A global pandemic, cultural shifts, new technology and privacy laws: a lot has happened this year, which guarantees that later this year, retailers will see a holiday season unlike any other. That said, the best time to start thinking about your holiday marketing is now.

By testing your CRM and email experiences sooner rather than later, you will see a better payoff come Cyber Week. Working with the Sailthru team on the 2020 Holiday Marketing Playbook, we made a conscious decision to zero in on the strategies and tactics that will help you have a happy holiday season, but that can also be executed fairly quickly and easily. To start, here are five particularly important holiday marketing must haves:

1. Drive Growth With Data and Personalization

Personalize. Retarget. Predict. Once you’ve captured a customer’s email address and information, you can enhance your holiday marketing by combining that data with channel or campaign source to create a custom onboarding email series. On a more advanced level, if you have a prediction tool you can try targeting prospect audiences based on predicted conversion and lifetime value.

2. Reward Your Best Customers

It may be tough for some brands to grow their consumer base due to the pandemic, but they shouldn’t forget the 80/20 rule: 80% of revenue typically comes from the top 20% of your customer base. It’s a great time to lean into nurturing your high-intent buyers to ensure your brand is top of mind come the holidays. Don’t have a loyalty program? No problem. You can email your best customers with early accesses to sales or connect them with personal shoppers, like Revolve.

3. Be Consistent With Your Holiday Marketing

Think about the content and promotions you include in email marketing. They should reflect what customers see on your website, mobile app and social media. Did a customer find you with a paid search ad? You can segment those messages by keyword. According to last year’s Retail Personalization Index, the stronger a brand’s cross-channel experience, the more likely people are to enjoy their shopping experience.

4. Tailor Your Triggers

Triggered messages, which account for more than three-quarters of email revenue, are an effective way to combine automation and personalization. These emails are behavior-based, making them inherently personalized. Set up your communications so that when a customer takes an action, whether that’s signing up for your email list or abandoning their cart, you have a meaningful reaction ready to go. Still, don’t pass up the opportunity to include your sitewide sales!

5. Embrace Brick-and-Click

As consumer behaviors change, brands must adapt to meet those behaviors. Take buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup, for example. In April, when nearly all Americans were under stay-at-home orders in some capacity, adoption increased 208%. If a model like this applies to your company, ensure timely customer communication across all platforms to create a frictionless experience.

For more tactical advice on how to crush the upcoming holiday season, click here to download the playbook for 2020 holiday marketing.