Black Friday is only two weeks away and if you are feeling nervous and unprepared, then you are way behind the curve. But, that’s why we are writing this post -- we have come up with five things you must do, even this late in the game, to have a successful Holiday season. Use our checklist to make sure your Holiday season strategy is ready and aiding in your “Ready, Set, Launch” day of plan. Checklist:
- Social Media Marketing Plan
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions Planned
- Holiday Customer Service Support
- Holiday Email Campaign
- Holiday PPC Campaigns
Social Media Marketing PlanBasic social media posts are free and social channels are some of the easiest platforms to use. If your company uses social media properly, posts will be shared by potential customers, reaching a bigger audience. A few social holiday pro-tips:
- Develop holiday branding on all channels to reflect the season
- Schedule posts in the future using apps like Hootsuite or Sprout Social
- Have social support to answer any customer service issues that may arise on social channels
- Make sure your promotions are also synced with your social networks
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions PlannedBlack Friday and Cyber Monday set new records for 2013 and we are sure that 2014 will be no different. It is imperative that you set your promotions for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday and prepare for the influx in traffic. Promotion pro-tips:
- If you add “free shipping” to your ecommerce site, research shows that it encourages 93% of customers to follow through and actually purchase.
- Know your customers and where to post your promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Open your store a few hours early on Thanksgiving day and give your loyal customers a sneak peak and an opportunity to purchase before everyone else.
- As for your promotions, do a sneak peak a week before and don’t post your actual deals until the day of.
Holiday Customer Service SupportThis probably seems like common sense. But, make sure you are over staffed for the huge Holiday weekend that is right around the corner. It is imperative that your customers aren’t waiting long and you give them answers within minutes of when they are asked. Customer service pro-tips:
- Staff your customer service reps accordingly. It’s always better to be overstaffed than understaffed
- Dedicate someone to manage your social channels over the weekend -- Almost 50% of customers that complain over social media expect a response within 60 minutes
- This could turn a one time customer into a loyal customer
Holiday Email CampaignsThis is your chance to constantly remind your customers of your holiday offers and let them know exactly why the should shop at your store on Black Friday. If you haven’t already, you must set up a holiday email campaign, launching a few days before Black Friday and the final email sending out on Black Friday. Email pro-tips:
- Make sure your emails are designed responsive, 41% of emails opened are on mobile
- Segment your list, use recent products or categories viewed, past item purchases, and demographic info to tailor a message to that segment
- Send a coupon on Black Friday -- since 91% of shoppers say the lowest price is the most important factor in buying
- Be sure to send out an abandoned shopping cart email with a special coupon code on Cyber Monday, to all of those that left your site without purchasing from over the weekend.
Holiday PPC CampaignsHoliday PPC is a good way for your company to be seen over other competitors. Be competitive and aggressive at creating ads that might be costly in the short-term but will reap great returns for many transactions to come. Remember that your customers are going to spend money with your company if they find the right product, so use your PPC ads and show them why they should spend money with your company. PPC pro-tips:
- If you don’t have a big budget, try going after long-tailed keywords
- Cater ads to target holiday shoppers
- Target mobile devices -- remember 51% of shoppers do so on mobile devices
- Add extensions to increase credibility and CTR