With every passing moment, we're getting closer to the biggest shopping season of the year: November and December.
Marketers, we all know what that means — we've got plenty of items on our to-do lists to make sure customers sign up for our emails, follow us on social platforms, download our mobile apps, and shop from us when they're buying gifts for others (and themselves).
We've collected all the holiday marketing tips you need in our new 2016 Marketing Holiday Calendar, but here are a few select tips from the calendar's section on October. Download the calendar now for much more detail on holiday success!
1. Know the major October messaging themes. According to our research and analysis of past holiday seasons, the majority of retailers will mention the holiday season in at least one promotional email by the end of this month.
Plus, many holiday-themed emails in October will focus on sneak previews of gift guides, new catalogs, and the year’s most popular gifts. Although Halloween is a big focus, preholiday clearances will headline many October emails.
2. Segment your email list for those who only shop during the holidays vs. those who shop year-round. In one example from lingerie brand Adore Me, powered by Marketing Cloud, an email campaign targeting once-per-year shoppers performed 21% better than emails sent to other customers.
Often, your holiday- only shoppers will also buy completely different products than those who shop the site frequently. Revisit last year’s holiday-only shoppers and make a list just for them.
3. Ensure every call to action and customer journey works on mobile. Holiday promotions will help grow your mobile audience of SMS subscribers or app users — so use your established email channel to promote these newer channels so customers don’t miss a thing.
Spend time as a team testing mobile journeys from different devices and operating systems.
4. Build up a solid publishing cadence on your social profiles. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and now even Twitter pull the most relevant messages to the top of a user’s feed (not necessarily the most recent).
In the lead-up to November and December, post consistently on social but not too frequently. Focus on posting content that will receive positive engagement from your community. Help the algorithm trust you so that your future posts receive better placement.
5. Bring the holiday look and feel to your online presence. Just like your brick-and-mortar locations use lights, garlands, and a seasonal soundtrack to create excitement for the holidays, you can do with the same with your digital storefront.
Your emails, ads, and social profiles can all benefit from holiday-themed design elements, photography, and decorated buttons, which should all be coordinated across channels. It’s the holiday season, so don’t be afraid to have some fun with it.
6. Start prioritizing personalization now. Customers delete emails that are irrelevant or aren’t catered to their interests, especially during peak holiday season when marketing noise is at a fever pitch.
Enact a progressive profiling campaign in October so you can learn more about customers and use that information to better target the season’s emails, SMS, push messages, and ads.
That’s just the beginning of the planning and preparation that should go into your holiday marketing this month. Download the free 2016 Marketing Holiday Calendar today for many more best practices to help you get the gift of greater ROI this season.