There’s still time to focus your festive digital marketing strategy

If you’ve started hearing Christmas carols in the supermarket it’s time to start putting your festive marketing plan into action. Christmas is obviously a massive opportunity for online retailers, but many businesses notice a dip in web traffic over the holiday season as people take time away from their computers. Here’s how to boost your seasonal web stats.

Optimise for mobile

Although desktop traffic slumps during the holiday period as people spend less time at work and more time with their families, nearly everyone has a mobile device on hand. Mobile shopping outpaced desktop for the first time during last year’s holiday season, accounting for 66% of all ecommerce traffic throughout the festive period and 74% of shoppers used their phone to browse products on Christmas Day. If you run an ecommerce website, make sure it’s optimised for mobile so you can meet consumer expectations. If you’re not sure how well your site performs on mobile you can use Google’s mobile-friendly tool to see how well it scores.

  • Make sure the journey from initial browsing to purchase is as easy and seamless as possible, taking out any unnecessary welcome screens or lengthy sign-up forms. Online shoppers – especially busy Christmas shoppers with numerous gifts to buy – lose interest very quickly if there are too many payment and shipping fields to fill out on a checkout page, which can lead to the dreaded abandoned shopping cart. Simplify the navigation process as much as possible to avoid losing customers at the final hurdle.
  • Resize seasonal images and optimise them with compression tools before adding them to your site so they don’t increase page loading times. Add subtle festive touches rather than overwhelming mobile visitors with animated images and pop-ups.
  • Use trustmarks (e.g. an SSL certificate) to reassure customers that your site is secure. This will help to maximise your conversion rate.

Build email frequency

The festive period offers numerous opportunities to engage with your customers, from promoting a special Christmas offer, to creating a helpful 12 Days of Christmas series of tips, to a simple ‘Merry Christmas and thanks for your custom’ message. Maximise your email marketing effectiveness by:

  • Cleaning your email marketing list and checking that all the data is correct so that you can target your campaigns effectively.
  • Personalising emails to address customers directly, not just by name and location but also by taking their purchasing history into account.
  • Segmenting emails to target different audiences (for example, offering VIP customers a special offer or invite to let them know they are appreciated).
  • Using Google Analytics to find out the best time to send emails for the highest conversion rates.
  • Sending follow up emails to potential customers who abandoned their shopping carts before completing their purchases. The global cart abandonment rate is around 75%, costing trillions in potential lost revenue each year. Email retargeting is a highly effective way of recouping lost sales – according to BI Intelligence, emails sent within three hours after a shopper abandons a cart have a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate – far higher than normal conversion rates, which are typically between 2-4%.

Invest in seasonal PPC advertising

With Christmas shoppers busily searching online for gift ideas, you’re missing out if you don’t adjust your paid advertising strategies to include Christmas keywords to improve your Google search rankings. If you don’t currently invest in PPC, you can find out more about what we do at HookedOn here. If you are already familiar with paid ads, here are some key strategies to ensure you maximise your holiday marketing budget:

  • Review last year’s campaign results to find out what worked well and what needs adjusting. For example, which promotions drove the most purchases, and which channels were most purchasers using? Did search patterns change compared to the prior year? Which targeted audiences performed best? Keeping the strategies that worked best is a solid plan for this year’s Christmas marketing campaign, but it’s also worth investing a small percentage of your budget (around 5-10%) on testing new platforms and strategies.
  • Use Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends to plan out your PPC campaign armed with the knowledge about what your customers are searching for and how they are searching. Using the online tools available there’s no need to guess the best terms to bid on – the data is all easily accessible. You can also use bid simulators to find out how your campaign might have performed if your keyword bids were increased for high revenue terms (for example, ‘Christmas gifts for women’ during the festive season).
  • Make sure you update your website so that your marketing campaigns are replicated on your landing pages. For example, if you have a ‘free holiday shipping’ promotion that you are marketing via paid ads, make sure you add a banner at the top of your website with consistent wording and content so customers will see it when they click through from an advert.

HookedOnMedia wishes you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. For more information about the digital marketing services we offer or to arrange a free consultation, fill out a contact form or give us a call on 01872 248376.