The holiday season is here and yes it’s time for joy and festivities everywhere. But let's be honest with ourselves for a minute - the marketer inside us is craving to hit sales gold with the approaching ‘End of Year’ sale. As a matter of fact, if the marketing gods are unhappy and do not put up a great show, then a good amount of joy and frolic will feel aired out of the holiday feel-good bubble, no? I mean, can you imagine a holiday season without amazing discounts and prizes? Horrible. Doomsday. Where's Gal Gadot and the Justice League when you need them?
So let us save the day with eight amazing strategies/tech hacks to boost our holiday marketing game.
1) Big sales call for big data - Though the holiday season marks a golden opportunity for the retailers, it also translates to a lot of behind-the-scenes effort for capitalising on the opportunity. So, let's not rely on guesswork anymore. Use a tool like IBM holiday reporting, which combines AI with big data to give you actionable insights on what products are trending most in your target demography. Its big data tech collects actionable insights on consumer behaviour from thousands of data sets (web page views, social media stories, news, marketing interaction etc.) to tell you what exactly your consumer wants this holiday season.
2) Set up a perfect landing page - In other words, set up a landing page that converts. Often times we get carried away with the whole design and beautification aspect of our website but trust me, if you keep your tech focused on conversion, you will have a big smile this holiday season. Keep the focus on building a funnel, by using a tool like ClickFunnels. This conversion-oriented landing page builder will let you A/B test different versions of your landing page offer, lets you have quick one-click upsell and lets you collect leads for your newsletter.
Speaking of which...
3) Send irresistible offers through newsletter - You need to nurture your prospects into the buying process. You can do this best with a drip campaign, where you send them a series of emails based on your offer. Start a good week before the offer is live. Highlight all the benefits of your product, alert them about the offer day approaching, and incentivise them to buy early by giving them an additional discount for taking the buying action. All of this will add to sales loyalty and build a community of product evangelists. Use a tool like Infusion Soft to segment audiences based on their behaviour (if they open your first offer mail, if they visit your sales page and not buy etc.) and then send them custom offers based on it. The way to growth hack an email newsletter campaign is by having -
A) Clear CTAs in place
B) Attention-catching graphical assets (Try the new 3D GIFsfrom Giphy. They are simply awesome.)
C) Added discounts, bonus, and freebies for immediate fast action.
D) A clear deadline in place to increase urgency.
4) Set up a FOMO timer - In the air of festivities, the FOMO factor (fear of missing out) can be a cruel blow to the deal obsessed shopper inside us. Marketers can take advantage of this by setting up a FOMO timer on their landing page, which will show a countdown clock ticking down to the time when the deal ends. When combined with an irresistible offer, this sense of urgency can really push shoppers to push the buy button. Again you can use ClickFunnels or a tool like DeadlineFunnel to hack this up.
5) Make your offer go viral through contests and giveaways - There is something about festivities and contests that always go hand in hand. Maybe the idea of festivities make us a bit more romantic with our luck and see what the auspicious air is going to bring for us? Well, who are we kidding; contests work all the time. But yes, during the holiday season, people are more inclined to buy, so organising discount-based contests work perfectly during this time. Use a tool like Vyper to organize viral giveaways and contests. The way it works goes like this - when a shopper visits your offer page, offer them a free gift like a special discount code that can be unlocked if they share the offer on their social media accounts. Motivated by the discount, the shopper will share the offer where it will be picked up by their friends who will again be incentivised to share in order to get that discount. This is a great way to make your offer go viral. The only catch is that your product needs to be amazing in order to get the motivation for the discount going.
Another way to make your offer go viral is through having a leaderboard contest. The process is the same with the only difference being that here when they share the offer content on social media, they are allotted points, and are ranked on a leaderboard. Say, if they share on Facebook or Twitter, they get 10 points, and when they invite five of their friends through email they get 50 points. In the end, the top five are given a giant prize, which can be your top dollar product or a lifetime gift card. The bigger the top prizes on offer, more the activity for such a contest.
6) Hack your Facebook ads strategy - No matter what people say, PPC ads still work the best. This is an amazing way to get your offer in front of your exact target audience for cheap ROI-based advertising. The best PPC ads are the ones you can run on Facebook. The way to hack this is using a special tool like AdEspresso for ConnectExplore. These tools will make running ads, doing A/B testing and interest targeting a breeze.
7) Be the startup Flash Gordon by organising hourly flash Sales - As you can note from a lot of points above, adding special discounts over the normal holiday discounts can influence the buying decision heavily towards the sale. Use it to your advantage by organising hourly flash sales or lightning deals, something which Amazon does best to put their sales on steroids.
8) Connect with Influencers in your niche - To amplify and really hit the homerun, you have to network with resources outside of your company's marketing assets. This can be done by researching on product evangelists in your niche who have a huge audience base and email list. They can be thought leaders, bloggers and major media columnists who exclusively speak and write about your topic. Partner with them and use their outreach power to further your sales goal. You can also use a tool like Ninja Outreach to execute this influencer campaign successfully.
So, my startup friends, there you have it. The key takeaways are A) First and foremost have a great product. B) Do data-driven holiday marketing. C) Have sales-oriented tech in place. D) Incentivise customers with additional discounts and urgency E) Amplify with paid and organic outreach.
Let's make this the best holiday season our startup world has ever had. Happy Holidays!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)