be sure you’re at the top of your subscribers’ and repeat customers’ minds come November.

5. Add an Autoresponder Ecourse. Creating an autoresponder in IntelliContact is as easy as going to Create > Autoresponders. Try creating a 5-day Ecourse on whatever it is you’re selling. Then add a sign up form for the Ecourse to your web site by going to My Contacts > Sign Up Form. You’ll start getting sign-ups for your autoresponder ecourse and have the chance to educate your prospects on your products and services just in time to maximize November and December sales—all without any work after the initial setup.

That’s it for part one of Multichannel Emarketing Egg Nog. I’ll see you next month in the Email Marketing Monthly!

This Ebusiness article was written by Ryan P Allis on 8/29/2006

Ryan P. Allis, 22, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to
building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of
the email marketing software IntelliContact and CEO of Virante, Inc.,
a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an
economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more].