Create a seasonal promotion that will attract buyers and help achieve your business goals. Provide free shipping, give a dollar amount or percentage off every order, offer a free gift – just do something. Tout this promotion as your big holiday promo and spread the word about it everywhere. Relentlessly promote it! Showcase it on your homepage, post it on social media, email your existing customer base about it, mention it in customer service communications when people call in or email, shout it from the rooftops, etc. Do whatever you can to get the word out about it and your audience won’t be the wiser that you just cooked up this offer at the last minute. In fact, if it’s really last minute, incorporate that into the promotion by naming it something clever (like “Last Call for December Deals” or “Santa’s Leaving Soon”) and emphasizing the limited nature of the offer.
Paid Search Ads
PPC ads can be turned on at any time without a lengthy ramp up time like other forms of marketing, which makes them an excellent go-to at the last minute. You can create campaigns launching ads as you go to avoid missing out on another second of the holiday shopping season. Be sure to include keywords that not only represent your products but also highlight their gift-giving potential (ex. “fancy aprons” and “cooking related gifts”). Consider which pages you’ll send your paid search traffic to and ensure that it will be easy and convenient for time-pressed shoppers to find what they’re looking for and checkout from there. The best part about running PPC for the holidays is that you can turn the ads off at any time and easily reactivate them again. So next year you will already have a great base to start from when it comes to your paid search ads.
Emailing your current customer base is a great way to capitalize on the resources you already have and creating individual emails or a short email series doesn’t have to take long (especially if they’re promotional in nature). Chances are that your customers are expecting to hear from you, which is why the results from holiday email campaigns are usually more positive than campaigns throughout the rest of the year. Give your customers what they want by reaching out and extending special offers to them. After the holidays you can analyze the results of your email efforts and make a game plan for next year so that you can be ahead of the curve.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!