It’s never too early to begin thinking about your marketing strategy for the 2021 holiday season. Especially for small businesses with potentially leaner resources, these bustling final weeks of the year can add to stress levels. Before planning your holiday marketing strategy, ask yourselves:
- Do you have all your marketing tools in place?
- Are your integrations sound and robust, ready for the busy period?
- How is your data looking? Is there any customer information you need to collect for your holiday marketing?
Here are some essential steps to consider while prepping for the holiday season ahead.
Expand and prioritise your marketing channels
Before the holiday season kicks off in earnest, it’s time to think about what marketing channels you have and which ones to prioritise. Each business is different; the most crucial channel for a more established e-commerce retailer might not be equally important to a small business.
Is email alone enough? SMS is perfect for driving action among your engaged audience. A well-timed text message alerting customers to new products, upcoming sales, and back-in-stock items can guarantee a boost to revenue during the holiday season.
Optimise your sign-up process
Shoppers will be looking to discover new brands during the holidays, so now is the perfect time to begin optimising your subscription process. The holiday season is filled with promotional activities from small businesses to entice customers, and you don’t want to miss out. Therefore, it’s necessary to understand what works with your audience? Are you incentivising the process? Have you tried gamifying the sign-up? Do popovers drive more sign-ups with your audience?
Collect zero and first-party data
To deliver customer converting experiences, you need to be creating personalised micro-moments that resonate with your audience. In these times of weariness, customers are only willing to part with their data if offered a personal and unique experience in return.
That means it’s vital to assess your data before the holiday season kicks in. Time to run a health check for data hygiene. How engaged are your contacts? What information do you need to create memorable moments? You can streamline the data collection process by planning this out, incorporating it into your sign-up process, and effectively putting it into action.
Identify and build your key segments
Segmentation is critical in targeting specific audience groups to deliver personalised experiences. For small businesses, manual segmenting can be time-consuming. Using automated customer modelling tools like Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) values, and lead scoring, allows you to build segments based on engagement levels.
Zero-party data collected in preference centres help create tailored campaigns based on subscribers’ location. Building segments will enable you to target influential audience groups with customised and effective communication.
Refresh your welcome program
Welcome programs are central to creating first impressions for new subscribers. A few things to remember at this early stage of the customer relationship:
- Introduce your brand – what sets you apart?
- Get to know your customers – what do they want from the relationship?
- Drive action – what actions do you expect from readers?
What can you do to improve performance? When was the last time you changed the design or tested your CTAs?
Test your abandoned cart and browse automation programs
Abandoned carts and abandoned browse are guaranteed money-making automation programs. You should:
- Constantly test and optimise these programs.
- Introduce product recommendations to increase average order value.
- Consider routing the subscribers to FAQs or peer reviews to remove blockers on the path to purchase.
The months leading up to the holiday shopping season are some of the busiest sales periods in the marketing calendar. With the increasingly complex demands of the modern shopper, I hope these key considerations will help you make the most of the upcoming season and beyond!