12 Tips for Last Minute Holiday Marketing Campaigns

It’s go time: The holiday shopping season is here!

With just 21 days left before Black Friday, 24 days until Cyber Monday and only 47 days left until Christmas, most eCommerce stores have already launched their holiday marketing campaigns – leveraging every selling opportunity available. But don’t worry if you’ve waited until the last minute; there are still plenty of things you can do to make sure this holiday season is your best yet.

Read our 12 tips for last minute holiday marketing campaigns you can (and should) still launch:

1. Send personal holiday greetings to loyal customers.

Take a cue from individuals who send special holiday greetings to their friends and family and do the same for your customers. Express your appreciation by sending your messages via email or social media. It’s an unexpected message for them that could lead to increased sales for you.

Don’t know who your most loyal customers are? We can help. With Springbot, you can create custom segments in minutes to determine who your most loyal customers are based on their purchase behavior.


2. Add holiday cheer to your site.

Get your site into the holiday spirit and revamp your website. Consider it your storefront and in much the same way that brick and mortar stores get into the holiday cheer by revamping their window displays and in-store displays to market their seasonal wares and specials, you should be doing the exact same thing on your website. Update creative, content and create new pages that promote holiday gift ideas.

3. Sponsor a social contest giveaway.

Everyone loves getting something for free. In fact, one of the main reasons your customers “Like” your Facebook page is so that they can either obtain a discount or win something.  Creating a holiday focused contest not only excites your fans, it is also a great way to build links to your website, increase traffic and create social engagement.

A great idea is to use the “12 Days of Christmas” theme to announce a different promotion each day. Kick off this promotion on Cyber Monday with something big and then continue to create buzz and excitement for your store over the next 11 days with a new promotion each day. The best part is that you still have 24 days left to get this campaign up and running! So what are you waiting for?

holiday sale

4. Don’t shortchange your email strategy.

Last year during Cyber Monday, shopping at work accounted for nearly half of all online spending, making email a great way to engage potential customers while they’re in the shopping mindset. Today’s consumers are conditioned to expect the best deals to go directly to their inbox. Consider launching an email campaign that promotes free shipping, which accounts for one of the greatest drivers for online purchases, according to Accenture. And since Cyber Monday is still 24 days away, you’ve got plenty of time to whip up a few holiday promotional emails.

Need some inspiration? Check out the endless email content and design ideas from our friends at MailChimp. 

5. Promote digital gift cards to last minute shoppers.

Don’t underestimate the power of holiday marketing campaigns that promote your gift cards – especially if you offer digital ones. This will help boost your holiday sales, especially at the end of the season.  In fact, in a survey conducted by Deloitte University Press, 43 percent of respondents said they plan to give gift cards or certificates this year. Even better? One in four digital gift cards are sold  between Dec. 21st and Dec. 24th — great news if you’re getting a late start on your holiday marketing!

6. Update coupon codes with holiday cheer.

Change your coupon codes to a seasonal theme like FreeReindeerShipping to offer free shipping to your site or Red40 to offer a 40 percent discount off of any items on your site that come in red. Not only are these coupon codes easy to remember, they also bring holiday cheer while helping you to drive more holiday sales.

7. Optimize for super speed. 

A slow site can turn off customers and making sure your site is fast is especially important during the holidays. An easy way to ensure speed is to work with your team to identify any features that contribute to high load, like blank searches, and remove them from your site until you can figure out a long term solution.

Want more information? Check out this blog post on Tips to Manage Unexpected eCommerce Site Traffic from our friends at Tenzing.

8. Implement a targeted search engine marketing plan.

Search Engine Marketing is the art and science of driving targeted shoppers to your online store. Every business should have an SEM strategy for the holidays that’s been specifically developed around their products, target customers, and competition, in order to create sustainable long-term success.

Contact Rand Marketing to get a free consultation and get a personalized marketing strategy for the success for your unique online store. You’ve still got plenty of time to get a campaign up that targets last minute shoppers – espcially if you plan on taking advantage of tip number 11.

9 . Prep now for holiday cheer (and sales) in 2015.  Add a little incentive for customers to return in January by including a gift card or discount code with their holiday purchases. Check out the great example from SPANX, a fellow Atlanta based company.


10. Abandoned cart holiday cheer.

This is one of the more powerful marketing tactics in an eCommerce marketer’s tool box and incredibly easy to implement. Recover lost sales and easily track revenue through the automated deployment of abandoned cart emails. Once set up, you can test timing, create holiday specific content and offer exclusive holiday deals to see what gets people to come back and complete their purchase. Set it, forget it, and watch your holiday revenue roll in.

11. Create and promote a holiday gift guide.

Holiday gift guides are an ideal way to highlight your best products and are often the most viewed page, and highest revenue generator, during the holiday season. We suggest starting with a “sneak peak” of your holiday gift guide to your most valued customers, offer them a special deal and then make it available for everyone BEFORE Cyber Monday. You can also create a second campaign with a new page to launch in December targeting gift ideas for last minute shoppers. Hint: This would be a great place to promote digital gift cards.

Check out the great example from J. Crew who has created multiple gift pages targeting different segments of their customer base.

holiday sale

12. Use your data to understand your holiday shoppers
Yes, there is still time to understand who your holiday customers are to extract actionable insights, like who bought gift cards last year, and then quickly turn those into holiday marketing campaigns. Use your store’s data to understand who is visiting and buying from your store, what marketing campaigns during holiday 2013 attributed to the most traffic and conversions, what products have the highest conversions and what products are consistently being abandoned. For an easy idea, bundle your top selling products onto one page and offer free shipping for any two products purchased. And make sure to avoid promoting any products with a high abandonment rate.


Don’t have access to your store’s holiday data? Check out our pre holiday marketing assessment that evaluates your store’s data – including performance, demographic and product data to show you how you performed November 1 to December 31 of 2013 when compared to 2012. Even better? This same report is available for all Springbot customers immediately following holiday 2014 that compares this year’s holiday success with that of 2013 – helping you to get a jump start on preparations for holiday 2015.


Springbot Holiday Assessment


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