5 holiday season promotion ideas & how to optimize them

October 10, 2016 - 6 minutes read
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It’s that time of year again! While everybody is busy making travel plans, us marketers, are working overtime, trying to crack holiday season promotion ideas and campaigns. The holiday season is a once-a-year window of opportunity to boost revenues, making it imperative for marketers to run well-conceived promotions and campaigns to make the best of the season.

Last year, Cyber Monday digital sales touched a whopping $3 billion, highest ever recorded in the U.S. What’s also interesting is the almost 50% increase in m-commerce spending as reported by comScore. Marketers need to sit up and take note of these statistics as they show the spending potential of shoppers and how and where they prefer to shop during the holiday season. To help you (marketer) get your share of the overall $3bn holiday season spending, we have jotted down a few holiday season promotion ideas which you can implement.

When should you start thinking of your holiday promotion ideas?

holiday season promotion ideas

“As early as possible” will be the short answer to this question. To be precise, your holiday season promotion ideas and plans should be ripe by starting of October. Shoppers generally shop during the months of November and December. However, there is a sizeable chunk of the population who would like to beat the holiday rush and start slightly early. So, early October would be when I’d start thinking of my my holiday promotion ideas.

Here’s a table with upcoming holidays for the year 2016:

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-2-09-39-pm

Profitable yet promotional offers:

holiday season promotion ideas

In general, holiday season offers can be used effectively to:

  • re-activate previous shoppers or customers
  • convert shoppers (one-time purchasers) into repeat customers
  • convert prospects to shoppers and convert inquiries to shoppers.
  • attract more shoppers through existing customers.

Discount offers:

Make the customer reach a certain order value to receive a discount. For example, offer a 20% discount if the order value reaches $100. You can also level-up the discount offer by analyzing shoppers’ previous average ‘order size’ and rallying up relevant discount offers. For example, people with a $50 average cart value can receive a 10% off, if their order value touches $70 during the holiday season. This way you can push up order values without having to give away too much as discounts. This usually works for many industries and should work for you too.

Bundle sales:

Another smart way to push up order values is by bundling items that do not move well with the hot sellers. This works best with electronic items and apparel. Bundling accessories with cell phones (cell phone covers, headphones etc) or clothing (stoles, handbags, bracelets etc.)  is a great way to give your customers a feeling of ‘more’ for what they paid and at the same time get better margins on sales.

Gift card discounts:

Gift cards are one of the best holiday season promotion ideas. It provides huge value to indecisive gifters, last minute shoppers and generally best while gifting someone who is not familiar. Given the fact that a lot of gift cards are not redeemed, it makes a perfect holiday season promotion to have for marketers.

Referral discounts:

Referral discounts can come-in very handy while boosting number of orders during the holiday season. By providing discount to customers who refer and arrive through a friend’s referral you can grow your orders exponentially. Leverage marketing channels that aid referrals like Facebook and other social media to help spread the word of your discount.

A dollar amount off:

An upfront ‘dollar amount off’ offer will easily draw more customers than any of the above. Many people are too skeptical of hidden terms and conditions behind the above offers and would like an ‘honest’ ‘dollar amount off’.

Testing your offers:

holiday season promotion ideas

Testing your holiday season promotion ideas provides you with information on which orders are working best for your brand. Here’s three keys to testing your offers:

  • Keep a central offer intact if it always works for you (for example, free shipping).
  • A/B test your offers & promotions and stick to what gets most results. For example, you might want to break-up your audience into two groups and send a ‘50% off’ messaging to one half of the group and a ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’ messaging to the other half. Check the response from both the groups to the campaigns to determine what type of offer works best for your audience. 
  • Pay attention to messaging. How you craft your message, how it is communicated to your audience can influence how many people redeem your offers. In a recent test done by a large e-commerce firm, the following results were observed: Messaging with an element of ‘Urgency’ (buy now, hurry etc) embedded within returned a CTR of 18% while a good ol’ ‘Festive offer’ returned a CTR of 9%.

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