As another year nears its close and a new year is peeking around the corner, it’s your final chance to end this year with a financial bang.
That’s right. The holiday season is upon us and it can either be the most wonderful time of the year in terms of sales or the most dismal.
Fortunately, Bain, Deloitte, and MasterCard are all forecasting a 7% rise in sales this holiday season compared to last year at this time.
So how can you take advantage of this upswing in the market and generate more sales for your business?
In this post, we’ll share must-know tips for increasing your holiday sales exponentially. Let’s get started.
Ensure That Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
The first step to increasing your holiday sales is by ensuring that your website looks good on mobile devices. Here’s why:
Did you know that more than half of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices?
While some people still shop from their desktops, a larger (and ever-growing) number of people are now shopping from their smartphones. This is why you must ensure that your website looks good on smaller screens (i.e. is mobile friendly).
Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly?
Some beautiful, mobile-friendly WordPress themes to use include:
Pique, a mobile-friendly WordPress Theme
Be sure that your website:
- Looks good on smaller screens
- Has a menu that’s easy to find, easy to click, and easy to read
- Offers large buttons that visitors can click on without accidentally pressing another link
Level Up Your Email Marketing Game
It’s time to get serious about emails.
While you can make a huge amount of changes on your website, if you don’t bring traffic into your website, no one’s going to notice.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to drive traffic to your site during the holidays, and that’s through email.
If you’ve already built an email list, it’s time to create holiday-related emails. And that’s emails with an “s.” Don’t stop at one email, or two.
Just how many emails should you send this holiday season? This answer may surprise you.
Research shows that you should send approximately 6 emails each week.
Yes, that’s approximately one email a day. (And you thought your once-a-month email was annoying your customers.)
While sending out that many emails each week may sound like overkill to you, it’s actually not. We, humans, are an indecisive bunch. We need to be confronted with an offer over and over again until we finally decide to purchase. Sending out frequent emails doesn’t annoy the customer, it just reminds them that you’re selling an item that they probably want to buy (or else why would they be on your list?).
Sure, you’ll have a few more unsubscribes, but you’ll also increase your revenue simply because you’re unabashedly promoting your products every single day.
If the idea of sending out emails daily scares you a little, consider pairing it with a theme, such as “The 12 Days of Christmas.” This way, you’ll have a valid excuse to bombard their inbox.
Here’s how to create an email marketing strategy for this holiday season:
Use a subject line that grabs your subscriber’s attention – You’re contending with dozens of other emails each day for your subscriber’s attention. Stand out from the crowd by using powerful phrases in your subject line, such as:
- Exclusive offer
- One day only
- Get it before it’s gone
- Free shipping
- Here’s a free gift
Another way to grab attention in your subject line is by using emojis 😀. Most email services are able to display emojis. These fun pictograms have a way of getting your email seen. They also dramatically increase email open rates. 👍
Next, you need a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an opt-in bonus that you offer new subscribers in exchange for signing up to your newsletter.
Because it’s the holidays, there are so many great lead magnets you can create an offer to your subscribers.
As we mentioned in this post, you can create a downloadable gift guide and use it as a valuable freebie.
A super-easy lead magnet is to offer a coupon code to new subscribers. This way, you increase the likelihood of making a sale right away, especially if you attach an expiration date to the coupon (and you should).
Speaking of coupons, don’t just give away these valuable offers to new subscribers. Spread goodwill to all of your subscribers. This is another great way to drive more end-of-year sales.
Don’t have an email list?
Setting up your email list is pretty simple.
First, you need a tool. If you use WordPress, consider signing up for MailPoet.
MailPoet is a plugin that’s made to work specifically with WordPress. You can use this tool to attract and capture subscribers onto your list and then also to send out email newsletters. MailPoet gives you a form that you can quickly add to your website.
Countdown to a Special Holiday Sales Event
Increase the level of excitement around the holidays by counting down to a big sale. This can also build anticipation for a big event. You can piggyback on current holiday sales events, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Or you can create your own special sales event.
Be sure to build excitement for your upcoming sale by promoting it on all of your channels:
- Make a holiday sales banner on your website, and add a countdown clock on your website to increase curiosity
- Create a holiday-themed popup to show on your website and blog to promote your upcoming sales event or to share an opt-in gift (which will also allow you to build your email list)
- Share it on social media posts
- Advertise it to your email list—and give them an exclusive first look at your upcoming sale, maybe even unlock the deals for them earlier than the general public
Decorate Your Website for the Holidays
Don’t just trim the tree and forget about your website. The holiday season is the perfect excuse to add holiday decorations to your website. Create a festive pop-up or banner. You can easily design holiday templates for your website using a free tool like Canva.
By adding seasonal decorative elements to your website, you’ll create a fun experience for your visitors. And if you pair the decorations with enticing holiday-only offers, you’ll get more sales because it implies to your visitors that a sale is a limited event.
