Planning ahead of time is key for any marketing campaign, but this is especially true when it comes to Christmas season in retail. Have you noticed how Christmas chocolate starts to hit the shelves from about September in recent years? Brands and savvy retailers start planning their Christmas marketing and selling strategy from around July so they can make the most of the busiest time of the year.
However, it’s not too late to get organised for Christmas. With a careful strategy and ensuring all your marketing channels are working cohesively, you can maximise your results and look forward to a truly epic Christmas season. Managed right, the November to January period can take more sales than the entire rest of the year for many brands.
In this post we look at planning your seasonal marketing strategy in advance using marketing automation so you can benefit from the natural increase in traffic, without your systems crumbling under the strain.
Focus on Meaningful Contact, Not Just Maximum Contact
Of course it’s important to make sure you stay in touch with your customers in the run-up to Christmas. Email marketing offers you multiple opportunities to communicate with your subscribers and invite more clicks through to your website.
However, don’t waste time and energy on creating things with no value – i.e. don’t blindly send out emails filled with generic sales promotions with little value to the consumer. This can be costly to your business and won’t get your targeted wins.
Rather than casting the net out wide hoping to catch anything, focus on the specific areas your business needs.
Take time to really understand your customers and their needs. It’s not all about you – it’s about them, and this is especially true at Christmas time.
The most successful brands tap into the spirit of the holiday season and engage their consumers with helpful, educational, or entertaining content.
This is a great time to give a little something back and create some fun content such as Christmas giveaways, countdown advent calendars with discount codes and offers each day, and special contests. Your customers benefit from special offers and you get more traffic and interaction – it’s win-win for everyone.
Select the Right Areas to Automate
Not everything should be automated – marketing needs that special human touch too. Focus on building one or two initiatives at a time, in areas that are relevant to your business.
Christmas is the most hectic and busy time of year for retail businesses and the last thing you want to do is create more work for you and your colleagues than is necessary. Automation should save you time, not create more work.
Avoid the overwhelm and achieve more by concentrating on one campaign at a time and seeing it through to completion, rather than starting five different things at the same time and having nothing to show for your effort at the end.
Prioritise your to-do list and allocate each task to the right person. Marketing automation is highly powerful and efficient when done right, however, without the right support you could find your business losing leads and sales if you’re concentrating on the wrong things.
Your Online Presence is Key
Traditional retail businesses such as David Jones and Bloomingdale’s go all-out to transform their stores at Christmas, creating elaborate decorations and window displays that families will go out of their way to visit.
You need to think the same way about your online store over the Christmas season. Think of your website as your storefront and how you can make it more appealing to shoppers who want to get into the Christmas spirit, as well as finding the perfect gift. Advertising and promotion is great, however you need to make sure your marketing automation is supported by the right online elements too.
Concentrate on how to convert those clicks – many users are looking to take care of their Christmas lists and online personalisation allows them to see more of what they want when making purchases.
Make the most out of every website visitor by upsizing, upselling, and cross-selling. Ensure users can also see complementary items and services so you’re not missing out on opportunities. Ask customers if they want to add gift wrapping or a personal message before they check out.
Is Your Retail Brand Ready for Christmas? Have you implemented your strategy for the Christmas period? Here at Swift Digital, we can assist you with your marketing automation needs to ensure your campaigns are a success! To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our Sales Team today on 02 9929 7001.