Christmas Comes Early for Online Marketing

If you, like me, are still trying to make the adjustment between wearing flip flips and Uggs then look away now. This blog will only alarm you further as I’m about to raise the other C word – the one associated with a jolly round man and chimneys. Yes online marketers, Christmas is coming and for us (and most retailers) it’s starting in September.

You’ve most likely already had your first Christmas themed email campaign and to be honest, I’m pretty impressed with whoever sent it, because they’re not waiting for Dec 1st to try and get their messages seen amongst the hundreds of other bauble filled inboxes. A savvy marketer would know that lots of shoppers are trying to avoid cramming their shopping into one month’s pay cheq. They’re finding bargains now and avoiding queues, delivery delays and heaven forbid – snow induced transport issues.

Yes they may not be quite ready to take the jump to making that purchase, but they are certainly starting their research – finding the most suitable suppliers for the other halves must have tech gadget.

Christmas comes early

To maximise your online marketing efforts for Christmas, follow these tips:

1.    Start planning content now!
Make yourself a content calendar of what messages you want to do in the run up to the big C. Start with advice based messaging, how to buy guides, popular ideas and then as you get closer start to mention specific products, customer reviews and any delivery information.

2.    Decide on suitable channels
Not all of your online channels will be effective for your messages so pick and choose which work best for the buying cycle. Social campaigns work well for person to person messaging, by getting people to share what they like then they are inadvertently giving it their approval – meaning they’re advising on it. Email works well throughout the cycle with tailored content and personalisation. PPC ads are good for product specific messaging and can be placed on Google Shops.

3.    Think carefully about timing
Between now and C day there is a half term holiday and dates when retailers kick in their late opening hours. There will be key dates when sales begin and of course the obligatory last minute Christmas Eve shop. Look at when your customers do their shopping, are their certain days that are popular each year and those that are quiet? Try to use campaigns to drive more shopping during quiet periods with one day only offers or VIP opening hours.

If you can’t bear to think about Christmas campaigns yet then at least make sure you’re prepared by the end of Oct. Failing that just don’t do a last minute Christmas email the week before the event, it will have far too much competing with its messaging – a full inbox, office drinks, mince pies and holidays make for bad ROI.