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We’re in the home stretch now when it comes to marketing in 2017. Looking back on your year, did your work pay off? You can still make a couple last-minute tweaks to get the best possible results from 2017.

The holiday season is still among us, customers continue to make big end-of-year purchases, and December may actually end up being more of a money-making month for you than December. Consider:

  • During the 2016 holiday season, the day with the highest mobile traffic share was Christmas Day, with 60% of customers visiting retailers’ mobile websites (Commerce Cloud).

  • More people said they planned to shop on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, than those who said they planned to shop over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 (NRF).

  • Shoppers have made a late-season push over the past two shopping seasons, as pre-Christmas-week sales surged 25% and 41% respectively (Commerce Cloud).

It’s clear that while the end is in sight, you still have tons of green space for 2017 marketing. Use these tips to maximize every touchpoint in December as part of your holiday marketing strategy. Download the free Marketing Holiday Calendar today for many more best practices to finish out this month with incredible results.

 

1. Get more juice for the squeeze.

For your last few emails of the holiday season, make a special note of design and CTA elements (like a header image or “buy now” button) that convert particularly well and leverage those to encourage customers to make last-minute purchases and come in-store for the year’s last sales.

 

2. Talk with customers, not to them.

Text messages boast an amazing open rate by customers, even in the busiest months. Customers will expect coupons in December, and SMS is a great way to distribute them — but invite a two-way conversation instead of letting SMS become a discount machine. For example, allow customers to text in to answer a question, get more information about a location near them, or even make a purchase.

 

3. Go live on social.

Social channels can be the perfect place to showcase the exciting holiday hustle and bustle in your stores. Consider hosting a Facebook or Instagram Live video from one of your flagship locations to drive in-store visits and purchases in your last sales.

 

4. Respect the holiday mood.

As Christmas Day draws nearer, remember that customers go to social media to share photos of family and friends, not just to be marketed to — so respect the holiday-oriented space.

 

5. Sing along to the greatest hits.

What subject lines, social messages, and products performed best in November? Your December ads should be a greatest-hits version of your holiday messaging, as you count down the days until 2017 sales are a thing of the past. Above all, don’t advertise something people can’t have. Cease ads when promoted products sell out or shipping dates pass the cutoff.

 

6. Cash in on self-gifting.

In the final days of the holidays, provide personalized content on the web to tell customers you’ve been listening to what they’ve searched for and coveted all season.

 

7. Focus on click and collect.

As shipping cutoff dates draw near, focus on location-based offers they can redeem in a store near them. (Also known as buy online, pickup in-store — but click and collect sounds nicer.)

 

8. Become a procrastinator-whisperer.

No matter how much we encourage shoppers to plan ahead, procrastinators will always visit stores in the final days of the season to return purchases or buy gifts. Use digital channels to showcase opportunities for BOPIS (buy online, pick up in stores) and mobile POS (for shorter lines) in your brick-and-mortar locations.

 

9. Double-down on service.

Could your service or social team use some help? Make sure these channels are fully staffed in the last few days of the holiday season. Every unanswered question or problem could mean a lost sale. If you're not already thinking about service as a critical component of your marketing, think again.

 

10. Use social proof.

Which products were hotter than you thought they’d be this season? What was best-reviewed? Customers love to feel in on the excitement during the holiday season, so consider adding pop-ups for top-reviewed or bestselling items or promoting these products (and what customers said about them) on social.

Want more holiday marketing inspiration? Download the Marketing Holiday Calendar for a complete guide to holiday marketing across every major channel and finish out your 2017 strong.