You’re probably thinking about how the holidays have just wrapped up and that your last minute holiday marketing campaign is over. Whether you like it or not, there is snow outside. Maybe you’re curled up in a blanket, watching Netflix. Or, even turning on the kettle to make a nice warm cup of tea. Unfortunately, the numbers are in and your holiday sales are not what you expected. That being said, you can only move forward in 2020 and put a new digital marketing strategy into place. We’ve created the following list of questions to reflect on below.
Give it a read to learn how you can improve your holiday marketing strategy for 2020 and to increase your sales this year.
1. Do a quality assurance check on your website.
To start a quality assurance check on your website, ensure that all buttons are clickable and that there are no broken links. Then, check that all buttons are leading to the correct pages (especially if you are linking to a holiday sales page!) Ask yourself if your calls to action make sense and if they are engaging your audience to take your desired action. Keep in mind if your site is glitchy it will deter customers from making purchases.
2. Were your holiday deals highlighted?
Did you create a landing page dedicated to sale items, reduced pricing and last minute deals?
We suggest working with your graphic designer to create a banner that specifically mentions your seasonal sale. Now, scan your website. Is it obvious to the customer what you are offering? If not, tweak the calls to action and text on your website. Most importantly, you want to navigate the user to click through to your sales page after 3 seconds. This is a really important factor to focus on because most users will leave a page after 3 seconds if the website doesn’t grab their attention or ask them to complete a desired action. Thus resulting in lower conversions for your business.
3. Did you create compelling content around your sales items?
Offering sales on items that are specific to different target audiences can be a great technique. We recommend creating specific landing pages that are dedicated to each of your target audiences (ex: a winter boots page for men and casual boots page for women). Then design a gift guide with your top selling items to use as promotional material. Lastly, you’ll want to distribute the gift guide to your target audience. Many customers are overwhelmed by the amount of gift options out there. A gift guide will actually relieve their stress by helping them to make a simple purchase decision.
An important SEO strategy tip is to write content that relates to your users’ queries on Google. Examples of search queries could include: ‘What is the best toy to buy for a 3-year-old girl?’ Or, ‘what are the top gifts to buy for a dad over 50?’ Answering questions with valuable product info will help your blog post or product guide show up in a Google result when a user types in a related question.
4. If you are going to be doing any kind of sales, implement an email campaign that can help retain customers.
Not all customers are going to sign up right away to buy your product. So, here’s what you can do to keep them interested:
Offer a promo to receive 10% off their first order ONLY IF they give you their email address. Now, you have just acquired their email and can send them promotions, product info and deals that are exclusive to email subscribers. This makes you CASL (Canada's anti-spam legislation email law) compliant and you can email them freely without any consequences.
Now you’ll want to have a few email templates ready. A good start would be to follow up on unfinished purchases, so users can finish their purchases on your website.
Some ideas for email templates:
- Didn’t find what you were looking for?
- You can include some solutions like: Did you ask a customer service rep for help? Do you want to send a message to our customer service rep for help with your purchase? (if they went on your site then left without taking any action such as filling out a form or adding something to the cart)
- Information about a new upcoming promo
- Any type of content that would be valuable to your target audience. This could be in the form of a video, blog post, a news link or press release related to your business.
5. Were You Mobile Ready?
Your website can appear different on mobile and desktop if not developed properly. Do a quality assurance check on multiple android and IOS devices and browsers to ensure that there are no design formatting issues, broken links, unclickable buttons or any further malfunctions. User experience has become increasingly important and low site speeds equals a bad user experience on your website. To make this even more clear, Google states that 53% (that’s more than half your users) will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
6. Are there any trust signals on your site?
Reviews can be huge trust signals for potential clients. A statistic from Bright Local states that “including reviews on your website makes searchers see the business as more trustworthy” [BrightLocal, How Online Reviews Impact Landing Page Conversion]. That being said, if you don’t currently have your reviews embedded on your website, we suggest that you add a few as soon as you can to display your trustworthiness online. Any credentials that you have, including certifications, degrees, industry expertise, awards, nominations, association memberships, published work, or anything else that boosts your credibility should be added to your website
7. Is it clear why you are different & superior than your competitors?
This is where you get to “flex” your muscles and show off. Let your customers know why people choose you. Justify why your brand and services are superior to or different from others. Explain why your customers stay with you rather than leave for another competitor. Case studies are a great way to showcase this.
Is it because you are amazing and nice to work with? Are you on the top of your work? Is your pricing structure competitive? Take a look at your website text and make sure to explain all of these points to your audience clearly and concisely. By doing this, it will help increase buying decisions and trust. Beyond adding reviews to your website, Crazy Egg agrees that showing users how you provide value to your clients will immensely increase your conversion rate.
Review your store’s return policy. Many stores offer extended returns into January and gift receipts to appeal to customer needs. Did you offer this? If not, maybe look into doing this for the 2020 holiday season to improve your customer’s experience and lifecycle. Additionally, add gift card features to your online and retail store, these make for great easy gifts.
8. Was your social media leveraged to the MAXIMUM?
Did you consider running a contest and captioning it “share for a chance to win”? Contests increase user engagement and gets your audience to promote your company for free. Did you share content related to your business and your customer’s needs? Take a look at your content again, then regroup and reflect.
Maybe it wasn’t targeted enough to your audience's needs and wants. Everyone is looking for the best deal during the holiday season. Did you promote your sales enough? Did you leverage influencers to promote your products during the holiday season for increased viewership?
If you’ve created branded content and leveraged social media then you need to continue the momentum in the new year and start cross-channel marketing. Here is cross-channel marketing explained. First, you post content to your blog. Then, email blast the blog to your subscribers, and finally distribute the content on social media platforms.
Lastly, an easy way to share content without spending advertising dollars is to post on local community groups on Facebook, Facebook Marketplace and LinkedIn. Engaging on these platforms will help you connect and build relationships with your local audience.
9. Was your online store safeguarded from emergencies?
What do we mean by that, you ask? Did you protect your servers from crashing during high volume periods? Did you stock your inventory to keep up with projected sales for the 2019 holiday season? Had you communicated with your shipping company beforehand to ensure they could fulfill the mass orders that you projected? It’s always important to have customer support reps to be ready to deal with issues related to online shopping (we suggest stocking more staff than usual to deal with increased purchasing volume).
Consider this startling fact: According to the National Archives, 93% of companies filed for bankruptcy after 10 days of lost data centres. Why is this? Well, most companies don’t have a disaster data management plan, and that’s why we recommend that you make this a priority in Q1 of 2020. Backup your store or website via external hard drive or cloud storage. That way you have a copy in case your website and tools crash.
10. Was the irresistible deal you created a success? Did you upsell your VIP package and clients?
One strategy that works really well is product bundling. Haven’t you noticed that shops during the holiday season bundle products together? For example, you go to a drug store and you buy a gift box of beauty essentials created for females. You decide this is a better option because it offers you more product for a lower price than buying it separately. This is an example of a distributor knowing their customer’s needs and desires and creating a package that resonates with them in order to influence them toward a bigger sale.
If you didn’t package or bundle any of your products this season, try out this strategy in the new year. WooCommerce explains how bundling products shifts the consumers’ perception to believing that they are getting a better deal for a lower overall price as more products are being included. It’s bound to be a success.
Now are you ready to turn around your holiday marketing strategy for 2020 and boost your sales?
How do all of those ideas sound? Do you think that you can try at least 3 of those strategies in the new year? If so, let us know in the comments below which one is the most feasible for your team. Or, did your holiday sales go better than expected this year? If so, comment below and let us know what your favourite or most effective holiday marketing strategy is.