For many of us, it feels like summer’s barely ended, a new school year just begun. It hardly feels appropriate to start talking about the holidays. But, as every marketer knows, the end-of-the-year shopping season always seems to arrive sooner than expected. Therefore, to ensure success for your business or brand, the time to start planning is now.
Start putting in some behind-the-scenes work to prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and beyond. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Planning for the Holiday Shopping Season
1) Define your audience.
Knowledge of your audience is helpful year-round. However, it can be especially germane heading into the holidays. Make sure you have buyer personas to guide your messaging. Also, think about making sure your list of email subscribers is clearly segmented. Now might also be a good time for some audience surveys. This will allow you to better identify your buyers’ needs, values, and pain points as you gear up your seasonal positioning.
2) Review previous data.
Hopefully you’ve still got plenty of data and analytics from last year’s email, social media, and SEO endeavors. Ideally, you’ll be able to sort through data from at least two or three years. Look to gain insight into what’s worked, what’s worth investing in again, and what seems like it was a waste of resources.
3) Set up goals and KPIs.
You won’t know whether or not you’ve had a successful holiday season unless you define what success actually looks like. Additionally, this includes knowing how you’ll measure it. Be intentional about determining the sales, conversion, and traffic goals you have for the coming season. Also, pinpoint the specific metrics you’ll seek to validate your success.
4) Plan seasonal sales.
One of the best ways to entice holiday shoppers is by making them offers they can’t resist. This comes in many forms, including discounted pricing, free shipping, BOGOs, or something else. Of course, you can’t announce big holiday promos with some forethought. Plan your seasonal promos now so that you can start creating images, emails, and other marketing collateral.
5) Plan a seasonal makeover for your website.
Now’s also a good time to start creating some assets to customize your website, dressing it up in festive wear. Whether it’s a holiday-specific color scheme, unique CTAs, or some Yuletide graphics, start thinking about ways to add seasonal flair to your site.
6) Create product showcases and bundles.
If you sell products online, you’ll want to do anything you can to maximize your average cart value over the holiday season. To cross-promote products, consider discounted bundles. Also think about product showcase pages or gift guides, enticing customers to buy a number of products rather than just selecting a few things a la carte.
7) Consider early access offers.
Something else you might consider is offering early bird deals to your most faithful customers and clients, allowing them to get a jump start on their shopping (and to feel like they’re part of an exclusive club, too).
8) Run some website tests.
The last thing you need is for your holiday marketing efforts to be stymied by poor user experience. Now’s the time to rest your site across multiple browsers and device types, ensuring that it loads quickly and functions responsively.
9) Think beyond Christmas Day.
For some marketers, the holiday marketing season effectively ends on December 25th. This can be a squandered opportunity. It’s important, to think about folks who want to use their Christmas money or gift cards, along with loyal customers who might simply appreciate some deals extending into early January.
Get Started with Your Seasonal Planning
Don’t put off your planning for the holiday marketing season. Now’s the time to put a strategy into place, and to start developing collateral. We’d love to help. Chat with one of our seasoned copywriters and marketing strategists by calling Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.