9 extraordinary tips that will rock your marketing during the upcoming Christmas season (oh yes... it is around the corner)

Matt Geary in Content marketing on 30th of Oct 2018
Christmas marketing ideas for small businesses

Christmas marketing ideas for small businesses

Everybody loves Christmas, but especially retail marketers. The festive season comes with extra lucrative opportunities that help you make the most of your marketing automation software.

Follow these nine tips to avoid missing out on holiday leads

Keep a content calendar

In general — even outside the festive season — keeping a content calendar is a good marketing strategy to follow. At Christmas, keeping a content calendar becomes essential. A content calendar helps you plan well in advance to ensure your copy and design is optimized in preparation for the busiest time of the year.

A content calendar also helps personalize your messaging during the months leading up to Christmas. Content that's been personalized will receive better results when Christmas crunch time comes —  78 percent of U.S. internet users said personally relevant content they received from brands increased their purchase intent.

Use historical data… with a grain of salt

Your previous performance is a great place to start your holiday forecasting. If you're going to do this, ensure you use a sizeable volume of data. Rather than using your data alone, try opting for the largest peer set available to you —  whether that be industry verticals or cross-sections.

But beware of becoming too reliant on historical data. Just because it's in the records, doesn't mean it should necessarily be treated as gospel. Take everything with a grain of salt, particularly when you suspect data has been tracked incorrectly or certain anomalies have influenced historical datasets.

Use an Autopilot integration like Heap to build accurate historical archives through tracking user behaviors on your website.

Determine your growth rate

Map out how you expect your Christmas engagement to pan out this year. Many marketers opt to use the information they have in the current year to date. Generally, this shows how much the weekly growth rate has changed compared to the same time last year.

To estimate your holiday engagement rate, compare your expected growth rate with the historical data you've gathered.

If it can be tested, then test it

Just because your projected holiday journey makes sense to you, doesn't mean it will work flawlessly in practice. Compare last years results with your expected outcome and see how the numbers line up.

You can also incorporate AB Split Testing and Delighted NPS surveys year-on-year. Tools like these will help validate your theories.

Extra festive adjustments

Christmas-themed branding helps with brand awareness and Santa hats, snowflakes, reindeer, baubles and candy canes are all good go-to options.  But you can also take extra steps during the holiday season.

With the extra traffic going to your website, think about the following:

  • Automating abandoned carts to improve order rates. For example, sending three abandoned cart emails results in 69 percent more orders than a single email. You can automate this through Autopilot's Timers integration.
  • On average, shoppers spend 13 days searching for a new purchase. Once they decide to buy, almost half of customers expect the item the same day or the next day. Combine same-day shipping with your Christmas cut-off to capture these late shoppers.

Create PPC advertising that matches your overall Christmas theme

Google Ads has a special algorithm that measures the quality of your PPC (pay per click) advertising and ranks it accordingly. This is called the quality score. Getting a high quality score improves your ROI by rewarding you with better cost per-conversion rates.

So, what’s the secret to having a good quality score on your PPC advertising? Well, the algorithm looks at:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group
  • Landing page quality and relevance
  • The relevance of your ad text
  • Your historical AdWords account performance

Unfortunately, nobody outside of Google seems to know how much each of these factors 'weigh' when determining the quality score.

The general consensus is to align all your creatives so they're all running relevant themes and messaging. If you're running a Christmas advertising campaign, this means ensuring your landing page and PPC advertising match. Foster a high quality score by creating a Christmas customer journey that uses the Google Adwords and Instapage integrations in Autopilot.

Try Click Frenzy strategies

Click Frenzy is a strategy very much like Cyber Monday — a short period where retailers heavily discount items on their online stores. This is a calculated risk that creates a one-day shopping storm. Essentially, you're exchanging short-term profit margins for a huge surge of new customers.

The payoff comes in when you follow-up with an effective lead-nurturing journey. The below template is a great example of how you can capitalize on your newly expanded user base by nurturing them into active customers.

Spread some cheer with a personal Christmas touch

Try inventive retention strategies that make your customers feel more attached to your brand. Christmas is the perfect time to thank your customers with personalized Christmas cards.

Spread the Christmas cheer with a special holiday offer, a thank-you message or a silly photo of your team in Christmas costumes. The choice is yours! An Autopilot integration like Lob can help you integrate ideas like this into your Christmas customer journey.

Don't get holiday tunnel vision!

Christmas marketing is more than just public holidays. Look at the holiday season holistically, and consider the months before and after December. Using Autopilot you can create automated customer journeys that make the most of holiday trends and behaviors.

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