Holiday Marketing

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Ho ho ho! This is Naomi Burgess, and I’m here to tell you about how to increase your Christmas sales and give you some strategical tips about holiday marketing. Please be advised that while every business owner can benefit from what I’m about to tell you, this post is primarily targeted at e-commerce businesses, i.e. those of you who sell their products or services online.

Take Advantage of other Social Media Platform

Before we begin, I’d just like to remind you that in today’s world, there are a lot of marketing channels you can, and you should, take advantage of, particularly as an e-commerce retailer. This is just as relevant during the Christmas season as at any other time. For example, not all of your target audience might be on Twitter, or Facebook, or check your website on a daily basis. For that reason, I advise you to use all the digital channels possible during the season.

How E-mail Campaign Works

Let’s take a look at e-mail marketing campaigns. If you’re a relatively successful online retailer, chances are that you’ve developed quite a few promotional e-mail campaigns over time. If you’re no stranger to Christmas e-mail campaigns, you probably remember how successful they were in the previous year(s), and if they weren’t, perhaps it’s time to reinvent them. If, however, this is your first Christmas as a business owner, you should know that it is in your best interests to “revamp” your regular e-mail campaigns so that they incorporate the holiday spirit. And I’m not just talking about placing a mistletoe image in your e-mail and website header (although that’s not a bad idea).

Choose an attractive Lay-out

That’s not to say, however, that e-mail layout and design aren’t important. The UK retailers have a reputation of using the Christmas spirit to their advantage year after year, and it’s quite likely that your customers would be expecting that from you as well. Make sure to echo the design you choose for your e-mail template on your website’s homepage, social media pages and any other marketing channels you employ.

Notes on E-mail Content

However, the most important thing in e-mail-based campaigns is e-mail content. Design your seasonal promotions strategy in advance and make a list of what you’d like to incorporate into your site, your social media pages and into your e-mail campaign, and make sure the contents of those channels match up – this would provide you with better SEO levels and make it easier for the customers to navigate. I’ve gathered some ideas for your content and I’ll provide an explanation for each of them below.

Send out Holiday Business Info to your cutomers

For starters, make sure to let your customers know that you are operating during the Christmas season and inform them about the shipping terms and conditions. Nobody wants to find out, after ordering a perfect gift two days before Christmas, that it won’t arrive until the 30th of December, for example. Don’t put this information in small print, either – you can put it in your e-mail/website/social media page header so that the customers see it right away and avoid any nasty surprises. It would also be a good idea to include your website’s return policy in each product’s description, as well as terms and conditions.

Give Discounts

For some short-term revenue increases, you can try voucher codes for discounts on certain products or products that cost more than a certain amount, and send them out in your e-mails. Tip – find out your average order value and calculate the minimum order value for the voucher accordingly. Place a time limit on the code – for example, make it valid until the 26th of December – or alternatively, make the expiry date a day or two after your customers’ pay day. This would mean investing time in some market research, but it would be worth it.

Gifting your customers with vouchers

Christmas is, after all, a time for giving gifts, so discount vouchers alone won’t cut it. It would be a great idea to design gift vouchers and include them in your e-mail by either making then downloadable or including a direct link to a product that’s eligible for a gift voucher. Alternatively, you could include hard copies of Christmas gift vouchers when shipping any previous products your customers have ordered (but make sure that you’re including them with the products ordered within the last month or two) – like I said before, plan your Christmas marketing in advance. Make sure to include the timeframe of the voucher’s validity on the voucher or in the e-mail. And don’t limit them to products of a certain category – do some market research and tailor them towards your customers, but make sure they know that they’re free to spend it on anything they want, in accordance with terms and conditions (that also must be included in the voucher or the e-mail).

Hold some Games

Giveaways and competition can serve as another fun Christmas marketing tool. Not only would it make your customers happy, it would also help get the word out about your business and potentially improve your web analytics and sales as a result. Today’s digital landscape allows for myriads of ways to launch a giveaway – the “Like/Share on Facebook/Retweet/Reblog to win *insert item here*”, “play an Advent Calendar game to unlock a prize” and many other announcements dominate our social media pages, and who’s to say that you shouldn’t capitalise on these promotions too? And don’t just limit your prizes to products or stockings filled with small goodies – they can be discount vouchers, gift vouchers, or any other perks that the season allows. More people would enter if they know that there is more than one prize to be won.

Offer Christmas related services

I’ve mentioned earlier that the UK businesses and consumers love the Christmas spirit. Make sure to take advantage of that – offer free gift-wrapping services if you aren’t currently offering it, subject to order value. If you offer gift-wrapping services all year round, perhaps consider offering them for free for a limited time during the Christmas season.

Create a Gift Guide for customers

Some of your customers might find that it’s hard to shop for people in their lives and as a result, would be lost in the assortment of the products on your site. Consider offering a Christmas gift guide and provide a link to it in the e-mail – or even a preview of the guide. Not only would it provide a comprehensive list of products offered by you, but it is also a good marketing tool – browsing sections meant for the target audience of which they’re a part, your customers would have an easier time finding the perfect gift for their loved ones and might even order more gifts – for example, a mother might choose something for her child from the “Children’s Gifts” section and would be so pleased she might also order something for her husband from the “For Him” section. You could also sort by price, product type and/or availability.

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