The Christmas Marketing That Worked on Me, and Why

It was the weekend before Christmas, and all through the house, not a wallet had opened, we hadn’t even gone out. … So, some direct marketing shopping was in order, but from who? Here are a couple pieces of marketing that worked on me this holiday season.

For a few years now I’ve been sending them Harry & David gift towers, which have been great. (Who doesn’t love soft, juicy pears?) But it was getting lame that I kept sending more or less the same thing over and over. So I was on the lookout for a fresh supplier of their holiday goodies.

Bam! This shows up in my mailbox:

Fairytale Brownies sends a timely catalog.
Fairytale Brownies sends a timely catalog.

Why it worked: Just look at that cover photography! That looks delicious (and I apologize if my own photo lighting loses some of that effect). Also, I’ve heard of Fairytale Brownies, I feel like they have a good reputation, and I’ve wanted to try them myself.

As you saw in the ThinkGeek order, I like a deal. And unfortunately, I feel like the catalog is missing a strong incentive to buy. (I didn’t qualify for the free shipping, which is set at a goofy point just above their best gifts and calculated individually by address — frankly, that almost blew the sale when I saw the shipping prices.)

I really bought this on how different it was from what I’d been sending and how tasty the goods looked. Also, their timing was perfect. This came on the Friday of the weekend before Christmas, and I was placing orders Saturday morning to get to everyone in time. It’s a great example of why you want to make sure your catalogs are in-home in key buying windows. If I got this today, I probably would’ve already ordered from somewhere else.

So while I like a deal, Fairytale’s execution and novelty overcame a clumsy offer.

Naughty or Nice? PBS and Criteo

Recently, my wife started watching Anne of Green Gables reruns on PBS. She is not on the regular PBS mailing list, but she was poking around the site to find the show’s air times.

The next day she got this:

PBS Email via Criteo
PBS noticed a site visit, and followed up with relevant, timely email offers via Criteo.

In case you can’t read it, here’s the message at the end of the email:

This message is personalized by Criteo Email based on your previous browsing behavior. To understand why you received this email and access Criteo Email privacy policy, click here. If you want to opt-out only from Criteo Email personalized emails, click here.

What’d she think of this retargeting?

  1. How’d they get my email?
  2. That IS what I’ve been looking at. (Although not something she was interested in purchasing.)
  3. I guess it feels a little intrusive.

It’s a pretty cool retargeting tactic, just be gentle and try to make sure your offer justifies the intrusion.

Christmas Marketing Gift Wrapped

So that’s the kind of marketing that got through to me this season. When I look at it together, two factors were at play: relevancy and deals.

In other words, the marketers who got my business made the right offers, in the right places, at the right times.

When it comes to marketing tactics, that classic never goes out of style.

Author: Thorin McGee

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

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