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10 Can’t Miss Holiday Tactics

10 Can’t Miss Holiday Tactics

Free 2014 Holiday Tactics Guide

Have you heard that first holiday jingle yet? You know the one playing in the mall defiant of the late summer heat? The same song that triggers complaints about Christmas Creep from Miami to Seattle? Maybe it’s “Jingle Bell Rock”. Maybe it’s “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”. But either way, it’s signaled a change of seasons.

Retailers know that putting their customers (subliminally) into holiday mode can kick start sales in stores. But are you prepared for the digital rush?

Odds are you’ve got some preparation to do in order to get your website ready for the 2014 holiday season. But don’t worry, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to spend money. We’ve got 10 tactical tips to help you win the Q4.

In no particular order – I would highly recommend you investigate the following tactics for any website – eCommerce, lead generation, or content production before the 2014 Holiday season is finally upon us.

  1. Remarketing Campaigns: As Davis Baker mentioned in his Holiday PPC post: now is the time to shore up your remarketing campaigns. Setting up a remarketing campaign is free. So what are you waiting for? Get the cookie on your website and start collecting a list. The worst thing that could happen is you suddenly realize you have 1,000+ people you can target with an ad. And guess what? Through the Google Display Network you will only pay when those users click on your ad. So why not get some bonus eyeballs on your brand? Or pick up some straggling buyers – extra sales can’t hurt, can they?
  2. Email Marketing: Clean up your email lists now if you haven’t used them at least monthly. Dust off the cobwebs and prepare to send. Plan what you want to send and when you want to send it – but stay flexible. Products and interests will change and you need to respond to your users.
  3. Facebook Retargeting: Get in your customers face wherever they are. Whether that’s desktop or mobile; on the couch or at a desk. Run cross platform campaigns and drive conversions with retargeted Facebook Ads. Clients are seeing a 229% lift in conversions on average by adopting cross-platform campaigns. Retargeting via Facebook ads helps you stay top of mind during the consideration time period. Source: Ad Roll
  4. Implement Universal Analytics & Set up Demographic and Interest Tracking: Upgrade your Google Analytics to Universal Analytics now if you haven’t already and enable demographic & interest Get to know who is on your website before the holidays so you can tailor the content and experience as needed. Knowing your site is trafficked by technophiles and photography enthusiasts in the 25-34 age group before you try promoting a bath salts gift basket is helpful, no?
  5. Add Google GTM to Your Website: Tag Manager will make enabling the demographic and interest tracking infinitely easier for one. Second, it will make deploying an additional tracking tags bang on simple – so much so that you won’t have to bug your IT department or developers. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to set up event tracking on the fly. Curious as to what links users are clicking on to leave your site? Tag manager will help you out. Need to know if people are scrolling to the bottom of the page? Tag manager has you covered.
  6. Testing: Can your customers do what you want them to on your website? When was the last time you filled out a form on your own website or ran through the checkout process? Run test conversions and troubleshoot the site now before your developers go on vacation and the crush of the holiday season lands upon you. Know what, how, and why everything works on your website and you’ll be able to answer the most frustrated customer with a smile and a solution.
  7. Mobile Data Analysis: Examine traffic patterns to determine best times of day for your mobile traffic and conversions. If 40% of mobile searches occur between 6-12 p.m. and most tablet searches happen from the couch – are you running your ads at the peak times and on the devices that your customers are searching? Source: Vocus
  8. Mobile Website: Do you already have one? Great! Have you looked at it on your mom’s phone? What about your neighbors? Be sure that it looks and functions the way you want it to on all devices – not just yours. Don’t have a mobile website? Get one today. Seriously – set up a temporary mobile website if you have to – but the 2014 Holiday season is not the time to be caught without a mobile website.
  9. Mine Your Data: Know what your audience is interested in and know your product. By critically analyzing your data, you can promote popular products, identify bundling opportunities, and optimize key pages to reduce bounce rates and increase conversions. Keep in mind that your holiday consumer may be wildly different then the core consumer. Think of it this way: use the holiday season to target customers who might be buying for your typical consumer.
  10. Remind Consumers: The end is near! Free Shipping! There are only 4 days left! Buy now to get it before Christmas Eve! These are all powerful reminders that encourage users to stop shopping around and just pull the trigger before it’s too late. Put a holiday shipping schedule on your website (if you ship anything) and refer to it constantly. If you are a service provider, remind consumers that they need to book before a certain date to ensure an appointment before the calendar fills up. Whatever your deadline may be, just be sure to remind your website visitors that the holiday season does not last forever.
  11. Bonus Prepare for Post-Holiday Season: Think about putting coupons in gift shipments, emailing incentives for buyers, or scheduling leads & appointments for Q1 2015. Maintain the holiday momentum and ensure that you don’t hit a January slump by planning ahead and taking advantage of the peak holiday season.

Nick Lindauer
Nick is the vice president, client services and operations at Forthea. He’s been working in internet marketing since 2002, when – ironically – he answered an ad in the newspaper. When he’s not at work, he’s off spending time with his family, working on his house, building furniture, cooking on his two Big Green Eggs & brewing hot sauce.


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