The holidays are fast approaching and the unexpected is bound to occur. Between last-minute deals, a spike in traffic, and the unknown sales questions that are sure to arise, it’s important to have as much in place as you can on the marketing front so that you have one less thing to worry about and can focus on putting out these inevitable fires.
Below lists five low-hanging marketing fruit to master early so you’re not only prepared for the holidays, but actually have your best season of selling yet.
1. Is your email marketing drips in place?
The content of your email campaigns may change, but for many companies, the flow and the targeting will remain fairly the same. This is the hard part when it comes to email marketing, but once you have this ironed out it will make marketing around the holidays much easier. In other words, master your flow now before things get busy. Below is an example of what an advanced email marketing structure may look like for an eCommerce brand from Smarketly:
Learn more about how to set up email marketing drips and automation here.
2. Are your social media stores set up? Are all of your new products in place?
Before you get into the busyness of the holidays, potential customers must be able to access your products on all possible channels. You may email them a deal that sends them to a particular product page, but they will likely click off and then find themselves on your social media later (hello remarketing!). Once they get there, you need to be ready. This is a quick and easy thing to accomplish before things get crazy. Below is a great example of what a store on Facebook can look like:
In addition to Facebook, almost all social media channels now have some option for eCommerce companies. Learn more about how to set up your social media stores here.
Also keep in mind that if these are all set up already, it’s worth going back and double-checking that your new products have been added and all pricing is up to date.
3. Is your server prepared for a holiday spike in traffic?
You may not have had an issue last year, but when was the last time you checked on your web hosting capabilities? This is one of the number one things marketers let fall by the wayside, but there are plenty of options when it comes to your hosting plan. Use your time before the holidays hit to do a quick audit and make sure you can handle a boost in traffic (or worst case, you won’t see the boost and then get hit with a large bill). Who knows, maybe you’ll even save some money along the way!
4. How are your reviews looking?
You should never launch a product without testing, but even if you feel confident, having reviews already prepared is something you want before the holidays. This is the time of year shoppers are looking at those reviews, and according to Qualtrics, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decision.
A few ways to gather more reviews include:
- Ask friends and family to leave honest, positive reviews (make sure they’re real users!)
- Double-check your current email campaigns to make sure you’re asking for reviews after each purchase, and make sure you are providing direct links to all review pages
- Encourage your sales team to ask for reviews after speaking with happy customers
- Use UGC software
- Hire social influencers to review your products
The holidays are great because you typically get more eyes on your products and/or services, but it’s a double-edged sword because you also have more competition. Don’t wait to get those reviews in order or the brand with more testimonials will win the sale.
5. Is your marketing collateral in order?
When it comes to design, everyone has their own unique opinion. Spend some time determining the collateral you will need for the holidays (a new brochure? mailer? a brick-and-mortar store that will need holiday signs?). Don’t print your collateral until the holidays are closer and your deals are set in stone, but lay out what you think you’ll need and nail down the design. Changing a “10%” to a “15%” off later is easy, but the design process takes time and testing.
Beyond the tips above, there are many very basic, foundational things to keep in mind. For example, is the structure of your website and product pages optimized? Something like this should be solved long before the holidays. If you’re struggling with your website, learn more here and consider scaling back your holiday marketing until you have an easy-to-use website experience that won’t frustrate those visiting.
Once you feel confident that you’re set to go, you can start focusing on your holiday marketing content and deals!