We have prepared three resources that will help you to get ready for your Holiday Sales, including Calendar, product search trends, getting your store ready, what strategies do other merchants use and more.
So far so good - you have a nice insight into celebrations from our Holiday Calendar and product search trends from our Holiday Guide. Let's get into the details of how to market your merchandise this Holiday season - see our Holiday Marketing Guide.
Holiday landing page and banners
It's time to dress your store up for the special occasion - including Holiday banners, a dedicated landing page and special offer notifications.
Use the aforementioned resources or prepare your own visuals to create appealing new page elements. Just remember a few simple rules - everything needs to be in harmony with your store and everything needs to be mobile friendly, as a lot of busy people might be checking it out on the go. Also, rather try to engage your users with seamless elements than disturbing pop-ups.
Some people have been collecting Holiday Season special offer ideas starting as soon as the second of January. It's time to take them out, clean off the dust and deploy them.
If you're just starting your business or have been busy creating awesome designs, here are some well-known, but very well performing ideas.
*Order in the next 24 hours and get 20% off!*
Time sensitive offers fit perfectly in Black Friday deals, but are a great tool on any other given day as well. Whether it’s an offer you send your loyal customers or something you promote via a Facebook ad, it works like a charm. People tend to procrastinate and this way you help them make a decision faster, probably saving some pain later.
*Free shipping on purchases over 100 USD!*
Sounds tempting, right? Don't take that title literally - only you alone know what amount spent in your store would justify taking the shipping price out of your pocket.
It’s a simple move, which makes your customers feel like they get a good deal and can make them spend more, as the idea of buying more amazing stuff is more attractive than paying for shipping.
*Buy 2 hoodies and get 1 T-shirt for free!*
Doesn't have to be one type or size of product. Just the opposite - different items in one offer make it more appealing. However, when creating special offers for different items, make sure they are from one print provider, so your customer’s receive them in one package.
*Give your loved ones a freedom of choice!*
If your store doesn't offer gift cards, it's probably a time to implement those. This is an appealing purchase for people who don't know the exact size of their golf partner's tee or what kind of notebook aspiring new writer wants for Christmas.
So, your store is checked and updated, special offers sorted, everything looks just great.
Oh, wait, do your customers know about all these amazing deals, new designs and shipping deadlines for their amazing presents? Get to the most important part of this - informing your clientele.
Every inbox is bursting with wanted and not so wanted sales and ad emails during the holiday season, and you might have doubts about whether your special offers would be welcomed.
Here's the thing - email marketing campaigns are indisputably the most effective online marketing tool to date. If you are sending out a regular newsletter to your customers, just take it up a notch and make something more attractive, if you are not - you should really start doing it.
A few tips to make your emails work
What makes one open a sales email? It's always possible your customers have been waiting for your updates and offers impatiently and will open them as soon as they land in their inbox. However, in most cases you need to catch their attention in their busy inboxes.
*A scandalous way to spend 20 bucks*
Don't underrate the importance of a good subject line. Go bold and write a provocative question or fact, get to the point and put your offer in right in the subject, use emojis… Everything is fair in love and war. Because you love your customers, and competition is a real battle field during the Holiday Season.
*You know that look your kid gives you?*
Kick your email off with a personal question, or an engaging fact about yourself - I've thought about this new design while flying a plane over the Grand Canyon. The point is to keep your reader’s attention.
Keep it simple and informative
While keeping it simple, don't forget any important information. Your email should include a picture of your designs or a holiday card, a special offer description and a call to action, which most probably invites customer to visit the store or make a purchase.
*Oh, by the way - you are awesome!*
Don't forget about a personal sign off. No matter, how awesome the subject line is or how cool the picture in your email, you need to keep it personal till the last full stop. Or exclamation mark. Or asterix. Whatever seems natural to you^^.*%! (Just kidding, we don't think that looks natural.)
There are several email tools to use for marketing campaigns, which might also be seamlessly integrated with your sales channel. Find the available apps on the Shopify App Store, WooCommerce extensions and Etsy apps. Amongst the most popular email providers are Mailchimp, Sendgrid and more.
Find out what kind of subjects lines, content, visuals, CTA buttons and more perform for you the best, following the metrics - open rate, click rate and unsubscribe rate. Find average rates for each industry in Smart Insights Statistics 2017.
