THE BLOG

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... To Plan and Test Holiday Marketing Strategies

07/25/2014 12:06 pm ET | Updated Sep 24, 2014
  • Seamas Egan Associate Director, Revenue Operations, Campaigner

Ho ho hope I'm not getting your tinsel in a tangle by talking about holiday marketing strategies in the summer, but savvy marketers need to know that by planning today, you could earn a serious seasonal revenue payday. Think about it: You don't want to scramble and shop, wrap and decorate the day before Christmas, and you shouldn't run your marketing campaigns with that strategy either. And with m-commerce sales expected to surge to $100 billion, you probably need to create or adjust campaigns with this massive mobile audience in mind.

With just a little prep work today, a new approach will make December holiday marketing campaigns a little jollier. We've reached the era of "Mobile 2.0"--it's a mobile-first world, and marketers need to plan accordingly. With seven billion mobile devices in play, Mobile 2.0 addresses the growing virtual world in which individuals conduct the majority of their day-to-day activities. We are living it: One study found that most mobile users can't be away from their phones for longer than six minutes and check their phones a whopping 150 times a day. And think about your personal usage: Do you pay for morning coffee or lunch via an app? Do you purchase those terrific Christmas gifts from your phone during meetings?

We are not only living in a mobile world; we can profit from it too -- but many of us aren't doing that yet. A Campaigner survey showed a 22 percent increase in mobile device purchases as a result of email marketing in 2013 from 2012. However, almost half (49 percent) of customers did not buy anything from their phones. Does this statistic resonate for you? Do you spend time creating marketing campaigns yet feel like you are left with a lump of coal?

Perhaps it's because you aren't thinking "mobile first" when creating marketing campaigns. Don't worry, you aren't the only one: A UPS survey confirmed that people shop more on computers than phones because images are clear (or big), and that products are easy to discover and see.

It's not too late -- you can have a holly jolly Christmas by creating mobile marketing campaigns and websites that are based on responsive design today. Even though it's hot outside, think "frosty" (the snowman, not the way customers will receive your emails). Develop, run and test your Mobile 2.0 strategies today -- even in between surfing waves at the beach or doing laps at the pool -- to set yourself and your company up for success this holiday season. Here's how:

1. Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in Their Heads

You have a virtual trip and destination in mind for your customers, so make sure it is a happy experience -- one they will enjoy and want to repeat. Unlike physical trips, virtual trips last minutes or seconds so make sure the trip you make for your customers is filled with visions of sugar plums (i.e., make your graphics sweet). Guide and encourage mobile customers with small screen-friendly language and graphics that will encourage desired behaviors and actions, while providing an eye-pleasing shopping experience that will secure long-term, loyal and repeat customers.

2. Can Your Customers Read the Wish List?

What if Santa had to read the naughty/nice list on his smartphone? Neither Santa nor your customers are going to take the time to grab glasses to read tiny fonts, or scroll through extensive text. Twenty-two percent of respondents from the Campaigner survey said that marketing emails are too hard to read on mobile devices so keep your content short and sweet. If your wish list is so long that customers need to scroll or reach for their glasses, I guarantee they will dash away, dash away, dash away all.

3. May Your Marketing Be Merry and Bright

When it comes to mobile devices, bigger is better -- brighter too. Successful mobile marketing campaigns will include small screen-friendly fonts, links and buttons that are large and radiant so they are easy to find and use. More importantly, they will help customers respond to your "call to action." Customers should be able to read an email, click a link that takes them to a responsive website, select an item and make a payment -- faster than the wink of Santa's eye.

4. It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas... Everywhere You Go

Consistency is key to many successful initiatives in life, including mobile marketing campaigns. When creating campaigns, make sure your emails and website provide customers with a consistent look and feel based on responsive design. If you can lure customers with beautiful, eye-catching emails on their mobile devices, you should provide the same experience when customers go to your website on their mobile device to search for a product and make a purchase.

5. Go on a Sleigh (or Test) Ride

The ABCs of sales (Always Be Closing) have evolved to ABTs (Always Be Testing). Marketers need to utilize automation, segmentation and A/B split testing in order to create, implement and manage results-oriented campaigns. Understand what is working and for whom, and devote your resources accordingly.

God rest ye merry gentlemen... just don't totally slack off this summer. Implement and test a holistic responsive design marketing strategy if you want to earn silver and gold this holiday season.