Personalize Your Offers
Use what you already know about your customers to create customized deals that are more likely to push a sale.
For example, if your customer has already purchased an item, consider upselling them to a complimentary item.
You can do this manually, but an easier way to do this is by installing the Product Recommendations feature through WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that you can add to your site if you’re on the Business or eCommerce plan. WooCommerce makes it easy for you to quickly set up your online storefront. But to add even more functionality to your store, you can upgrade to WooCommerce’s premium feature, Product Recommendations.
With the Product Recommendations feature, you can take advantage of machine learning to intelligently upsell or cross-sell your products to your customers. This increases exposure to other products in your store.
Reward Your Loyal Customers
Studies show that 80% of your repeat sales will come from 20% of your customer base. Comb through your customer base to find your best customers and give them an incentive to buy again.
Email them with unique (one-time-use only) coupons to reward their loyalty and get them to buy more. You can further personalize the email with recommendations of what to buy with that coupon code. If they don’t buy right away, consider sending out new offers every single week (remember to email aggressively during the holiday season).
You can offer special discounts based on how much they’ve purchased in the past.
Make an Irresistible Holiday Offer
Create a sense of urgency by running the following types of sales:
- Lightning deals
- One day only events
- Flash sales that you announce on the day of
On your product pages, you can use countdown times to increase conversion. In addition to time, you can count down quantity, which is especially effective with best-selling items.
You can also use a “Someone Just Bought” plugin that can increase your visitor’s fear of missing out (FOMO). Use FOMO to encourage visitors to buy their holiday items before it’s too late.
Also, consider donating a percentage of your sale to a specific charity. People love being charitable around this time of the year.
Create Holiday Product Bundles
One way to increase your holiday sales revenue is by bundling your most popular products or services together. You can also offer a sample size of your products as a gift set to entice customers who’ve always wanted to try a product but didn’t want to pay full price.
Offer Holiday-Only Gift Certificates
Similar to how McDonald’s brings out the McRib once a year, you can also offer gift certificates to your customers for a short amount of time. By making it special, you’ll increase the desirability of the gift certificate. And, of course, you’ll bring in new revenue by selling the gift card.
Offer Buy Now, Pay Later
Jump on the short-term financing train, and offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). BNPL is an installment loan that divides a purchase into equal payments. It makes a larger purchase more affordable for your buyers. There are several services that enable you to offer installment payments to your customers, but one of the most popular is Affirm. Affirm works seamlessly with WooCommerce.
Partner With Micro Influencers
Influencer marketing is on the rise as more brands recognize the power of this form of social media marketing.
But instead of going for the big names, reach out to smaller influencers, also known as micro influencers. These types of influencers have less than 10,000 followers on social media. Why work with micro influencers? Micro influencers have super-engaged followers who are more likely to purchase what they recommend.
You can find influencers by signing up for an influencer marketing platform, or by simply searching for influencers yourself on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Optimize Your Cart Abandonment Strategy
We’re not done with email just yet. One of the best ways to improve your sales is to rescue sales that you’re about to lose.
A lot of customers add items to their cart and then fail to go through with their purchase.
Let’s go over the most common causes of cart abandonment and what you can do to fix it:
- Unexpected costs (such as shipping, taxes, additional fees) – If you suspect that shipping may be the culprit, consider sending out an offer for free shipping.
- Forcing customers to register for an account – Consumers hate the idea of registering before knowing what the total of their order will be. Instead of forcing them to register, offer a guest check out (but do require an email so that you can effectively send out cart abandonment emails).
- Problems with your site – Perhaps the customer wanted to check out, but couldn’t due to a problem on your end. Especially during the holiday season, test your site regularly to ensure that it’s up and running and that there’s no delay in checkout.
So why exactly did your visitor abandon their cart?
Here’s the bad news: You’re not a mind reader. However, the good news is that you don’t need to be. Instead, you can use testing to identify what’s causing your customers to abandon their carts so that you can solve it.
It’s all about trial and error, but it’s a good lesson to learn now during the holiday season while you can test new marketing strategies out.
A Few More Ideas
We’ve covered 12 tips above, but if those aren’t enough, here are 4 more ideas that you might also want to try.
- Popup promotions – Display special discounts or offers in a popup as the visitor browses your site.
- Free shipping – Everyone loves free shipping, even if they know that the cost is really just built into the price of the items. This can often be the trigger that compels someone to buy.
- Gift wrap – Many people are eager to pay a little extra to have items gift-wrapped for them. Give the people what they want!
- Top 10 gift-idea lists for specific groups – Create lists of your products that would make great gifts for kids, seniors, men, women, golfers, sports enthusiasts, readers, gamers…you get the idea.
Implement one or more of these tips to take your holiday sales season from zero to hero this year. Still not enough? For more tips on preparing your website for the upcoming holiday season, check out this related post:
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