It might be hard to think about the holiday season with another four months to go. But the truth is, those four months are going to fly by, and before you know it, you’re going to be behind in your preparations. In this post, we’d like to guide you on how to take advantage of weeks to prepare for the best holiday sales season ever for your business.
Creating Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Calendar
First, you’ll want to create your holiday campaign calendar. This is simply a calendar view of the promotions you want to launch to boost holiday sales. You should consider crucial dates such as the following.
- When you will send initial and follow-up email promotions.
- When you will post blog content for promotions.
- When you will launch advertising campaigns for promotions (and where).
- When you will change in store merchandising displays.
You can plan these things in one calendar, or create multiple calendars for specific strategies. One detailed example is Campaigner’s Holiday Email Marketing Calendar that shows planning from October to February.
Once you have these dates outlined, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of content you will need. Which leads us to the next step…
Prepping Your Holiday Marketing Content
When you get closer to the holidays, you want to focus on launching your promotions, not creating them. This will also give you more time to focus on providing excellent real-time customer service. So consider jumping on the following and getting them ready as soon as possible.
1. Landing Pages
To increase conversions for products you are promoting during the holidays, create special landing pages for each of them. You can have landing pages that not only highlights the product, but matches the email and advertising campaigns that go with it. Consistency from your promotions to your landing page will create a seamless experience that will help visitors convert into customers.
2. Email Content
For your big sales and promotions, you’ll want to have a multi-tiered email campaign ready to go. It should consist of the initial promotion launch email, follow up / reminder emails, and emails designed to catch the attention of the no-open subscribers.
But before you create your email content for the holidays, you’ll want to spend the next couple of months A/B testing to see what types of headlines get the most opens and what types of calls to action get the most clicks / conversions. This way, when you create your emails, you’ll know what formula works best to boost your sales.
3. Blog Content
As things get busy, writing blog content will be the last thing on your mind. This is why writing it in advance will help you keep your blog up-to-date. You’ll also have plenty of time to work on topics that will drive readers to your holiday promotions.
4. Ad Creatives
Ad creatives take time to create, hence you’ll want to start early. Unlike previous years, this holiday season, you’ll be able to advertise on search and social networks using various types of ads including text, images, and video. By starting early, you’ll have plenty of time to decide on the theme for your ads and find the perfect person to create them, whether it means hiring someone new or outsourcing to the right company.
Finally, you will want to create graphics that tie all of your online properties to your promotion. This way, no matter where visitors go to learn more about your business, they’ll know about your holiday specials and sales. For example, if you see Kia’s banner ad popup on a website…
Visit their website…
Or visit their Facebook page…
You’ll be greeted by a consistent promotion.
Setting Up Your Holiday Analytics
In order to determine the successfulness of your holiday campaigns, you will want to track the results of each. This can help ensure that next holiday season, you will know which campaigns drove the most conversions to your business. To track your campaigns in Google Analytics, you will want to do the following.
- Set Up Conversion Goals – Using the destination goal type, you can quickly create a goal in Google Analytics that identifies when a visitor completes a conversion, such as making a purchase.
- Use Custom Campaign Tracking – Custom campaign tracking allows you to create tags (UTM parameters) for links you use in emails and advertising campaigns to specifically track them inside Google Analytics. This way, you can distinguish clicks from your follow up email versus your final reminder email, or your banner ad on one site versus your banner ad on another. Use the URL builder to quickly create custom campaign links.
- Analyze Your Campaigns Report – Once you start receiving traffic from various campaigns, you will be able to view the ones you are tracking by visiting the Campaigns report under Acquisitions in Google Analytics. If you set up goals, you, will be able to link specific campaigns to conversions, and thus know which campaigns were most effective.
Once you have completed these steps, you can go into the holiday season with confidence. All you will have to do is launch your campaigns, wait for the sales to come in, and see what works best in your analytics!
Photo by Caroline used under Creative Commons.