Q4 is one of the most profitable times for businesses. Thanks to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, people are spending a ton of money in the last three months of the year. In fact, according to statistics from eMarketer, holiday retail sales crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018 and holiday ecommerce sales were responsible for $126 billion.
But, your business can only take advantage of this awesome opportunity to generate sales if you’re prepared for it. That’s just one of the lessons we’ve learned after years of Q4 planning.
Check out these 8 tips to boost holiday sales and conversions.
1. Run a giveaway
Giveaways are a great way to drive more traffic to your site, get more email subscribers, grow your social media following, generate sales, and more.
Contests work well year-round but they work especially well during the holidays. For instance, in 2011 I used a Christmas giveaway to launch a blog I had called List25.
For that Facebook giveaway, I gave away $25 Amazon gift cards over 25 days leading up to Christmas. For a chance to win, users had to share the giveaway with their friends. This strategy got me 30,000 Facebook likes and it basically went viral.
You can use a similar strategy to grow your business this holiday season.
Earlier this year, I had my team create an internal tool to help make running our giveaway contests easier. We have now made the giveaway plugin available to the public, so you can try it out for free. It’s called RafflePress.
To run a successful giveaway or contest, you’ll want to use a tool like RafflePress to automate a lot of the viral sharing, so you can focus on other areas of your business. You can set various ways to enter the contest such as following your brand on Twitter, referring a friend, tweeting a message, completing a survey, and more.
The best part about contests is that they work all year round. In July of this year, we used RafflePress to launch a new Facebook group, WPBeginner Engage, and it helped us reach 18,000 members in a few months.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different campaigns. Treat each campaign as a split test to see what works and what doesn’t. You can make some of your giveaway campaigns available to everyone to get more leads while others can be just for customers to increase retention.
2. Plan your email newsletters
Trillions of emails are sent during the holiday season. Why? Because emails are the most direct and reliable way to connect with your readers.
So, if you want to boost your holiday sales this year, then you need to properly plan your email newsletter strategy.
Showing gratitude on Thanksgiving is memorable. You can send a personalized email to your subscribers thanking them for their support this past year. For Christmas, you can send your subscribers some holiday wishes.
Special emails like this let your customers know that you care, and it helps you build a meaningful relationship with them.
And for holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t be afraid to send too many emails. Big websites like Amazon are sometimes sending as many as a dozen emails per day during events like Black Friday. If you’re providing your customers with the latest and best deals, then they won’t mind the extra emails at all.
Just be sure to segment your emails. Using an email marketing service, you can segment your emails based on the demographics of your subscribers, their interests, buying behavior, and even based on whether they opened your previous email or not. This allows you to send multiple emails without annoying your customers.
3. Perform partner outreach
Being prepared is the key to maximizing sales during the Holidays. So, to get a leg up, you need to be doing partner outreach.
For example, we reach out to our affiliates and product ambassadors to let them know we have a special promotion coming ahead of time. This lets us get better placement and better promotion than our competitors.
The SiteGround affiliates team does a great job with their partner outreach as well.
If you have a product that you sell, then reach out to partners and influencers in your space to maximize your exposure.
On the other hand if you have a blog, and you recommend affiliate products, then you can reach out to companies that you work with as an affiliate to see if they have a promotion coming up.
This lets you prepare social media statuses, blog posts, and other materials to better promote the sale.
4. Create deal roundups
For bloggers, deal roundups are perfect for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They’re one of the best sources for affiliate revenue at WPBeginner. Every year, we reach out to numerous companies to find out if they’re offering any sweet deals. This lets us compile hundreds of deals for our readers into one blog post.
You can use the same strategy for gift idea showcases as well. For instance, Pet Life Today created a gift idea showcase for dog lovers.
Plus, with Amazon affiliate links, even if someone doesn’t buy the exact product you recommended, and they buy something else while visiting through your link, then you will still get a commission. This additional revenue can really add up when everyone is looking to buy gifts for their family and friends.
5. Optimize your onsite messaging
If you want to boost holiday sales, it’s also important to optimize your onsite messaging. During the holidays we do several site wide promotions using OptinMonster.
For instance, we add countdown timers to our site for our Black Friday sale which increases urgency and encourages users to take action.
We always do this for various Q4 holidays, and it works really well.
You can also add slide-in scroll boxes, floating bars, and more.
You want to add multiple call to actions sitewide because users might not land on your specific promotion page, so you need to maximize your onsite messaging to let users know about your special deal, no matter what page they’re on.
6. Send gifts to your top customers
Everyone loves to feel special. So, during the holidays, we send gift packages to our enterprise customers, brand ambassadors, and strategic partners. The gift basket can be as simple as a collection of company swag like t-shirts and stickers.
Sending gifts to your top customers shows that you care. This tactic might not boost your holiday sales immediately, but it will help form healthy relationships with your customers and help your business grow in the long run.
7. Provide excellent customer service
Just because you’re on holiday, it doesn't mean your customers are on holiday too. You still need to make sure you’re providing excellent customer service during the Holidays.
With WPForms, it’s easy to set up an auto-reply for forms on your website. That way, when a visitor reaches out to your brand during a holiday, they’ll receive an email notifying them about your absence. You can include information about when they can expect to hear back from you, how long you’ll be out of office, and more.
Holiday auto-replies leave no room for miscommunication and provide streamlined customer support where users stay updated on your status.
You also need to provide a way for your customers to get help during the Holidays.
Imagine if your web hosting provider went on holiday and your website went down, that would be a disaster if you didn’t get the problem fixed due to the holiday.
Providing year-round customer support is easy for our company because we’re entirely remote. Since we have employees all over the world, we’re able to provide limited customer service during the holidays by rotating shifts. If you’re not a remote company, you can consider outsourcing your live chat so that you can offer year-round customer service.
Providing reliable, superior 24/7 customer service will help build customer trust, reduce customer churn, and increase sales in the long-term.
8. “End of Year” and “Best of Best” blog posts
There are two types of blog posts we publish during the holidays that help us get tons of traffic, get more subscribers, and ultimately, generate more sales. Those blog posts are an “End of Year” review and a “Best of Best” recap.
A “Best of Best” blog post is very easy to create. Simply make a list of all of your best tutorials or blog posts throughout the past year. For our End of Year Review, we share our accomplishments, milestones, and our failures of the year.
These blog posts help you build a connection with your audience. And when your audience feels connected to you, they’ll be readers and customers for life.
Get ready for your most successful holiday season yet. With these tips for boosting holiday sales and conversions, you’ll be well prepared for the busiest quarter of the year.
This was the third installment of our Black Friday series. Eager for more tips on optimizing your ecommerce performance? Stay tuned for more posts just like this one featuring industry experts and some of our technical partners. Learn how to improve your website design, conversions, online marketing, and more.