Your Q4 goals have been set, promotion campaigns scheduled, and creative drafted—but what else could you be doing to maximize the customer experience this holiday season?

7 Proven Methods to Drive Holiday Sales

Together, we’re delving into three new features in Salesforce Marketing Cloud you should be leveraging to get more out of your holiday campaigns.

1. Live Weather Content Block

The Live Weather Content Block is a feature in Salesforce that allows for personalized images—based on local weather conditions—to appear when a subscriber opens an email.

Frigid temps and snow-covered streets happening in your zip code? Open your email to an image of sandy beaches and sunshine with an enticing message reminding you warmer weather is nearby, courtesy of an airline or hotel company. If rain is in the forecast, encourage subscribers to stay dry and check out a movie this weekend.

By leveraging local weather conditions, you’re curating content that’s relevant for every subscriber while driving traffic to your store or website. This feature launched in January 2019 and allows brands to activate it this holiday season to have an easy early-adopter advantage in the noisiest inbox season of them all.

2. Einstein Send Time Optimization

Timing is everything. The holiday season is a time when retailers see an influx of new and formerly unengaged subscribers. That’s why it’s important to ensure campaigns, such as your welcome and win-back messages are refreshed, inviting, and tell your brand story (and perhaps offer an incentive to encourage conversion).

A First Look at the Salesforce Customer 360 Data Manager

Once that’s complete, make sure those emails get to the inbox at the right time. To do this, apply the latest feature from Salesforce—Einstein Send Time Optimization—to ensure emails are hitting your subscribers’ inboxes when they’re most likely to open your emails.

Based on customer data collected over time, your email send times can be optimized by identifying when each subscriber is most likely to open their emails. Try it and watch your engagement rates go up.

Ideally, you’ll want to utilize this feature in any journey campaign set up in Salesforce’s Journey Builder platform. Don’t forget to use the Einstein Engagement Scoring tool to monitor your audience health and identify customer segments based on likely engagement.

Einstein Send Time Optimization is only available through Journey Builder, which leads to our final tip…

3. Plan Holiday Campaigns as Journeys

Journeys shape the customer experience. One way brands are taking a big step toward customer centricity is ditching one-size-fits-all email sends for multi-touch, cross-channel journey-based campaigns that respond to customer behavior and interests.

This can be a series of emails or segmented emails, plus an SMS alert or an Ad Studio audience generated for targeting in walled gardens, like Facebook and Google. This is an ideal tool when thinking about an overarching campaign, instead of that single, Black Friday deployment that needs to go out on November 29.

The journey-based campaign mentality forces marketers to think about audience triggers, decisions, and context, so that we’re better tailoring messaging to the moments that matter most to customers.

Wrapping up your holiday email strategy

4 Ways Brands Can Avoid the Post‑Holiday Customer Drop-Off

‘Tis the season to send more curated and timely campaigns through the use of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. While it’s the peak time for email deployments and mass consumer messaging, don’t let your campaigns get lost in the inbox shuffle this year by testing out the features available within the tools you have.

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