7 Ways Marketers Can Prepare for the Holidays
7 Ways Marketers Can Prepare for the Holidays
It’s November! This means that the big spending holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just weeks away. Ideally, you should have started working on your digital marketing strategy at the end of the summer, but the world isn’t perfect.
If you’re getting a late start on your holiday marketing strategy, don’t fret. There are quick things you can do to improve your position and get your products and services on the radar for customers.
Below are seven tips to prepare for the busy holiday season!
1. Tweak your abandoned-cart emails.
You don’t want to bombard your customers with reminders about abandoned shopping carts, as this can get annoying during the holiday season. Still, you want to reach out to customers who have left items in their carts and use this as an opportunity to make a sale.
Use data about the last time the customer made a purchase or other items they may have been interested in. For example, if the customer abandoned an item, you can suggest other products they may like better. Don’t forget to add in an incentive such as a holiday discount or free shipping. This is often enough to make a conversion.
2. Be ready for social customer care.
The holidays mean more sales, which mean more customers. Be ready to handle the flux of questions, comments and concerns from people you don’t normally work with. Much of this dialogue will take place on social media. As convenient as social media is, it places incredible pressure on your brand to answer quickly.
To ensure that you’re not responding to posts late, be sure that you have a plan for how your social media accounts will be handled during the holiday season. Who will be responsible for managing these accounts? How often will they be checked?
To make things easier on you while still offering great service, consider making an FAQ landing page or an informative infographic that can be shared on your social media accounts. This way, you can answer common customer questions (i.e., how much is shipping?) and keep buyers informed.
3. Be prepared for the extra traffic.
More traffic and sales are great, but can your website handle it? Many companies aren’t prepared for the rush, and as a result, have slow-loading websites. Not only will you be scrambling on your end, but also you may lose first-time customers by sending the wrong impression.
Over the next few weeks, make sure that your website is ready for the surge in traffic. Also, web teams, sales teams, customer service, social media marketers and other relevant teams should be prepared. Some of the things you may need to do include hire temporary help, order extra inventory and order shipping supplies. Now is also the time to line up your shipping options. Packages need to be delivered on time during the holidays. December 26th is just too late.
4. Know what products to push.
You probably have in-demand products that you expect to sell this holiday season, but what about aging inventory? A great way to clear out your inventory is by bundling old items with hot products. Take some time to determine which products you want to push out and older inventory that you can pair it with. People love holiday bundles and always feel like they’re getting a good deal.
Knowing which products to push also helps create marketing campaigns with clear, objective goals. Your holiday campaigns should be aligned with the appropriate ads, content and promotions. This time of the year is also great for feel-good marketing tactics. For instance, you can donate a certain percentage of sales to a local charity.
5. Pay attention to the algorithms.
Each social media channel has its own algorithm that determines what content is shown first. For example, Facebook shows content based on user activity whereas Twitter posts content in real-time. So, if a person interacts with your content on a regular basis on Facebook, they’re more likely to see it on their news feed. With Twitter, the user needs to be on at the right time.
As you run ads and post content, be mindful of the various algorithms and how they will show content to your audience. And, don’t forget about the different audiences on each channel. Sharing a product launch video is great content for Facebook, while a post on the top 10 features of your product is better for Twitter.
6. Reach out to early-bird shoppers.
As exciting as Thanksgiving and Black Friday are, people don’t need to rush out and stand in long lines to get great deals. They can shop all month long in the comfort of their home – and their pjs. Not only is this convenient for the consumer but also your business. You can make extra sales this way, and you might be able to avoid an insane rush that has you out of inventory.
Reach out to early-bird shoppers by letting them know that you have great deals going on. Use holiday-themed messaging such as “Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping” or “Grab your favorite product before it’s out of stock.” No one wants to miss out on a hot item for the holidays, so throwing in an incentive is a great way to boost sales early in the month.
7. Get inventory and shipping supplies ready.
People will order products up until the last minute. The last thing you want is to get a bunch of orders that you can’t fill. Stock up now and get your ducks in a row with suppliers. It’s best to have a couple different vendors so that you’re not limited to one. Otherwise, you run the risk of shipping delays and items not being in stock.
When it comes to shipping supplies, be sure to have a nice selection of boxes to ship your products in. You’re selling to new customers, and you want to make a good impression. Sending out products in any old warehouse box looks lazy. Finally, work with your local carriers to determine how you’ll be sending out products and anticipated shipping times.
The holidays are exciting but busy! This is your opportunity to secure new business and impress your current customers. By following the seven tips above, you can further improve your holiday marketing strategy. For additional help, call WSI Net Advantage at 510-687-9737. It’s never too late to start a holiday campaign!