Christmas … are you going to use the best marketing strategies for Christmas 2020?

The expected total sales increase for this holiday season is set to between 4.5 and 5% more than last year…despite the pandemic.

The November-January season is traditionally the best time of the year to advertise your products and services and drive up ROI.

Here are 34 Need-to-Know Post-Pandemic tips — our #1 checklist — to help you successfully market this Christmas season … to get the attention of prospective customers, gain new leads, and drive up sales.

Incidentally, on any of these strategies contact me if you need help to implement them at 310.212.5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Tip #1 – Christmas/New Year Advertising During A Post-Pandemic Recovery

Are you making the most of the current situation?  While many companies are struggling during the current pandemic, others have set record sales and subscriptions.

Are you taking full advantage?  Here’s 14 points you can consider when adjusting your marketing copy and offerings:

  1. Address your target boldly. Don’t ignore your target market’s fears, hurts, and distress.
  2. Use preemptive copy. Thompson Creek Windows’ “Buying a New Window in a Recession….Are you crazy?”
  3. Recognize fear of the virus.
  4. Understand the fear of a weakened immune system.
  5. Sympathize with confusion, uncertainty, and conflicting news.
  6. Unemployment: fear of losing salary.
  7. Stock market crash and volatility.
  8. Fear of government.
  9. Retirement at risk.
  10. Business at risk.
  11. Future and dreams at risk.
  12. Be optimistic.

Don’t sound fearful, sound understanding. Don’t sound depressed, sound hopeful…communicate a sense of anticipation and gratitude.

 

Tip #2 – 4 Action Steps Every Marketer Should Take This Christmas

Have you checked off each of these for your business?

  • Determine your vision for survival, growth, and market domination as the economy recovers through this historic post-pandemic recovery.
  • Reevaluate your budget: How much to spend and how to reallocate.
  • Review your target market – has it changed?
  • Update your marketing channel strategy. Make sure all your channels reflect the current reality and your current marketing offering.

 

Tip #3 – Use an integrated and multi-channel Christmas and January marketing approach.

Your marketing strategy is critical for the December-January season. That’s why using an integrated multichannel marketing strategy will increase your response and revenue. Your approach should include direct mail, Facebook, Instagram, TV, Pre-rolls, email, banner ads, and video all to the same targeted audience.

With an integrated approach, your prospect will receive a catalog or direct mail piece in the mail, an email series in their inbox, see a Facebook ad, watch a Pre-roll video on YouTube, and finally, click-through a banner ad to your landing page to make a purchase.

You can do this with your own customer database, or you can do this with a prospect list (see Tip #5)

All the details are in my book, The New Multichannel, Integrated Marketing: 28 Trends For Creating A Multichannel, Integrated Campaign To Boost Your Profits Now, you can order it as a hard copy on Amazon, as an audiobook, or you can you can click here for a signed copy.

 

Tip #4 – Transactional Data Modeling (TDM): What it is and why you need it for Christmas and 2021

Transactional Data Modeling (TDM) is the best way to identify and then target your best potential business prospects or customers.  In a word, it builds a list of “perfect prospects” who, according to their data profile, are the most ideal for the product or service that you are offering.

It works like this: Transactional data is gathered from large database modeling companies that record thousands of data points of online transactions.  This can include anything from the types of items a person has purchased over the past six months, what platforms they buy from, their net worth, location, and more.  Data scientists are then able to “clone” this profile and match it with a large demographic of people that are very likely to interact with your advertising.

8,321 responders vs. 22,321 responders

Sounds too good to be true?  I know.

Again, it only reiterates the maxim that data is king.

If you want to learn more about how to wield this powerful resource, you can contact our data manager Jeremiah Dart at 615.814.6633 or at jdart@cdmg.com to see how much TDM can transform your marketing campaigns.

 

Tip #5 – Custom lists target the right audience.

A custom list targets specific prospects that are most likely to respond to your advertising and marketing—so that you reach valuable audiences and get a higher response and increased profits.

