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For most businesses, 2020 has been a challenging year. If the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted your business and you’re feeling discouraged about hitting your year-end targets, I want to let you know that there’s still hope.
The holiday season is coming in just a few weeks. As a time when consumers become extra enthusiastic about shopping, it is a great opportunity to boost your sales and revenue. In fact, in 2019, consumers spent around $7.4 billion online on Black Friday alone, and 55% of consumers plan to spend the same, if not more, than last year.
So, you can imagine the potential of not only the entire holiday season—but the unique 2020 holiday season that will be more digital than ever due to the pandemic. In this guide, I’m going to share 17 proven tips that will help you to plan out and execute successful holiday promotions so you can give your revenue a boost. I will cover:
Before we dive into specific tactics and campaigns to run, let’s first cover some general guidelines that will help you stand out above your competitors and boost the success of your efforts.
While July to September is the ideal time for businesses to start preparations for holiday season sales, it is certainly not too late to start now. As a smaller business and equipped with the tips in this post, you still have plenty of time to come up with a campaign or program to boost your revenue.
Here’s what to consider when preparing your business for the holiday season:
This goes without saying, but it’s still worth noting.
This year, you will more than likely need to make adjustments to your marketing copy, preferred channels, and offers in order to keep your customers safe and to appeal to their new pandemic priorities. Also, while it can be helpful to check your reports and holiday stats from last year to see top-performing products and channels, popular discounts, product return rates, and more, keep in mind that this year is very different from last, of course.
Choosing the right marketing channels to promote your holiday campaigns will help you to ensure the time, money, and energy spent are all worth it. It will also help you to better target your audience and cater your messaging, ensuring more success and sales. There are a number of channels to chose from, including (but not limited to):
Every marketing platform is unique and has a different kind of audience, and not all of them are going to be the best fit for your business. Take a look at your marketing metrics from this past year and see if you can pinpoint your top-performing channels. This can help you prioritize the implementation of the holiday marketing tips in this guide.
Many businesses make the mistake of not creating separate landing pages for their product and service offerings. Not only are campaign-specific landing pages a must (for any time of the year), but it can also be helpful to give your landing pages a holiday theme or flare. Make it clear that you’re offering something special for this specific time.
With a landing page for each product or service, you can provide customers with a clear picture of each of your special offers, and since they will have all of the details and a single call to action on one page, your holiday conversion rates are likely to increase.
There are many landing page builder tools that you can use to create beautiful landing pages for your website. Use a reliable and feature-rich landing page builder tool that is pocket-friendly and provides you with everything to create landing pages for your sale.
Here are some important tips to create high-converting landing pages for your sales:
People go crazy to shop for the holidays and are eagerly looking for discounts and offers, so, you can easily win the match if you start your holiday marketing before the competition does, and even extending your promotions to go on longer than that of your competition. I have used this strategy myself in previous years and it has helped me to generate six-figure results before the official “arrival” of the holiday season. You can use the same strategy to boost your revenue too!
Before launching your holiday marketing and advertising campaigns, do a final check to ensure that everything is ready according to the plan and that you can handle a boost in orders and sales. This includes making sure that:
Running popup online sales is another way to boost your sales during holiday shopping time. With this method, you increase your discount or offer an exclusive deal just for a few hours, such as by increasing a 45% off discount to 50% off for one hour only. You can even do this 2-3 times in a day and multiple times during the sale. Hostgator uses this strategy to generate millions of revenues during its Black Friday sales. Here are some more tips for using hourly or time-limited sales:
To come up with the best gifts for their significant others, children, parents, friends, and relatives, people search on the internet—Google especially. By creating gift guides, you can help your audience members, attract more customers, and boost your SEO.
Here are some examples of gift guides:
Here are some more tips for using gift guides to boost your holiday sales:
Offering something free is a great strategy to boost sales because customers love to get things for free. During the holiday season, people are in shopping/money-spending mode, so offering something free will be like a breath of fresh air to them, and may even encourage them to buy from you! You can give free gift cards, free products, or free shipping to your customers.
Free shipping is almost a must for holiday sales. Consumers are attracted to that kind of offer and chances are, your competitors are offering it, so don’t give them a chance to steal your customers!
