For marketers and merchants, the holiday season represents a consistent bright spot on the annual business calendar. It’s a time of year when, between gift-giving and spoiling themselves a bit, consumers tend to open their wallets substantially more than usual — and this gives retailers the opportunity to boost their bottom lines with a Q4 spike in revenues.
Of course, while the season alone can bring a natural boost in sales, savvy marketers can employ additional tactics to further increase their revenue growth during this time. If you’re a digital marketer, consider these four tactics that can help increase the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns over the holiday season (and throughout the rest of the year):
Automation — As with any industry, automation in digital marketing provides a way to reduce the need for human involvement and manual labor in accomplishing a specific task. When applied to your brand’s email marketing efforts, it can take the form of emails that are automatically sent when a consumer takes a specific action or otherwise meets defined criteria to trigger an email send. Think welcome emails, cart-abandonment emails, birthday emails, anniversary emails, and so on.
Holiday example: While growing your email list during the holiday season, welcome new contacts by first thanking them for subscribing, then providing them with information about who you are and what you do. A great thing to keep in mind is to have your automation set up so that when a consumer joins your email list, they immediately receive your welcome email. In this email, tell new subscribers that you will treat their email address with respect, and keep the unsubscribe footer included in your communications at all times. Since it’s the holiday season, you could also give your new contacts a welcome gift like a coupon/promo code for joining your email list.
Also, it’s important to have cart-abandonment emails in place for the holiday season. Since most holiday shopping is done online these days, consumers often place multiple items in their carts while shopping for the best deals across numerous websites. A friendly email reminder about an unpurchased item can sometimes serve as a reminder of the unmet gift-list need and spur a sale.
Segmentation — This tactic, which involves dividing your email subscribers into smaller groups based on set criteria such as geographic location, interests, browsing history, purchase history and more, allows you to create a more personalized experience with your marketing communications and to increase the relevance of your emails to each consumer. For instance, a clothing retailer might use segmentation to divide their email list based on gender, as well as on tracked interests such as shoes, outerwear, accessories, etc., then send emails focused on topics pertinent to each individual consumer.
Holiday example: During the holiday season, consider segmenting your most loyal customers to receive a free gift (e.g. a promo code or a gift card). Your top advocates deserve appreciation, so celebrate them by sending customized holiday email campaigns that reward their patronage! In most cases, it will increase their brand loyalty, and it will often result in added sales. You can also sell off excess inventory by segmenting out to your new contacts and bundling discounts to give them a deal they can’t pass up.
Research shows that segmented email campaigns gain 100.95% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. By using this tactic, you’ll gain more brand relevancy, as your database will click through to visit your store more often.
Repetition — Especially in today’s crowded marketplace — and in an online environment where consumers are hit with marketing messages at nearly every turn — it is vital that your message is delivered to potential customers repeatedly. However, in order to hold your contacts’ attention and increase the effectiveness of your messages during the especially marketing-heavy holiday season, it’s best to ensure that your marketing message is evolving with each new email sent (rather than sending redundant emails that are more likely to be ignored).
To boost the effectiveness of your holiday email messages, set up campaigns with these three types of emails in mind:
- Why consumers need the product
- How to use the product
- Reiteration of the why and the how
Repetition is required to make an email marketing campaign successful, but evolving the message within your holiday series to maintain interest is key.
Holiday example: A good use of repetition throughout the holiday season would be to let your customers know of a new product or deal before the holiday season begins, again during the peak holiday shopping season, and finally (assuming the promotion is still available/ongoing) one last time after the holidays are complete.
Pre-announcements — Especially during the holiday season, retailers across the spectrum are bombarding consumers with promotions and deals left and right. How can you make your offer stand out from the crowd?
One tactic that has consistently proven successful for marketers is to let consumers know of a coming deal or promotion in advance, which can both serve the need for repetition discussed above, plus build some suspense/anticipation around your offer. Further, when consumers are made aware of your promotion ahead of time, they can budget for the purchase, and they’re less likely to buy similar products or services elsewhere in the meantime.
Holiday example: Send messaging to your database members regarding a promo code or sale item before the sale starts, along with a holiday countdown timer. Then, of course, send additional messaging once the promo or sale begins.
Could your brand use some expert guidance in initiating proven tactics like these to help boost your online marketing initiatives and your bottom line? At The Brandon Agency, our fully integrated marketing firm boats a team of marketing specialists who can cover all the bases in one place — including brand strategy, creative, interactive, social media, analytics, SEO, conversion rate optimization and more. To get started with a strategy tailored to boost the performance of your online campaigns, contact us today.