5 Marketing Initiatives that will Set You Up for Success in 2017!
1) The Contest To End All Contests
Whether you’ve had time to host an online contest this year or not, it’s never too late to go out with a bang! Use these last few weeks to get a fresh consumer marketing list by hosting a holiday themed online contest. If you’ve never built an online contest before, start with sites like shortstack.com or woobox.com who will guide you step by step.
Your contest prize should always be larger than $500.00 in retail value and you should always allocate at least a $200 budget to promote your contest on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Be sure to promote the contest on your website if you can by using a homepage banner, a blog, or even create a custom page if you have the budget for it. When promoting the contest online, use hashtags such as #Offers, #Contests, #Giveaway, #Sweepstakes and #EnterToWin for added exposure.
2) A Blast of Email Blasts
This is the one season of the year when consumers actually read their emails! THEY ARE ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR DISCOUNTS SO DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY! No matter how busy you are, it’s IMPERATIVE that you send email blasts out once a week if not more between the months of November and December. You may even want to plan to start in September or October next year as your building your 2017 marketing calendar.
For higher conversion rates, include coupons or exclusive offers within your email blasts that consumers can print off or take away coupon codes for. Give them advice on what gifts to purchase, where to get them, and ALWAYS include a call to action to get them back into your store!
Lastly, remember that “birds of a feather flock together,” so if you’re hosting a holiday event, you can email your existing customers about that too and encourage them to bring friends.
3) Update Your Website and Social Sites
All eyes are on you right now, so make sure your website and social media sites are buttoned up and ready to spread holiday cheer with warm and inviting colors that go with the season!
Most importantly, make sure that your conversion funnels are functioning properly. Do all your online forms work? Who is responding to them? Is your phone number correct on all search engines? Are you tracking your phone calls to find out what the busiest time of the day is that people are calling? As we mentioned in our last blog, you can use sites like calltrackingmetrics.com to find out where your calls are coming from and when. Is your Google Analytics code set to track your website traffic? What about your Facebook pixel? These are all important things you should have set up before the season.
After all, what better time than the busiest time of the year is there to collect business intelligence that can help you in 2017?
4) A unique and exclusive end of the year offer
It goes without saying that now is the time to strike while the iron is hot! Give them an offer they can’t refuse. Not sure where to start? Do a competitive analysis of all the stores similar to yours within a 50-mile radius and see what they offered LAST YEAR or this year on their Facebook pages, websites, local radio stations, or even the local newspaper. Take it even further and look at the top performing stores in surrounding states to see what they’re doing. Once you’ve found an offer you like, put your own unique spin on it to make it yours!
Pro Tip ** If you plan to promote your offer only on Facebook or other online sites, try A/B testing with more than one offer and keep track of all your analytics so that you can make better decisions for next year.
5) Employee Appreciation Gifts
You may see this and think, “how am I supposed to focus on my employees when I can hardly find the time to focus on getting more customers this season?”
If that’s your response, then remember this… your employees can sometimes be your best customers! Show them you care and offer them limited time only discounts for themselves and their family members or give them free product to wear during store hours. After all, if your employees love the products, aren’t the more likely to brag about them?
Pro Tip ** Your top customers deserve gifts too! If you have repeat customers that spend a good chunk of cash with you throughout the year, then show them how much you care by sending a holiday greeting card with a PERSONALIZED offer or gift. They’ll be blown away by your giving spirit and more likely to repeat their purchase behaviors in the new year.