I know.. I can hear you go, “..but it’s only September. Summer’s still around. Thanksgiving is, like 2 months away. Do I have to start planning a campaign for holiday sales, right now? “
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: read on.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm…Sale!
When it comes to marketing, timing is key. And with the holiday season, the earlier you start, the better it gets.
According to The Source, in August 2011, 75% of consumers had started researching their holiday purchases with 89% of those consumers starting their shopping online. That’s right. August!
So, if you haven’t already mapped out a robust and result-oriented holiday marketing plan, I strongly recommend you start right NOW. Like, now. Okay?
Need ideas? Got you covered.
10 Holiday Marketing Ideas… Gift Wrapped for You
1. Start early. In fact, scratch
early, and make that, “start NOW!” Take a large calendar, this one will do. For each month, starting September, plan out the following:
- Promotions, sales, free shipping offers and other specials
- Blog posts
- Social media content
- Contests and giveaways
- Newsletters and mailings
- Collaborations and cross-promotions
2. Identify opportunities for online promotion and exposure.Gift guides, reviews and giveaways for your products are an inexpensive way to do this. Speaking of gift guides, have you reserved your spot for The Mom Writes’ Holiday Gift Guide 2013?
3. Establish your marketing campaign objectives. For each blog post, email, social media network and other marketing campaigns, have clear-cut goals and objectives. “What do I want the customer to do when he reads this email/update/blog post?” is the question you need to answer when planning your strategy.
4. Review your website. Check for ease of navigation, typos, clear holiday messaging and make sure that all the links work properly. Check out this post on how your website may be turning customers away for more tips.
5. Review your landing pages and sales pages. I’m making this a separate point because sometimes, we may have sales pages that are linked to a particular ad campaign or social media campaign and so, may overlook them while doing a review.
Check sales pages for copywriting clarity, calls-to-action, SEO, links and images. If you aren’t sure, you’ll do it right, hire an expert to review and fix it for you.
This is also a good time to create an exclusive Holiday or Christmas landing page to showcase your holiday specials.
6. Create customer-friendly shopping experiences with checkouts that are simple and painless, offering a variety of payment options and even, reminding customers about items they have “pending” in their cart.
7. Create a “warm” welcome experience for new customers who sign up to your list. Have well-crafted and personalized autoresponders that go out immediately and then at regular intervals to keep you on their radar and yet not irritate them.
8. A well-planned and carefully crafted email marketing campaign can do wonders to your sales and customer experience. How about a “12 Days of Holiday Happiness” email series that gives customers a special deal or discount every day for 12 days? Or how about an info-packed eBook on say, 25 Ways to Save During the Holidays, that they get free when they sign up for your newsletter?
9. Word-of-mouth is powerful, especially during the holidays when customers are in a rush and not in the mood to do a lot of comparisons. Make sure your online messaging uses a lot of testimonials and customer praise.
10. Think about how you’d like to stay in touch with your holiday customers. Turn them into year-long customers by adding personal touches – a thank-you card sent via postal mail, a special discount coupon or gift card sent along with their purchase to use the next time around, a box of Christmas candy, a phone call to ensure that their purchases have arrived just right. Yes, there are TONS of ideas. You need to use them. **smiling**
So, do YOU have your holiday marketing campaign in order? Here’s what I want you to do:
- Get that calendar out and write down when you’ll do what. Yes, do it now.
- Sign up or book your spots for holiday gift guides. You may have missed the bus with magazines, but online you’ll still find lots of options.
- Then, pick ONE idea out of the 13 left and take action on it. Work your way through the list. One day or even, 3 days at a time. But work it!
Join me in the comments and share what will YOU be actioning to create a holiday marketing campaign that’ll have the cash register jingling all the way!