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Improving Holiday Retail Marketing
 

Improving Holiday Retail Marketing

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Be ready for the largest gift giving season with these helpful tips to optimize your email, mobile and social media marketing.

Be ready for the largest gift giving season with these helpful tips to optimize your email, mobile and social media marketing.

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  • Our first tip has to do with email navigation. Having holiday centric navigation in your emails will not only provide some addition shopping opportunities but it can serve as a key area to highlight the gifting section on your site, shipping deadlines, store hours and so on. Some key components of that would be highlighting the gifts section by breaking out the link to your gift center by using a different color treatment, pretty snowflakes (or other holiday images). Another component is a better navigation for your shopper and what they are looking for. Some of these could be the Him/Her or Mom/Dad sections. Or maybe even Electronics geeks, Bookworms, etc. Price point shopping is another way to increase your average order value. Show the reader your top rated products or even an “our picks” section that draws out some personality as well as the human touch of product descriptions.
  • Our next tip has to deal with the footer of the email.  Some of you may not use a footer in your email outside of the fine print, but even if you have already mapped out your communication plan for the holidays, a specialized footer can easily be added to increase engagement and educate your subscribers. Make footers informative and not distracting. And best of all, you only need a couple of footers. The can easily be reused without changing the content. Shipping deadlines are key pieces of information shoppers need. Plus, it helps create some urgency around their purchase. You can continue the urgency tactic with Store Hours, how to buy gift certificates and getting in contact with customer service. This could also include information on your return policies, shipping processes or a FAQ section. And as a bonus, your customer service department would give you a high five or a fruit cake for reducing call center traffic.
  • As a marketer, one of my favorite promotions are countdown promotions or something that can show off the creativity of the retailer and still create some purchasing urgency for the consumer. Daily deals are one of the most popular strategies for holiday countdowns. Of course the classic “12 days of deals” ranks up there as my personal favorite. For daily deal type campaigns you need to feature a single product with a significant discount. Of course, if a deal every day is a little too much for you, scale it back to once of week. Another key tactic with daily deals is making them shareable. We want these to be such a good deal that people want their friends and family to get in on the action. That said, find good ways for them to share the content easily. Add a Tell a Friend button.
  • Let’s talk about including social strategies into your holiday messaging. One of my biggest marketing issues is when someone doesn’t distinguish between Share This, Like Us, Like This, Follow Us…the list goes on and on. A common mistake is to place a Facebook and/or Twitter logo in your email and hope that subscriber knows what to do with it. Please, make sure that the post-click expectation is set. It will really help your subscribers decided which actions they want to take. Another topic issue of mine as a marketer is people forcing the social conversation. Remember that dialogue is a key component of social and purchasing from this channel and not yet as common as buying from email. Make sure that you are presenting your promotions and shipping experience in a way that speaks to your social community. Why don’t you consider including comments from followers (assuming you have permission), or include product ratings and reviews.
  • For those of you who don’t know, Social Media integration comes at no charge with the Bronto Marketing Platform. That’s means you can use it today!It’s pretty easy to get there. Simply go to the message creation and select either Facebook or Twitter….create your message and you’re done. Bronto will also track all of the metrics for you in either Facebook or Twitter. See the number of Clicks, Likes and so on. This is very powerful to have both email and social in a single management platform. Please take advantage of this.
  • The world of mobile covers a huge variety of topics. In fact, we could do an entire webinar just on mobile options. So let’s focus today on QR codes. In case you haven’t done anything with QR Codes yet….they’re not as scary as they look. In fact, their pretty easy to create and use. I’ll show you how to create and track them in Bronto in just a minute. Some example of use cases for QR Codes. If you are a brick and mortar shop then your location opportunities to place a QR Code are pretty high. Some of the more popular uses are putting them by the check out area for email sign up. If you consider this approach you can get really fancy and create certain email sign up QR Codes for different areas of the store. This gives you a spin on traffic patterns for shoppers. But remember, if you take this email sign up approach make sure the site you are sending them to is mobile friendly. As weird as it may seem to put a QR Code on a computer screen from social or email…it’s still a pretty good strategy. Let me explain. If your purpose with you email or Facebook page is to get the customer a promotional code, a store address, a product description….some type of data…..you would literally be putting all of this information right in your customer’s back pocket. Kind of powerful when you think it through.
  • If you want to give QR Codes a try you can do it within the Bronto application. Very easy to do this. Go to the content tab and off you create! Bronto will also create a trackable URL so you can get metrics on the QR code you create.
  • While we are on the topic of mobile I should mention that Bronto has the ability to manage SMS messages to and from your database. All within the application. You can create outbound or triggered messages the same way you send an email. Very easy to do.
  • If you are using the Advanced Automation, and again, you should be, this is where you would create those SMS triggers. You can create them based on a large variety of actions from transactional to behavioral. One of the easiest ways to get started with SMS is building your email opt in list. Advertise a SMS short code for people to submit their email addresses. You can use this workflow canvas in Bronto to automatically receive and import the person’s email address to add them to future mailings. Very easy to implement and grow your list.
  • So who are your best customers? Perhaps consider offering VPI customers special offers that could result in your biggest spenders repeating buying behaviors from last year. Factor this into your remailing strategy for the season. Be sure to sprinkle some remails to your holiday season. You can combat some of the negatives we see when frequency spikes and the holiday inbox clutter sets in. You can be remailing to your most active or least active customers. Either way, this is on of the easiest and most successful strategies we see here at Bronto. In your segmentation also consider shopping behavior. Look at past purchases and consider upgrades or repeat purchases on consumables.
  • A quick Bronto customer success story with segmentation and remailing. Allvolleyball.com recently added remailing to their message strategy and saw an increase of 50% in their revenue for their emails. These are huge numbers for such a simple task. You really need to consider this strategy if you aren’t already.
  • Finally, don’t forget to thank your customers. And a thank you that does not include a promo. It can go pretty far. It’s like a husband giving his wife flowers even though he’s not in trouble. It’s the thought that counts. Now as a marketer myself, sending something without a call to action or promotion attached to it is close to sinful. But just this one time…..resist the urge. It will go far with your customer.