Web Wise: Is Your Holiday Season Marketing Plan Ready?
Each year, it seems that shoppers, retailers and marketers alike share the same sentiment: “Next year, I’m going to start earlier to avoid the rush!” If you haven’t got your holiday marketing plan together yet, don’t despair. There’s still time to capture the attention of your clients before they’re caught up in presents and holiday decorations, while making good use of all email addresses you collect. Here are some tips that go beyond the standard holiday card:
1. Develop a plan. It all starts with setting goals and a budget. Look at what you did last year (or didn’t do) and note important dates coinciding with the holiday season, such as Small Business Saturday, Green (Cyber) Monday and Boxing Day. Then list your promotions and develop your messages around each one.
2. Add some holiday spice to your graphics. It can be as simple as adding in an extra holiday graphic to your standard email newsletter template, or as elaborate as creating a special holiday-themed navigation, header or footer to carry specific messages.
3. Add themed landing pages to your website to further carry your messages. Whether you are offering car care advice, gift-giving ideas or promoting an event or extended shop hours, create a Web page for customers to find out more about your promotion. Be sure to include a call to action too: “Click here to purchase/order gift cards,” “Schedule your preholiday vehicle inspection,” or “RSVP to our holiday open house.”
4. Clean up your email list. Review the stats on opens, clicks and especially, repeat bounces.
5. Drive business to your shop by sending a printable coupon or other special shopping pass, such as a shuttle to the nearby mall or a detailing service while their car is serviced.
6. Create better response by adding personalization in your message’s subject line.
7. Implement a messaging schedule. Don’t inundate your customers with emails, but be sure to send them notices that coincide with the key dates you’ve selected. When possible, create and schedule these messages for delivery well in advance.
Finally, don’t forget to add social media sharing links to your messages, and engage your customers in conversations that get them talking about their vehicles and what they’d like to see from you.
Net Numbers: Christmas Creep
For the 2011 holiday season, 54 percent of shoppers surveyed said they’d completed at least 25 percent of their shopping before Black Friday, up from 49 percent in 2010.
Source: Internet Retailer/Compete Inc.
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