For example, break your list into subsets with specific messaging:

  • prospects
  • customers
  • former customers
  • by interest
  • by RFM
  • by media (TV, digital)
  • by demographic
  • by location
  • by spending habits

There are so many ways to directly target your best prospects.

 

Tip #6 – Look-a-like audiences increase your leads and sales during Christmas.

Building a look-a-like audience is one of the best ways to increase sales, by reaching prospects with similar qualities to your existing customers, such as age, demographics, and personal interests.

Each platform has its own way of duplicating your best customers. Direct mail with Transactional Data Modeling (TDM) can give you a significant advantage with the data for all the platforms to perfect your look-a-like audience.

Look-a-like audiences can be built through Facebook, Google search, AdRoll, Bing, YouTube, and other platforms.

Use this strategy during the December-January season to dramatically expand your reach to new prospects.

Both Tip #4 and Tip #5 are detailed in my book, The New Multichannel, Integrated Marketing: 28 Trends For Creating A Multichannel, Integrated Campaign To Boost Your Profits Now, you can order it as a hard copy on Amazon, as an audiobook, or you can you can click here for a signed copy.

 

Tip #7 – Use Geofencing for Christmas Specials.

I’m using geofencing for a variety of products or services for my clients.

I pick a location. I then pick a date or a date range (6 months, 1 year, etc.). then I get the mobile ID of everyone at that location on that date.

I then market by Facebook and video to my audience… it works so well.

For retailers, want to market to your store customers? Geofencing.

Have a hotel? Geofencing those staying at a competitor hotel.

Want to sell a CD? Geofence and market to those at a concert.

Want to mobilize Christians and market to those who went to a church in the last six months… or to a Hillsong concert. Geofencing is the answer.

Contact me if for free information at 310-212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Tip #8 – Create urgency.

Tell your prospects exactly how much time they have left to take advantage of your special seasonal discounts. Also tell them that they must order by a certain date to receive their merchandise in time for Christmas. Amazon.com typically displays this in the top-right corner as the big day draws near.

 

Tip #9 – Change up your marketing from earlier 2020 efforts.

It’s important to have a powerful Christmas-oriented strategy, but repetitive content can actually cause prospects to tune out. Include editorial content and value-added marketing to draw prospects to your offer.

 

Tip #10 – Value-added marketing boosts response.

Including a free gift is a powerful way to increase response from prospects. For example, Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats included 1 lb. of free smoked pork chops for customers that placed their orders by October 26th. This provided a tempting incentive for customers to place their orders early, and a way for Nueske’s to ensure an increase on their ROI early on.

 

Tip #11 – Conversion Series: Create and send several email sales letters.

Here are 3 types of emails you can send that will increase click-through and produce sales:

Urgency email. Use your subject line to communicate immediacy and vitality: “Get Two-For One on all Gift Wrap, Ribbons, Buttons and Bows –

How-to email. Offer information and help with your customers’ Christmas needs: “How to Plan the Perfect Children’s Christmas Party.”

Command email. Don’t use excessive force here. Make the subject line a call for action: “Check Out the New Website Arrivals.”

If you want to learn more about how to craft the most engaging emails, please contact me at 310-212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Tip #12 – Use email subject lines that are Christmas-themed, but not always offer-driven.

Prospective customers will be turned off if they feel hounded to make a purchase. Try using subject lines that excite curiosity and ensure the reader that the information will be quick and digestible.

Try lists. For example, “5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Dad.”

Take a look at this article on email subject lines to see which ones perform best.

 

Tip #13 – Refocus your online ads to reflect the Christmas season.

Tweak or fully revise your direct response copy to reflect this time of year.

 

Tip #14 – Use social media to the max:

Aggressively use Twitter, Facebook  and Instagram to offer specials. Don’t just “tweet” or “post updates”… get in there and use “#hashtags” and “likes” to grow exposure exponentially. Ask yourself, “Am I doing all that I can to market successfully for Christmas?

 

Tip #15 – Christmas-themed pre-roll videos boost response.

Video is a powerful way to reach new and existing prospects with Christmas marketing and advertising. Pre-roll ads run before YouTube videos, and can be targeted to specific audiences to grow new leads (See Tip #5 for more information on custom lists).

