We’ve now got less than a month to go until a Christmas like no other. Even in the depths of lockdown, businesses and customers alike are looking forward to a bit of light on the horizon.
The year’s events haven’t dimmed people’s desire to spend. Quite to the contrary; as we noted in our recent rundown of business predictions for Christmas 2020, families intend to spend around 25% more than usual on presents this year.
And if having to keep your doors shut for the time being is causing you to worry about missing the peaks of Christmas spending, don’t be too anxious. The shut-down of the high street will very likely delay the natural sales cycle this year. You can also always bank on a big cohort of tardy customers - last year, 10% of Brits didn’t expect to finish all their shopping before 23 December!
We want to help you understand your marketing in the context of the buyer’s journey. If you’ve been following our series of pieces on how to advertise effectively this Christmas at each step of the way, you hopefully have an idea of how to get yourself into people’s minds, get them thinking about you and then become their top choice. With this groundwork laid, it’s time for the final step - getting those people buying.
Here are tactics to get customers over the line before the big day.
Finessing the art of the deal isn’t just for sore losers. Nothing gets people more ready to buy than the illusory yet powerful feeling that they’re basically stealing from you, so be sure to spend time drawing up some truly enticing promotions.
You’ll know what sells best with your customer base, so think hard about what products to reduce, and the kind of price point that will truly delight. Creating a sense of urgency is key; customers need to know that this is a bargain that isn’t going to roll around again any time soon.
Once you’ve settled on your killer Christmas offer, you’ve got to let people know about it. An online display advertising campaign that runs on local news websites and online directories right up to Christmas Eve will help your message cut through and push more customers your way.
Insert a clear and bold call to action on the advert itself – ‘Buy Now’, for instance, or ‘Visit Today’ (or, for a time-limited campaign, ‘X Days Left’).
Almost all your competitors will also be advertising at this time of year, so keep your online presence as pertinent and engaging as possible, and use the right channels for your target audience.
Sure, your product may be so clearly top of its class that you feel like it almost markets itself. But to sell more at a commercially hectic time like Christmas, you’ve got to weave a narrative across all your messaging that connects the strengths of your offering to people’s immediate needs and priorities.
This shouldn’t be hard to do. Instead of just highlighting your product’s features, tell potential customers why they add up to the perfect Christmas gift for a particular loved one. For instance, a company that makes ties might seek to highlight why their latest design would delight a husband, brother or father who loves to dress to impress.
The same principle applies to your service offer too. Christmas shopping can be famously stressful, blighted by anxieties over sold-out items and late deliveries. If you can offer impressive perks like 1-day delivery, package tracking, gift wrapping or a generous returns policy, make sure you highlight this in your messaging.
Just as you want your messaging to be relevant to the seasonal context, you want your visual presentation to feel festive.
You hopefully have a sense of your business not just as a supplier of products, but as a brand with its own characteristics, set of values and distinctive identity. This identity will be expressed through visual elements in your marketing like your colour scheme, typeface and use of imagery.
If so, there’s no harm in adding a bit of Christmas sparkle to your brand palette. You could experiment with judicious use of festive hues, or by incorporating a few seasonal hallmarks into marketing materials (snowflakes, reindeer, elves, or maybe something a bit more left-field).
Remember though, everyone else will be up to the same thing, so be a bit creative and try and think of ways to make sure your seasonal twist stands out!
If you’re not already using Google’s Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising service, now might be the time to get to grips with it. Google Ads is designed to direct big traffic towards your website by showing your ads to people searching for words associated with your business.
Christmas can throw up the need for a lot of unexpected last-minute purchases - food, clothes, presents, even urgent plumbing fixes - and you want to be the business that sweeps them up.
Consider what types of things you provide that people might be searching for at Christmas (for example, “emergency plumber” or “easy Christmas decorations”) and put some money into targeting these phrases with Google Ads.
This article should help you get started using Google Ads. If you want an experienced partner to set you up with a winning PPC campaign, get in touch with our Google Ads team.
Businesses of all sizes really go to town on social media at Christmas time, publishing festive status updates, twee memes, banterous tweets and promoting special deals exclusively for social followers. These kinds of deals can ramp up your follower numbers, and their success is easy to track.
Here’s a special tip from us - try out an Advent Calendar-style promotion. Each day in the run up to Christmas, offer a different prize or giveaway through your social media. This needn’t be anything too major - a small ticket product; a voucher; maybe even just a piece of premium content.
This kind of light-hearted, creative promotion is particularly useful if you sell online directly. If you don’t, maybe give out a discount code (LAPLAND5 or ELF19 perhaps) that social media fans can quote when they visit the store.
If you’ve already amassed a database of email addresses from people who’ve consented to be contacted by you for marketing purposes, then Christmas is a time to get in touch with them and let them know about your excellent festive offers.
We’d recommend sending out a series of emails at distinct times over the course of the run-up to Christmas, presenting your festive promotions on well-designed, visually striking mail-outs.
By the third week of December, you should send out your final wave, focusing on trying to snap up as many late shoppers as possible with some last minute bargains.
If you don’t currently capture customers’ email addresses, you can start requesting them when they buy from you online. Just add an extra field at checkout asking for their email with a checkbox to tick if they would be happy to receive marketing messages from your business.
Remember though, you must provide customers with a simple way to opt out or unsubscribe from your emails, and you absolutely mustn’t spam them.
Even in the most adverse circumstances, the Christmas spirit can find a way. Whatever the restrictions might look like by December, a strong promotional strategy coupled with practical, personable digital messaging and clever use of modern digital marketing tools will help you sell more this Christmas.
We’ve covered the whole length of the customer journey towards Christmas - and how your marketing can make a difference at each step - in our series of articles. Get up to speed with the previous three articles below: