With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s that time of the year to finalize your holiday promotions and marketing campaigns. This has certainly been a year of returning to normalcy, but we’re still adjusting to new ways of working and consuming goods and services.
As you are continuing to flex your creative muscles to adapt and meet the demands of an ever-changing world, this year’s holiday planning guide can help you make your campaigns more joyous and merrier than ever.
How to Make a Positive Impact This Holiday Season:
1. Rethink Capturing First and Zero-Party Data
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen huge changes within the data collection landscape due to increased regulations. Apple has already blocked many third-party through its Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, and Google is following them. In 2023, Google is phasing out cross-site tracking on Chrome, making it more challenging to further understand your audience.
It’s critical to begin strengthening your zero and first-party data collection strategy. Establishing a loyalty program is an exceptional way to build and nurture your customer relationships. Rewarding your customer’s loyalty through exclusive rewards and discounts goes a long way in transforming your marketing campaigns into experiences. Ones that are frictionless, personalized, and memorable.
2. Personalize in a Way That Builds Trust
With many groups competing for your audience’s attention, it’s more important than ever to deliver the right message at the right time. Using tools like Interaction Studio makes it easy to give shoppers’ experiences a personal touch with product recommendations and personalized post-purchase communications. But be careful—having too much personalization can feel intrusive and can quickly turn shoppers away.
According to a 2021 study by Gartner, “People are more than three times more likely to give up on brands altogether that ‘over-personalize’ versus those that under (or don’t) personalize.” We all probably can remember a time where we’ve talked to a friend about gift ideas, and within hours we get advertisements for the same products across our social media accounts. It can feel intrusive, so it’s critical to be intentional within your personalization strategy.
Check out our guide titled Next Level Personalization to learn about the dos and don’ts of personalization, so you can ensure your personalization strategy makes a positive impact.
3. Create a Coordinated Omnichannel Experience
Social media platforms have become an entry point for everything people do online including but not limited to news, entertainment, and shopping.
To meet your customers where they are, you need to establish an omnichannel marketing experience that spans email and social media. According to Salesforce, it can take up to an average of eight touchpoints to convince consumers to make a purchase. Ensure you provide value throughout the channels your audiences interact with.
4. Influence by Tapping into the Influencer
Another marketing channel you may want to experiment with is influencer marketing. 90% of consumers have made a purchase after seeing a product promoted by an influencer. Additionally, some marketing teams that have used influencer marketing have reported an ROI of more than $5 for every dollar spent.
It can be challenging to find partners you can trust to reach your target audience, but once you do, it is a highly effective form of marketing. Fortunately, influencers on major platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram usually provide their sponsorship contact information within their video or profile descriptions. Reach out to them. Begin to establish a relationship and see if you can find opportunities to collaborate.
5. Customize the Shopping Experience
Online distribution is forcing many retailers to rethink their customer engagement strategies as many consumers want more flexibility and speed out of their shopping experience. According to IPSOS, 78% of consumers have used buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) since 2020 and 69% expect this behavior to continue post-2022. Expectations continue to change in our world post-Amazon as 90% view 2-3 days for delivery as a baseline expectation.
More shoppers are also interacting more with chatbots to make purchases or for support. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, the industry has enjoyed a 400% growth since 2017 and is expected to be a $102B industry by 2025. And as more innovations arise within the marketplace, it’s important to stay ahead of the trends, so you can meet your customers exactly where they are before your competitors.
Tip: Check out our Innovation Series to discover how a ecommerce retailer used Interaction Studio to speed up their time to conversion for new customers, resulting in a 54% increase in email opt-ins.
Top 3 Tips for Making Your Holiday Marketing Merry
Taking these trends into consideration, you may be thinking, “What should my marketing team prioritize?” To truly hit your stride and create campaigns that resonate with your audience, consider the following tips:
1. Build Natural Chemis-Tree
Connect with your audience by showing your brand’s personality and empathy throughout your marketing communications. People appreciate stories that relate to their daily lives. Here are some ways to infuse your communications with a little extra magic that will go a long way in building natural chemis-tree with your audience:
Experiences > Products. Use personalized video content or imagery to turn your marketing from just a selling opportunity into an experience your customers will love.
Provide empowering success stories. Demonstrate the value you provide through success stories across your customer journeys and channels.
Personalize, personalize, personalize your communications. You can make your messaging more impactful and meaningful this holiday season by creating targeted ads and social content or releasing personalized gift guides for every audience. You can also add personalization elements in every email—from send time to dynamic content. Finally, consider implementing abandon cart messages to provide further incentives through discounts.
2. Make a List and Check Deliverability Twice
With all the effort you are putting in to make your holiday campaigns memorable, you don’t want your messages getting lost among your competitors’ messaging. Make sure your emails avoid the dreaded spam folder by considering these key tips:
Avoid large sends at the top and bottom of the hour as ISPs receive a majority of email volume at these times. Leverage AI, like Einstein’s Send Time Optimization, to determine the best email send time
Avoid sending “deep” into your list as you will encounter a lot of hard bounces and subscribers who are no longer engaged with your brand— damaging your sender reputation
Pay attention to emails hard bounces, unsubscribes, and complaint rates as you increase your sending volume and cadence. If needed, reevaluate your email sending strategy and review click-through rates to discover what messaging is and is not resonating
3. Think Outside the Gift Box
Consumers are constantly bombarded with communications from brands trying to get their attention. Especially during the holiday season, you need to ensure your messaging resonates with your audience and reaches them at the right place and time.
Consider the following strategies to level up your holiday initiatives:
1. Implement next-gen, personalized promotions that eliminate purchasing hesitation:
- Offer a VIP experience that provides exclusive sales experience and bonus rewards
Make a charitable donation with a portion of your shoppers’ purchases
Provide last-minute gift guides that makes shopping easier
Consider implementing flexible shopping options like BOPIS and rush shipping
2. Create enough touchpoints across a variety of social platforms and email. Remember, on average it can take 8 interactions with your brand before your audience may take an action
3. Level up your email marketing through:
Prioritizing personalization. Whether you are including your customer's name, recommending relevant products, or providing notifications when items are left behind in their cart — intentional personalization goes a long way in making your emails feel intentional.
Ensuring your CTAs are easy to find, and thoughtfully place. Try putting your CTA above the fold of your email so it can’t be missed.
Being specific and strategic with your messaging and CTAs. If you include too many CTAs in one email, you may confuse your audience and limit your chances for conversion.
Take Your Holiday Planning to the Next Level
You don’t have to implement your marketing strategy on your own. Here at Lev, we pride ourselves on our marketing strategy and technology expertise. We work alongside organizations, like yours, to develop and evolve marketing strategies that empower you to expand your footprint and generate new opportunities.
Contact us today to discover how we can help you get the most out of your marketing tech stack and bring your strategy to life in preparation for this holiday season.