 

Tip #16 – Encourage last-minute Christmas shopping.

Use email or texting to offer last-minute deals. You help customers, you clear out inventory, and you come to be known as a go-to site for fast and efficient service.

 

Tip #17 – Double-check your offer details, guarantee, shipping procedures, and return policy for clarity…and for Christmas specials.

Customers want to see these 6 things on your website:

  • Free shipping for orders
  • Plenty of product details
  • An easy return policy
  • Prepaid shipping for returns
  • A clear guarantee
  • Social proof: ratings and testimonials

When one or more of these elements are missing, it will depress your response.

 

Tip #18 – Show “most popular” gift selections on your site.

Everyone needs gift ideas—or at least the reassurance that what they’re looking for would make a great gift.

Your site should include a gift section or “gift center” that highlights these items. An icon that leads to a gift center is an excellent idea because curiosity will prompt prospects to click.

 

Tip #19 – Create unique gift groupings.

Unique gift groupings will inspire curiosity and increase response in prospects.

On a direct mail piece such as a catalog, you can include lists and photos of different kinds of gifts, giving prospects specific ideas for gifts for their family and friends.

Look at this example from Musician’s Friend showing a diversity of possible Black Friday deals.

Musician’s Friend Black Friday Deals

 

The gift emporium website Uncommon Goods sent out an email with the subject line, “Stocking Stuffers That Aren’t Just Stuff.” This unique category included links to similarly themed gifts, increasing click-through.

 

Tip #20 – Take Full Advantage of Informed Delivery (The FREE marketing tactic that can boost direct mail response)

Informed Delivery.  What is it?

Since 2018, the United States Postal Service has given customers the ability to “digitally preview” their mail deliveries through an email notification.

The customer benefits are obvious – but what does it mean for marketing and advertising?

Well it’s a huge opportunity, and it’s free!

It can be a powerful tool that can immediately boost response and engagement for your marketing campaign.

Consider the following consequences of informed delivery:

  • Boost Anticipation – Prospects will get more excited (or at the very least, curious) about their incoming offering.
  • Remind / Retarget / Reinforce – The more a prospect sees something, the more likely they are to buy.
  • The Joy of Receiving Something – Everyone loves receiving something; it creates a powerful, positive psychological effect.  That positivity is now linked to your offering.
  • Digital Validation of Product – Seeing something in a different format or context might be the key to changing a prospect’s mind about a purchase.
  • Links!  Informed Delivery is a fantastic opportunity to direct prospects to landing pages, websites, or other marketing materials that have a greater chance of landing a conversion.

If you want to learn more about the efficacy of Informed Delivery, please do not hesitate to contact me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Tip #21 – Use a rating system to increase credibility.

In today’s marketing, you must have a rating system to increase credibility. Customers love rating systems to help them make a choice about purchasing a product. Use 3-5 star reviews to help them make an easy decision.

 

Tip #22 – Help prospects easily find what they need.

If you have multiple products available through the Christmas season, be sure your site lets prospects sort by variables such as category, price range, age, and interests.

 

Tip #23 – Comparison charts help prospects make quick decisions.

When looking for gifts, prospective customers want to be able to make quick, easy decisions. Comparison charts help them to easily identify the benefits of your product vs. the product of a comparable brand or company.

For example, you can use a comparison chart to highlight the superior benefits of your product.

Take a look at this comparison chart that we recently created for Monaco Rare Coins.

Rare Monaco Coins

 

Tip #24 – Offer gift cards to boost Christmas profits.

According to surveys, 65% of people prefer a gift card to all “nonessential” holiday gifts. It’s regularly in the top 5 of all gift choices.

For one of their Christmas marketing emails, the online subscription and personal shopping service Stitchfix sent out an email with a simple Call-to-Action button- “Give a Gift Card.” They also included a clever option for prospects to ask for a gift card from another with a “Send a Hint” button.

 

Tip #25 – Use a countdown meter.

Place on your website a “countdown” meter or ticker to show the “shopping days until” that final day. It’s fun, has good graphics, and it will cultivate tension and urgency for the customer to buy from you.

