Turbo-boost your sales during the holidays.

Feb 11 2019 | By contributing author Reuben Canada, Maker of Jin+Ja and CEO of RESHCA Digital

The holidays are here and it's time to kick your digital marketing into high gear to avoid a lump of coal in your stocking. With some proper planning, you can assure that you meet your sales goals without losing your shirt in advertising costs.

Start with a pre-holiday social media campaign to save on ad costs.

Social media can be a great asset for you to reach new customers during the holiday peak – and if you plan ahead, you can help your marketing dollars go further. Remember: There are many more businesses competing for ad space during the holidays than the rest of the year, which makes advertising costs increase. Some businesses think the increase in price is worth the cost because they can outspend their competitors and reduce the ad visibility of their products. But, if you don't like the idea of paying a premium, then take advantage of lower advertising costs now and attract potential customers before the price goes up. With an early start, you can get the holiday exposure your business needs and skip the mad dash for expensive ad space.

Another benefit of planning your digital ad spending before the holidays is a potentially higher ROI. Think about it: If you focus your ad strategy on acquiring customers – instead of getting an immediate sale – those customers may spend more with you during the holidays. You can take advantage of non-holiday ad pricing and still benefit from those increased holiday order sizes.

Here's an example to illustrate the point. A year after we got serious about digital marketing in our direct-to-consumer channels, I decided we'd try something radical – take 25% of our marketing budget for November and December and load it into October with the goal of acquiring potential customers, instead of driving the immediate sale. We teased a new product to acquire email addresses, and then launched the product three weeks before the Christmas holiday. The plan worked. We paid less per sale during the holidays and saw a higher return on advertising spend, even though we spent less. We haven't looked back since.

This may seem contrary to the urgency mantra of digital marketing: drive the sale now to reduce cart abandonment and keep cost per acquisition low. But, by focusing on short-term gains, you can miss out on the real value of selling online – your ability to deepen customer relationships with strategic offerings. Once you've completed your pre-holiday acquisition campaign, you can skip the middle man – social media ad platforms – and email your seasonal offers directly to your customers.

And then leverage email during peak holiday season time to help drive conversions.

Asian-woman-making-purchase-on-laptopEmail remains one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing and the business with the highest open rates rules them all. Email marketing lets you speak directly to your customers about new products, offer personalized incentives, and target your promotions.
For our holiday launch of the 4X Dragon Fruit Concentrate, we created a customized lead-up email campaign that was meant to do two things: stay top of mind and increase excitement and engagement. Remember this: email content is equivalent to you having a conversation with someone at a cocktail bar. Stimulating content followed by 'the ask' (sales pitch) will always win out over content that reads like it just wants to close a sale.

Remember, everybody loves something new.

 

If you've ever launched a new product, you probably know that new produts convert better than existing ones. So if you have a new product coming out, try to time the launch with the holiday shopping season. But at the same time, don't make the mistake of launching a product before you're truly ready to fill orders. Remember, the holiday season comes back every year, but a new customer who's had a bad experience may not. 

The holidays are a challenging time for any customer-facing business, but they can also be the most rewarding. With a little planning and thoughtful budget allocation, you can give your customers the kind of experience they'll come back for and your profit-margin its biggest boost of the year.

About the author.
Through his own experience building a beverage company, starting out with $22k to a humming enterprise with annual revenues of over $4MM, Reuben Canada guides small- and medium-size businesses through the ever-changing retail environment. And if you need a word of advice, help turning your dream into an actionable plan, or a recipe for outstanding scones or spinach quiche, reach out – he may be able to assist.

About PayPal for small businesses. 

For nearly 20 years, PayPal is proud to be a partner and platform for over 19 million merchants as they launch, scale and grow. From access to fast funding to getting paid online, learn how our payment and credit solutions can also help your business. 

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.