Taking into account what's said here, don't forget - only you alone know what's so special about your shop and customers. It's easy to tell if a message comes from your heart or is a soulless ad.
Social Media & Ad Campaigns
While during the Holiday Season people get flooded with ads on social media, ads will be more welcome as usual. It's really simple - Black Friday approaching, people are set in the spending mood, boosted by all the ads and approaching holidays.
It's not easy to buy a personal and special gift for 21 family members and 56 friends. Plus one dog and three cats. A well targeted beautiful gift with your amazing design can be a real time saver.
As an ecommerce store owner, you surely use social media ads. But the Holiday Season can seem a bit challenging, so let's touch base on what matters.
Posts on your Social Media accounts
Before you create ad campaigns on social media, prepare materials to inform your followers about what's going on at your store these Holidays. Be it a Facebook page, an Instagram, Twitter or any other social media account, some attractive and informative posts will remind your followers about your store and give you an opportunity to hook them with appealing deals. Add a Holiday contest to reach a wider audience.
First things first - review your page. Perhaps there is a page structure improvement potential (Facebook frequently introduce updates). You might choose a new page template, add some missing elements - services, reviews… there are many options, but what really counts is the shop function. If you're a Shopify user, there is a ready solution - check their Facebook store guide. In any case - don't forget to showcase your products on your Facebook page.
When you have improved your Facebook page and prepared creatives for your posts, start working on a Facebook ad campaign.
Here's a tutorial on how to create a Facebook ad:
If you are extremely serious about understanding the details of Facebook ads and reaching almost award-winning results, check out AdEspresso - a paid tool with a free trial for your Facebook ad automation.
Retarget - get back the customers who deserted you. In case you have a Facebook pixel on your store, it's gonna be easy to run a retargeting campaign on Facebook.
Start by doing research on search volumes and suggested bids for your relevant keywords - try the free Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Write your keywords and select a location you want to see the search volume for - United States, United Kingdom or any other country (or several). You can also select specific states and cities.
Once you have a clear vision on which of your relevant keywords have good-enough search volumes and affordable suggested bid prices, you can start creating your AdWords campaign.
Keep in mind that a suggested bid isn't the exact price that you will pay for a click. In the process of setting up your campaign you will be able to set your maximum CPC bid. Also keep in mind - if your maximum CPC bid is too low, you won't get any impressions.
AdWords have prepared a tutorial on how to create a Search Network campaign (it's from before the latest AdWords update, but is very helpful):
Using the AdWords platform, you can also create YouTube ads. In case you have some awesome videos planned for this season - you can try out promoting them on YouTube. Here's a tutorial from AdWords on how to create a YouTube ad:
Other great resources of marketing guides:
Last tips for the road
You've done your homework, still have a tiny amount of time, but no more ideas? Have a blast and try everything you can get your hands on.
How to get more sales without big investments? Spamming on a Shopify forum, Quora, Reddit and Facebook groups is always something a new entrepreneur might do - and most in their lifetime have experienced. But there are also other things you might try.
Social media automation platforms, usually cost $8-25 per month. Crowdfire, a loved one, gives you the opportunity to automate your social media activity for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Linkedin.
Crowdfire also allows you to connect to your WordPress blog, Shopify and Etsy shop - which means more content and opportunities for Crowdfire to generate some great ideas for content and automation.
Set up a referral program which will motivate your existing customers to mention your business to their friends. There are several apps that you can plug into your online store, check out Shopify App Store, WooCommerce Extensions and Etsy Apps.
Get listed on different platforms such as ProductHunt, Google My Business and others - there's potential for free extra reach.
Time during Holiday Season waits for noone. Have a one last look at the Holiday Calendar and Holiday Guide to better organize your activities.
Keep in mind the deadlines for orders - if your customers want to receive their packages before Christmas, you should inform them about these dates.
We hope you are in control of the processes and have it all figured out by now. But don't despair if you haven't - take a deep breath, put pen to paper (or turn on your laptop) and let your ideas flow freely. Brainstorming with your colleagues, friends and family can be really valuable. Write down all the ideas, even the most crazy and utopian ones, not worrying about logic or order. Then take a break and try to find some structure and meaning - refer to this holiday guide to help you organize. And your Holiday Season action plan will appear right there.
Three, two, one… Go! It might seem like a long list of things to do, but at the end of the day (read - the end of the year) it will be worth it.
Want to monetize your online community? Find out more in our Ultimate Guide.