If you’re budget-conscious, just make sure you do the math so that your offers are valuable to your customers as well as ultimately profitable for you. You’ll need to calculate your product cost and profit margins to create offers like “Buy 3 and Get 1 Free” or “Spend $100 and get $15 Off.”
Referral marketing is always a successful strategy but it works really well during the holidays. Encourage your customers to refer your products to someone else (their friends, relatives, etc.) by offering a discount. For example, you can give 10% extra or $20 extra discount if the customer refers you to someone.
This will help you to grow your sales and revenue without costing much, and best of all, your customers are promoting your business for you.
As you know, the world is showing unprecedented online behavior due to social distancing. So, if you’re an ecommerce business looking for holiday success, you may want to lean on virtual reality features to enable consumers to tour and browse your products from the safety of their homes. This is a new technology, but being an early adopter can ensure long-term gains.
The above tactics can help you to increase sales during the holidays and give your 2020 revenue a lift, but how will you get the word out about them? As mentioned in the first section of this guide, there are many channels to choose from, and the best channel will vary from business to business. In this section, I’ll cover tips for the channels that tend to perform well across industries.
With more than 2.7 billion active users worldwide, Facebook can offer a targeted audience for just about any business. It is great for both finding new and reengaging existing customers.
Facebook offers a variety of sub-channels to reach out to your target audience during the holidays:
Pro tip: Start engaging and building your Facebook audience now so you can get the most out of your holiday marketing ideas and efforts. The best way to do this is by being proactive (liking, sharing, commenting on others’ posts and comments) and consistent (regularly engaging to build predictability, trust, and your brand voice).
Also, You can use Facebook ads to boost your reach and revenue during the holiday season. Facebook ads are affordable, even for local businesses.
Follow these tips to run effective Facebook ads:
Instagram also has great potential to boost your sales revenue this holiday season. Instagram users are highly engaged, and the platform has been shown to generate ten times more engagement than other social media platforms.
With a proper Instagram holiday strategy, you can see success. Here are a few tips to do that:
Running Google Ads during the holidays can help you get discovered by and win over new customers. Think about the terms consumers in your target audience are searching for when they go onto Google during this season. For example:
…and many others.
Bid on the queries your customers are typing into the Google search box as they look to prepare for, shop for, and celebrate the holiday season. This may include products, services, brand names, and roundups. So ensure that you’re targeting all keywords. Keep in minda also that consumers aren’t only thinking about the holidays during the holidays, but also about more logisitcal needs for the upcoming year, such as health insurance.
Make sure your ads have landing pages to help them to easily find details about your product or offer, and also that you have conversion tracking set up in your Google Ads account.
Also, give Google Shopping ads a try—a product-oriented means of boosting your holiday sales and 2020 revenue.
SEO is one of the best ways to get free and targeted traffic to your website—and by targeted, we mean visitors most likely to buy your products. Just like with Google Ads, you’ll want to target queries revelant to your audience during this time of year. To boost your ecommerce SEO, you’ll want to target product-oriented keywords, like:
If you’re a local or service-oriented business, you can target keywords like
Create separate pages (or posts) on your website containing high-quality content that targets these keywords. Make sure to implement SEO best practices to help these pages rank higher on Google. It takes time to get results with SEO, so the earlier you can publish these posts, the better. But you can also make them evergreen so that they can continue to collect traffic during future holiday season.
Email marketing is among the best channels to nurture leads into customers and maintain loyal customer relationships. If you’ve been building your email list throughout the year, this will be an asset during your holiday email marketing campaigns. You can announce your holiday promotions and events, and include links to your SEO posts. Just be sure to follow best practices such as segementing and personalizing to get the most success, and to write effective holiday email subject lines so that the emails get opened.
Holiday season sales are your last chance to generate revenue this year. There is a plethora of holiday marketing strategy ideas for 2020, but regardless of which ones you implement, make sure you prepare, plan out, test, and track everything from spendings to sales and profit to return rate. It will help you to take the right steps at the right times—both during the campaign and in years to come.
This post was written by Harpreet Munjal and edited by Kristen McCormick. Harpreet is a digital marketer and founder of a digital marketing company named LoudGrowth. Munjal has worked with leading brands including Godaddy and 3dcart, and has been featured in such publications as Forbes, Business.com, Shopify, Hubspot, SearchEngineWatch and more.
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