The holiday season is just around the corner, and you know what this means: not only chestnut roasting on an open fire, but plenty of holiday sales opportunities to leverage. It’s high time to get in full swing with holiday planning – if, of course, you want to stand out from the crowd and boost your online sales on these busiest shopping days of the year.
If you haven’t started planning yet, it’s not too late to make a difference and stuff your stocking with more sales! In fact, we have put together an entire webinar which features 30 practical tips to make this holiday season your best one yet.
This blog post will give you a sneak peek into 10 of the above-mentioned tips. These are aimed at your marketing team, but you’ll want to listen to the full webinar for the rest of the good stuff.
As you know, there are dozens of different “holidays” throughout the year, from National Donut Day to National Tartan Day (yes, really). If you sell donuts, Donut Day could be huge – but if not, you should probably skip it. It can be hard to decide on which holidays to focus, but making your holiday planning successful starts with focusing on the 10 holidays that will matter the most to your local audience.
Don’t forget such global key events/dates as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, as well as other non-traditional holidays that are big on the eCommerce shopping calendar, and remember that the importance of holidays will vary widely depending on the geography you’re targeting and the product or service you are selling. While Black Friday is huge in many countries, for China, the day you don’t want to miss is Single’s Day.
This is the fun part! Create clever holiday-themed emails, landing pages, social media posts, images and other elements that would promote your content in a way that resonates with the holiday at hand.
Get as creative as you like, then test to figure out what works best for your audience. If a gingerbread man email template you absolutely love ends up crumbling in front of your customers, don’t despair! You’ll never know what truly works unless you play with new approaches and ideas.
Timing can be everything during the busy holiday season. You need to send your emails to shoppers early enough to get their attention, but not so early that they forget about your offers before the big day(s).
MDG Advertising’s data suggests that Christmas emails can be more effective sent within the 10 days leading up to Christmas, while Black Friday emails have a shelf life of a few days, …and consumers don’t pay much attention to Cyber Monday emails after the Monday.
Holidays are one of the best possible times to engage on social media. It’s your chance to spread seasonal news, amplify shout-outs when people mention you, and ask your followers to share their favorite holiday stories, experiences or tips. Even for B2B sales! Don’t forget to engage your followers and find new ones with fun contests and hashtags.
Opening gifts is one of the best parts of many holidays, so tap into that feeling of anticipation, and reward people with novelty. Instead of “repurposing” the same offer throughout the year, create a special promotion for each holiday – your customers will then be sincerely excited to receive every new offer of yours.
Don’t get so focused on your own planning that you forget to keep an eye on the competition. Analyzing what your competitors are up to, from email promotions to search engine optimization to positioning, can give you great ideas for what to do – or what not to do. Find out what works well for others and act based on your knowledge.
Assuming that you already have a giveaway program in place, get in the holiday spirit and make your offers extra sweet. For example, you could extend your trial period, provide more features or offer a trial without a credit card – all in the spirit of giving.
Find a strategic partner who caters to a similar audience and sells complementary products or services, and enter into a co-marketing relationship with them. For example, you could co-author a whitepaper or cross-sell your products. You’ll both reach a wider audience, boosting your sales, and having something big to celebrate together this holiday season!
How do you do this? Start with education. Distribute whitepapers, tip sheets, checklists and other educational resources to help your clients take their business to the next level. This will help them keep your brand top of mind even after the holidays.
Don’t crash and burn once the season is over. About two-thirds of shoppers look for sales even after the holidays, so take advantage of their attention with post-holiday sales and promotions. Plus, make sure to take the time to analyze and learn from the holiday efforts you’ve just gone through. Write your learnings down – so that you can start the next year’s holiday planning one step ahead.
Okay, so that’s what your marketing team should be doing to prepare for the holidays. What about your customer service and website teams? They’ll need to get in the holiday spirit and get your website looking good – not to mention mobile optimization, painless checkout process, readiness for higher traffic volume, and much more.
The above 10 points are just a start!
Register now to watch the whole webinar on holiday planning – to get your company ready for the best holiday season ever.