August 11, 2011, 11:35 AM is making its marketing e-mail list and checking it twice

Fourth quarter sales success starts with the right e-mails.

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Summer is not yet officially over, but many e-retailers, like online-only office and restaurant supplies retailer, are preparing for the busy fourth quarter holiday season.

A big part of preparing  for fourth quarter sales is knowing one’s customers, says David Redlich, co-CEO of, No. 365 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. knows that many of its customers will host holiday parties and some, like restaurateurs, will need additional glassware and serving trays among other supplies, he says. With that in mind, marketing e-mails to’s restaurant customers will tout a ready supply of glassware and other entertainment-related supplies. And for the retailer’s business customers those messages might feature chafing dishes, he says.

Those e-mails will take the place of promotions for everyday items, like toilet paper, that may be profitable at other times of the year but are not likely to boost sales much in the fourth quarter. “We’re not going to send out toilet paper e-mails that say we can gift wrap this for you,” Redlich says.

The ultimate goal of e-mail marketing, of course, is spurring potential customers to visit and buy something, Redlich says. “The holidays are a great acquisition model,” he says. “Everyone’s looking to buy.”

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