 

Tip #26 – Maximize your mobile landing page.

Make sure your landing page is optimized for mobile, as 4 out of 5 consumers now use their mobile devices to shop.

Your mobile landing page should be free of distractions, have a clear Call-to-Action, a 1-2 step process for the shopping cart, and use direct response copy and art. For a great example, check out the landing page we did for Flora Growth: https://investfloragrowth.com/

If you want more insight on how to maximize your mobile landing page, please do not hesitate to contact me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Tip #27 – Text prospective customers with holiday deals.

The rise of mobile marketing and the success of texting (with value!) make your last-minute deals and Christmas direct marketing far more immediate. Communicate to your lists often during prime shopping hours which are evenings, weekends, and lunch hours. Incorporate location and demographic data, target buyers based on their preferences – stores, products, and price range.

 

Tip #28 – Where are you located?

If appropriate, your website should offer store locators (including via text messaging) so that customers searching the web to buy from you can find the easiest – and closest – place to do it.

 

Tip #29 – Expand paid search keywords.

Most vendors should be using paid search.  Prospects won’t find your ad to click through in the first place if the search words aren’t updated, relevant and incisive…including phrases.

 

□ Tip #30 – Review your online shopping cart.

As always, it’s critical to simplify your customer shopping experience by using at most 2 click-throughs. This way you don’t lose orders or leads.

A re-targeting strategy will drive customers back to your shopping cart, where they’ve already placed items.

 

Tip #31 – Make sure your re-targeting is powerful… and Christmas oriented.

Retargeting is arguably the most effective way to:

  • Convert your leads
  • Supercharge your sales
  • Reactivate old customers

Did you know that retargeting can be used on Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and YouTube?

The truth is, 70% or more of your landing page visitors will leave without making a purchase. Even if they start the buying process, nearly the same amount – 69% – will abandon your shopping cart before they make a purchase.

Retargeting ads help you to get these prospects back to your landing page/shopping cart and convert them to paying customers.

Here’s a few retargeting strategies that can supercharge your sales:

  1. Show a picture of the product your prospect searched for to remind them that you have what they need.
  2. Use a testimonial to prove you’re credible and trustworthy.
  3. Use a video update to create intrigue.
  4. Use the word “alert” for response-boosting urgency.
  5. Ask for a review or testimonial to strengthen your offer

If you would like to talk to me about how retargeting can transform your landing page sales, give me a call at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Tip #32 – Coupons!

Coupons, both paper and digital, are a great incentive for prospective customers to make a purchase.

Coupons can be offered on the cover of a catalog with direct response copy. Look at the coupon below, offered on the cover of “Collections Etc.” with the copy “Just For You—an exclusive discount!”

Mobile coupons can be offered in an email, in the checkout line to capture a phone number in exchange for 15% off, or bounce-back deals that appear a week later to encourage repeat business.

Such coupons have up to 15x the response rate of paper coupon offers – and they’re faster.

 

Tip #33 – Target Generation Z.

Generation Z is roughly categorized as those born between 1993 and 1999. There’s $720 billion at stake for holiday shopping, and how you target this key demographic of consumers could significantly boost your overall sales.

Some of the key characteristics of this generation are that they a) feel very comfortable carrying a credit card balance, and b) are more focused on quality when it comes to holiday gifts.

With that in mind, make sure your checkout process is streamlined and easy to use for credit card users. Value-added information or incentives can also be powerful response-boosters for Generation Z. For example, provide valuable information on promotions and credit scores…facts that Gen Z customers will find useful.

 

Tip #34 – Go ahead, say “Merry Christmas”.

Just saying “Happy Holidays” will depress sales and turn off over 25% of your prospects. Political correctness will drive down response, not help.  So yes, it’s okay to say “Merry Christmas”… you will see the positive result.

 

Finally, don’t forget that the best time of the year to market is the last week of December and the first week of January. Your marketing strategy through this season is critical to gaining new leads and increasing profits.

If you would like to discuss your Christmas / New Year’s marketing strategy, give me a call at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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