Santa shopping online

How to Effectively and Efficiently Plan an Ecommerce Holiday Campaign

If you haven’t started planning for the holiday season, it’s time to start!

This year, hopefully most people will be enjoying quality downtime with their families over the holidays. For brand marketing and communication professionals, though, the winter holidays are typically the busiest time of the year. And especially for those in retail or Ecommerce, the holiday season can be the key to turning a profit for the year.

Holiday campaigns can seem overwhelming and repetitive because they’re done year after year, but even though you’re creating the same type of content every year, you can still find simple ways to pull out fresh inspiration. Marketers have been taking full advantage of the festive year-end spirit in their holiday campaigns. Countless creative and thoughtful holiday marketing examples are out there — here are a few examples from software marketplace G2 that you can incorporate into your brand’s strategy.

Holiday Campaign Planning

Planning the perfect holiday campaign can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. While shoppers’ interests and preferences are always evolving, the goals for brands and marketers remain the same each year: Increase sales, generate valuable leads, have an effective inbound marketing strategy, create more unique content, refresh content that works, improve the customer experience, improve customer retention, create more upsell opportunities and get more site traffic.

Not sure where to start? Before jumping into your holiday campaign creation, take a moment to answer these questions to build your campaign efficiently:

  • What is the idea or concept behind your holiday marketing campaign this year?
  • What is the focus of your holiday marketing efforts?
  • What products or services will you be focused on marketing primarily?

Once those general planning questions have been answered, you’ll need to start a calendar of big shopping and giving days:

  • Black Friday: November 24, 2023
  • Small Business Saturday: November 25, 2023
  • Cyber Monday: November 27, 2023
  • Giving Tuesday: November 28, 2023
  • Last-minute Shoppers: December 13 – 23, 2023
  • Gift Card Deals: December 13 – 23, 2023

Then, you’ll need to keep in mind that the below planning tips by Constant Contact, can help elevate your brand over the competition during the holiday season.

1. Create a great holiday offer

The key to a successful offer is that it needs to be compelling enough for people to want to get on board. Adding a discount offer to any email communication that customers can redeem online is a great way to connect the user from one channel to the next. An easy tip is to add a hard-hitting word like “exclusive” or “VIP” in front of your offer to make the user feel appreciated.

Another way to keep users engaged throughout the holiday season is to run a simple contest via your social media platforms. You can generate a lot of buzz by coming up with a prize your users will love. Plus, you can add a lot of new subscribers to your email list.

There are also numerous ways to give your customers an offer they can’t resist without giving them a discount or promotion. Constant Contact has listed 7 Ways to Add Holiday Value Without Offering a Discount that can help your brand succeed.

2. Leverage the marketing channels that matter

Two key components of modern marketing campaigns are digital marketing and social media marketing, especially for those planning for holiday campaigns in 2023. It’s important to not only leverage the marketing channels that matter for your brand but to do a few housekeeping items before launching your holiday campaign.

It’s important to constantly optimize your website with important information for your users throughout the holiday season. Make sure that reviews and listings like Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook also have pertinent information for your user (i.e. updated hours of business, updated offers, etc.).

You’ll also want to update your website prior to launching your holiday campaign. Ultimately, you’ll want to drive people to your site to make a purchase and sign up for your email subscription to receive an exclusive offer and therefore, all information needs to be spruced and up-to-date.

Updating your profiles on social media so that they share helpful and valuable information will help keep you top-of-mind to users when they are browsing for holiday gifts. When posting on social media, remember that users will appreciate things like behind-the-scenes pictures, tips to save time for holiday shopping, and gift guides or trends to look out for.

Another significant action to leverage your cross-channels is to encourage people to join your email list to receive exclusive holiday offers. You can announce your brand’s holiday plans, remind users about important timelines like sale offers for only a specific timeframe, and thank people for shopping with you during the holiday season. This is also a great time to collect birthday data and anniversaries, and to have your users complete quick surveys to help with post-holiday and future sales. Also, it’s important to take into consideration open rates, click-through-rates and engagement within your email campaigns. To be successful, you’ll have to be agile in updating on the fly if the results aren’t where you want them.

Lastly, if you have the efforts behind it, increasing paid media efforts throughout the holiday season and expanding them to multiple channels increases the chances that people will find your business. Social media, Google and any other channels that have delivered past success for your brand are all avenues to gain new customers or retain existing ones. Driving people from your ad to your website will increase the profitability of your holiday sales.

3. Get organized and plan your schedule

It’s inevitable that plans will change throughout the next few months, like running into stocking issues or shipping delays. But it’s important to stay organized and plan your schedule for anything to shift while the holiday season approaches.

Most importantly, running a successful holiday campaign involves a lot of cross-functional team members, who are the backbone to every process, project and campaign. It’s a great reminder to stay transparent with your team members about changes and to give them encouragement and recognition when hot fires arise that they tackle in record time. This is also why you should get started now so your holiday campaign is ready to go by mid-October, when all other companies begin launching theirs. The goal is to have the plan completed and ready to execute so you can focus time on UX updates and/or last-minute adjustments based on the consumers’ feedback and shopping trends.

4. Plan to stay connected during and after the holidays

It’s very important to plan a post-holiday direction because many shoppers continue to shop past January 1. Encourage your users with a special end-of-year or after-holiday sale. This way you can reach new customers and influence repeat customers to stay with you.

From ads to email to social media, you are collecting holiday-driven data to use for new future campaigns throughout the new year. By collecting this information, you can target specific demographics or utilize specific keywords to better monetize your ad or email spend in the future.

In order to build an effective strategy, you’ll want to build content that provides answers to the questions that people have and search for online. This type of information helps your brand stand out while it helps your customers utilize your products or services better. Right after every holiday season, people start to plan for their New Year’s resolutions. What can help you stand out that offers value to them?

Now you’re ready for this holiday season!

With some deep dive planning and strategic scheduling, you can build a successful holiday marketing campaign that drives your seasonal (and post-seasonal) sales up. By focusing on digital marketing and social media marketing, your brand will see positive impacts and results from your holiday campaign. Global retail Ecommerce sales are expected to hit $6.31 trillion in 2023, up from $5.717 trillion in 2022, according to Forbes. This growth is about to impact the 2023 holiday season in the best way, so it’s important your holiday marketing campaign is perfected.

Ready to find that festive spirit and bring added energy to your brand presence this holiday season? We all need it! Contact us if we can help you with your ecommerce holiday campaign.

Marissa Locher

Marissa Locher

Email Marketing Manager

Marissa is currently an Email Marketing Manager at Brandon but has held a variety of marketing and communications positions throughout her career. Originally from Wisconsin, Marissa got her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. When Marissa isn’t in the office, she enjoys being outside whether that is hiking or living on the beach, live music and camping with her husband and dog.

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