5 tips to maximize your holiday campaign

13 12 2007

Gifts for the holidays

Ready for the holiday season? My boss, Frans Keylard (Director of Optimization), wrote up a 3 pager on “5 short tips to maximize your holiday campaign” (download PDF). I summarized it in my own words below, but check the PDF for more detail on how to get your conversions up during the holidays or any season!

Monthly sales increase as much as 20% for many online retailers in December and so having a good site now is more important than any other time. Optimization can drive up your sales beyond the seasonal increase in the short term and, in the long term, helps to add even more lifetime customers to your business. With that in mind, here’s 5 short tips to ramp up your site.

  1. Seasons Matter: Change your site to match the season, we call it “seasonal-tuning.” Don’t let your site look stale; you don’t want Halloween colors and images for Christmas time. Matching what your customers are actively seeking will really drive your campaigns to success. This may not always work though, so make sure to test what has worked previously against new seasonal images. Lastly, even seasonal images need testing, so try different messaging in each, e.g. product shots, giving the product to another, and people using the product.
  2. Know your existing customers: Reach out to existing customers, they are the most qualified audience and you should know them better than anyone else. Create offers that have a lot of perceived value to them. Also, use offers for people who don’t follow through the whole purchase process and try to pull them back in. They are interested but just need a reason to bite. Remember to know both what customers buy and why too. If you’re best selling chairs are shown in an office setting, when your customers are really home business users, then you might lose conversions. Use a home office image instead and get more relevancy to your items.
  3. Find a new audience: Seasonality doesn’t just go for your web pages, apply them to your PPC text and banners ads and you’ll get new visitors quickly. Think holidays, turkeys, gift-giving, family, anything that resonates with your audience and your products. Include some seasonal offers for good measure too. You can do SEO around these words too, but that takes future planning. A good way to setup seasonal SEO for next year is by looking at what PPC and SEO worked this year, so make sure you don’t lose that valuable information.
  4. Offers over branding: Don’t get too caught up in branding, just sell the product and offer. People are under pressure to buy nowand if your focus isn’t on helping them to do that, they’ll find someone else. You can build your brand later and have a reason to if they bought from you!
  5. Build seasonal landing pages and optimize them with multivariate testing: Building a seasonal landing page is easy to do and optimizing that page is a must during seasonal periods. We optimized an online recipe search over the summer and found the best summer imagery, but once winter came around we changed the type of food and got a 30% sustained lift over the best performing summer image.

Stores change their decorations every season, so make sure to do that with your online store front. Give people a reason to stay at your site, even if you think it is small, it could have a huge impact. Finally, never forget to test and tune your changes every season, every year. Good luck!