It’s that time of year again. If you have an online store, chances are you have already launched or are very close to launching you first holiday promotion of the year.
First off, this is not the time of year to rely on free media to capitalize on the increased spending of the holiday season. Unless you have an ongoing word or mouth campaign that is a consistent driver of new customers, there is absolutely no chance that an ordinary Facebook or Twitter post will work.
If you can afford only one time of year to pay for ads, then this is it. So let me help you make the best of it.
Most small online retailers would benefit from starting with Facebook Ads. You may want to try Google Ads instead, as you can get more traffic, but be ready to pay several dollars more per click. If you are adventurous, you may want to try Twitter, Bing or other niche ad sites. These networks will be a bit cheaper on a per click basis because they don’t have mass adoption. You could use this to your advantage if you are savvy.
In addition, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest our cross-promotion product here on Nichevertising. Nichevertising is free to join, and allows you to find and market your products by cross-promoting with others. You can join free here.
Regardless of your decision, pick one site and stick with it. Managing multiple ad networks over the holiday’s is too complex for a one or two person team.
Once you decide on your paid advertising strategy, you’ll want to make sure that money goes to good use once you get someone to click through to your site. This is the main point of this post, to make sure your holiday promotion has these 6 basic ingredients for success.
1. Start with a Landing Page Uniquely Designed for Each Promotion
Never, I mean never spend money to get someone to click through to your homepage or a generic product page.
If you are going to spend money to drive traffic, then creating a specific landing page optimized for your pomotion is a must. If you don’t know how to do this, I recommend using a service like Unbounce or Leadpages.net
2. Promote, But Don’t Sell
I once heard that acquiring a new customer is like dating. Chances are you don’t want to go for the kiss on the first date. When it comes to selling a product with paid advertising, going for the kiss on the first date is synonymous with trying to get someone to give you their credit card number right after they click on your advertisement.
Don’t do it. You have less that .01% chance of succeeding if you ask for a credit card at this stage.
Your success rate will be more like 10% to 20% if your main goal is just getting to the second date. All you need is your prospective customer’s email address.
The best way to do this is to focus the goals of your promotion on sending your prospect a special coupon offer or free gift through email. Once you aquire their email address, you should continue your promotion using a specific series of 3 to 5 emails to close the deal.
3. Create a Sense of Urgency
Your promotion must be time sensitive. The holiday season comes and goes quickly, so everyone is aware that in order to get the best deal they must act fast and not procrastinate.
Each promotion you launch must end soon to ensure your prospects eliminate procrastination as an option. So make sure you prominently display the end date and if possible, limit the number of people who can get access with a clearly stated finite number.
Be careful not to manufacture a false sense of urgency however. On the end date you publish, end your promotion on that day as you don’t want to lose credibility in your industry. It’s better to end the promotion, then launch a different promotion a few days later than to become known as the Chicken Little of marketing.
4. Craft Headlines and Content from the Perspective of Your Customer
When you write your headlines and content for your promotion, talk directly to your potential customer. Do exactly what I am doing in this article. As you see, I use the words “you” and “your” often.
This is how I write to personalize the content for you. When you create promotions written using this type of personalized language, it will be much easier for you to focus on your customer’s needs instead of yours.
5. Solve A Holiday Need
Value propositions for holiday promotions are different than your value propositions throughout the rest of the year. Throughout the year you may focus completely on the value that is unique about your product.
During the holidays, still include what makes your product unique, but be sure to also highlight how you are unique in these 7 specific holiday focused needs that almost everyone universally wants a solution for during the holidays:
1. Shipping speed
2. Free Shipping
3. Last minute gifts
4. Gifts for a specific person (Significant other, children, parents, co-worker, etc.)
5. Gifts under a specific price (under $25.00 or under $50.00 gifts)
6. Easy Return Policy
7. Gift Wrapping
6. Don’t be Greedy
When you are paying for advertising, don’t be greedy. Remember, this is the first date, so you don’t need to know everything about the person right away.
If you goal is to get the email address, then get the email address and that’s it. Forgo trying to capture unnecessary fields like first name, last name, zip and phone number. Every additional field you try to capture will cause your conversion rates to go down.
If you do this, you will send a message right away that doing business with you is easy. This message will pay dividends in the long run.