The holiday season is the premier time to maximize revenue for your business because, naturally, people are in the mood to buy. That being said, if you’re not one of the big retail giants online, you’re probably going to be hurting to get people to purchase from you. Even if your coupons are better than those big stores—which might be hard in and of itself—you’re still going to lose because they just have more pull than you do.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t emulate the success of online stores like Finish Line and 6PM. What it does mean, though, is that you’re going to have to get creative when trying to bring people onto your website to purchase and to actually get them to make the purchase.

email 300x100 Increase Holiday Income with Discounts and Email MarketingWhenever I work with an online retailer to help them grow their business, the very first thing that I do is check to see if they are collecting people’s emails in some shape or form. The reason I do this is because, fundamentally, the email is the most intimate way in which a business can interact with their current customers and potential customers.

Therefore, if you are not already collecting people’s emails, you should be. And this tip is regardless of the size of your business. You can have only one product for sale or you can have ten thousand products for sale. If you are trying to sell something to your visitors and get them to open their wallets, you need to have some sort of an email collecting system in place.

Here’s the reason…

If you are collecting emails, you are getting into people’s inboxes. Therefore, when they check their phone; check, your email shows. When they open up their email on their desktop; check, your email shows. Look on a tablet; check, your email shows. In other words, the email that they are checking, your company is going to show and that’s important.

Another reason is the simple fact that one’s email is very intimate. We tend to trust, just a little bit more, what flows into our inbox. So, if a company says something, we’re more inclined to believe it than if we see it on a social network or something along those lines.

Okay, that’s great, but the title I said above was how discounts and email marketing can increase revenue.

And the secret to that is to give away the discount in the email. Here’s how.

During the year leading up to the big holiday season, send out emails that are informative. If you run a clothing retail store, send out a monthly or bi-weekly email that talks about the dos and don’ts of fashion. White socks should not go with black dress pants, right? Maybe talk about what’s trending right now with an unforced link to your offerings. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you’re sending them information on a predetermined schedule that they find useful.

The reason you do this is to build their trust. Remember how we talked about the inbox being intimate? Well, by interacting with them via email over a long period of time, you can increase that level of intimacy. And you’ll do so over months and months until the time comes, right around October and November, where you pull the trigger.

Send out an email saying that you’re going to be having a great sale coming up. Ask your visitors to retweet and share on Facebook the fact that the sale is coming up. Some might, some might not. But, you want to use these subscribers to start getting interest to the site. And, if they do retweet and share, more people will know and more people might subscribe to the newsletter.

The day before the sale, send an email reminding everyone that there is a sale the next day (and talk about the sale a bit). Tell them that you’ll be giving them a killer coupon and that they’re going to love it.

And finally, the morning of the sale, email the coupon out. At this point, you would have created a lot of buzz and people, if they trust you (which they should since you’ve been building rapport by sending out those emails monthly), they are going to purchase.

Email marketing is a fantastic tool to engage with your customers. And, by using it to get coupons out and build buzz, you can quickly increase the profitability of your business this holiday season. The best part is, each year, you can keep building your list and it’ll just turn into more and more money for you.

Jay is an Internet marketer who helps smaller companies try and emulate the success of companies like Finish Line and 6PM with their own online stores. By using coupons and discounts, even small e-commerce sites can succeed. He runs a coupon website that offers the discount code and the free shipping 6pm coupon code.