Holiday Marketing 2020 Strategies: How to Prepare Now
Can you believe it? We are nearing the holiday season already. In some ways, 2020 has felt as though it’s lasted forever and a day, and in others it has whizzed right on by. Of course the holidays will look very different from any other we’ve had before thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, companies need to make some revenue during this time of the year.
According to Deloitte, holiday retail sales this year are forecast to rise between 1% and 1.5%, amounting to between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion during the November-to-January time frame. That’s compared with growth of 4.1% in 2019, when sales were nearly $1.14 trillion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While going all in on holiday marketing 2020 strategies is perfectly fine, you will need to make some changes to how you’d typically do things — both in practice and in the tone your messaging takes.
Your Holiday Marketing Strategy 2020
Holiday season is coming whether we like it or not. So, what can your business do now to prepare for it? Let’s dive in.
First thing’s first: things will be different this year for the holiday season. And as tough as that is to accept, it’s the reality we’re facing. So instead of focusing heavily on in-person events or physical marketing materials, shifting your focus to an entirely digital marketing strategy can save you a lot of money and net you better results. Change your perspective now.
2. Get Your Customer Service in Order
Another thing you can do is to ensure your customer service is ready and prepared to handle whatever will come your way over the holiday season. This will look a little different for every company, but a few things to keep in mind include:
- Staff up. If you expect an increase in sales, now’s the time to increase your staff if you can manage it.
- Create an FAQ. Make the customer support process a breeze (and require less actual time for your staff) by creating a FAQ page that addresses common concerns.
- Install live chat. If you’re able to monitor it properly, live chat can offer a great sense of consumer trust on your website. Make it easy for people to reach out to you.
- Prepare scripted responses. Cut down on the amount of customer support time required by prepping common answers in advance. Give them a holiday flair (while maintaining sensitivity) to add to their personableness, too.
3. Provide Perks and Rewards to Your Customers
A time-tested way to appeal to people during the holidays (and any time, really) is to offer them a good deal. People can’t resist a coupon or discount, especially when they’re poised to be spending a good amount of money during the holiday season. To capitalize on this, you can offer perks or rewards to your customers. A few popular reward or deal examples include:
- BOGO. The buy one, get one deal is a timeless classic and definitely has a place in your holiday marketing plan.
- Coupons for signing up to an email list. When a visitor lands on your site, a good way to entice them to sign up for your email list is promising access to a coupon or discount for doing so.
- Email marketing coupons. On a similar note, sending out coupons in your regular email blasts or newsletters is a good way to increase interest in your products, especially during the busy holiday season.
- Abandoned cart discounts. There are many tools and plugins you can use that trigger when a visitor who has signed up for an account with your list abandons a full shopping cart. These messages prompt the potential customer to complete their purchase. Sweetening the deal with a discount or coupon is a great way to encourage the conversion.
- Long-term reward programs. If visitors can sign up for accounts, you may wish to consider a rewards program. These perks of membership mean that customers can rack up points for each purchase they make or each dollar spent to be redeemed at a later date.
And there are many ways you can initiate these rewards directly on your website. Depending on your site’s platform, you can use an external tool or plugin to add ecommerce features, email marketing sign-up forms, popup coupons, and more.
4. Get Started As Soon As Possible
Truly, there’s no time to waste. The earlier you get started on your email marketing plan and roll out the better. Doing so will give you plenty of time to craft concise and effective messaging for the entire holiday season. You don’t want to be struck writing up your Black Friday email newsletter on Thanksgiving night, for instance.
So instead, whenever you’re reading this, now’s the time to get started! You’ll, at the very least, want to have a set of marketing materials ready to go for the start of the holidays. Account for at least:
- One blog post per week
- One email newsletter per week
- Holiday themed abandoned cart and follow up email messages.
- Custom holiday website content that can be swapped in or out when needed.
- Blurbs about special sales, discounts, coupons, or deals.
- Ad text and imagery (more on that in a moment).
Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to have visuals prepared for each of these items as well. And you need to be sensitive in your messaging. We are still in the middle of a pandemic and people may not be able to visit with family in-person this year. With that in mind, be empathetic in how you discuss what the holidays will look like in your blog posts and broader messaging.
5. Rely Heavily on Email Marketing
If you typically relied on in-person marketing efforts, you’re going to need to rely even more heavily on email marketing this year. But perhaps that’s a blessing in disguise? A strong email marketing campaign can work wonders for those looking to build increased customer loyalty and brand awareness.
As mentioned above, your holiday marketing 2020 strategy should include a healthy email marketing plan. Account for this by pre-writing several weeks worth of messaging ahead of time. Be sure to also create custom “Thank you” page text as well as subscriber confirmation emails. These personalized touches can go a long way toward confirming that you care deeply about your company and your customers.
This is something you should invest in and do year round but it’s extra important around the holiday season. People will be getting a lot of email newsletters flush with coupons and deals. On the one hand, you may feel as though you don’t want to add to the “noise.” However, many people rely on these emails to find out about discounts and coupons they’d otherwise miss. You can greatly build your holiday sales numbers this way, so don’t skip it.
6. Lean on Social Media
Lastly, you need to use social media to the best of your ability. That means if you weren’t’ all that active pre-pandemic, now’s the time to increase your presence there. Follow popular hashtags in your industry and participate in discussion. Also be sure to use these hashtags on the posts you make to reach a wide audience.
As the holidays approach, consistently look to see what topics are trending and what hashtags are doing well related to holiday sales and business. Add to threads and communicate on these hashtags to bring further brand awareness to your company.
And it doesn’t hurt to update your social media graphics to something festive.
Use These Holiday Marketing Strategies for 2020 and Beyond
2020 has been a very strange year, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean you can’t promote your business and have an abundant holiday sales season. You just need to know how to present your company to the world online, maintain sensitivity, and interact appropriately. That combination of factors is certain to help your company thrive during this unusual holiday period.