5 Ways To Jump-Start Your Holiday Planning
Think it’s too early to start planning your 2020 Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday marketing campaigns? Think again.
Last year, retailers began releasing their Black Friday ads on November 1, a full four weeks before Thanksgiving. This means they’d already spent the months before that planning promotions and preparing the related campaign materials. Add to that the fact that the holiday hits two days earlier this year, and your timeline to prepare is growing shorter with each passing week.
Be honest–how satisfied were you with your 2019 holiday marketing timeline? Did you have all your campaigns ready to launch when the major stores started running ads, or did it feel like you were playing catch-up to avoid missing out on the traffic?
This year, start your holiday planning now so you can address the new challenges 2020 will bring and maximize your profits during this all-important earnings window.
3 Reasons To Start Planning Your 2020 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Marketing Now
COVID-19 has dramatically shifted the retail landscape
According to an Adobe report, COVID-19 accelerated the pace of the eCommerce landscape by four to six years. Consumers spent a whopping $82.5 billion online in May alone, which is a 77% increase from the same time the year prior. Experts estimate that it would have taken between four and six years to reach that level of digital spending had it not been for the global pandemic.
In addition to more people shopping online for everyday purchases, we’re likely to see an even more dramatic shift for holiday-specific spending as consumers take greater health precautions. Deal-hunters are more likely to be wary of standing in long lines and battling the crowds that are so characteristic of brick-and-mortar Black Friday shopping.
Together, these signs point to record-shattering online shopping numbers for the 2020 holiday season. This means retailers will face unprecedented competition for attention and traffic, but it’s also an unprecedented opportunity to grow your revenue through careful holiday planning and preparation.
Starting early helps you spot holes in your infrastructure
Building a technology stack for a fully integrated online shopping experience is no small feat. It requires connecting your online store with your social media channels, email marketing efforts, online ad messaging and order fulfillment platform, just to name a few. To fully capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and avoid customer service headaches, every single piece of your technology machine must be working correctly.
Starting early gives you time to properly test the technology used at every stage of your sales funnel and identify any breakdowns before they become a bottleneck to sales.
It gives you ample time to build interest and create brand touchpoints
A warm lead (a.k.a. someone who has previously expressed interest in your brand) is infinitely more likely to convert than a cold one. The time to start building your database of warm leads is now so that they’re primed and ready to convert by the time holiday shopping season hits.
5 Ways to Jump-Start Your Holiday Planning
Identify your main promotions
While it’s not necessary to map out every single discount you’ll offer during the span of the holiday season, it’s a good idea to identify your ‘doorbusters’–the most enticing deals that will catch the eyes of customers and lure them in to shop.
Make a list of the products or collections that will serve as the centerpiece for your holiday marketing campaigns along with the dollar or percentage discounts to be offered on each one. Sketch out the rough start and end dates for each promotion and the channels you plan on using to promote them.
Map out of timeline
Next, use a timeline to map out the action items that need to be completed to make the promotions you identified in step 1 possible. We like to begin with the end result and work backwards.
So, for example, let’s say you plan to promote a doorbuster deal of 40% off one of your bestselling items. To turn website visitors into buyers, you’ll need images of the product and related copy to use on your homepage pointing to the sale. To get those visitors to your website, you’ll need a series of marketing emails announcing the deal. To get subscribers to send emails to, you’ll need social media posts and online ads that push email signups.
In this way, you can map out the basic steps needed to create the sales funnel for each of your holiday promotions and allocate the appropriate amount of time to complete each step.
Test your technology
While you don’t need to craft your entire Black Friday/Cyber Monday website infrastructure this early, it’s a great idea to begin building and testing any new or creative components you’re implementing for the first time this year. For example, maybe you want to use a new lead capture mechanism, a sale countdown timer, or an email autoresponder you haven’t used in the past.
Starting to build and test this functionality now gives you plenty of flexibility to try new things without the pressure of a ticking clock to make sure it’s working as expected.
Start capturing leads
This is perhaps the most important step of your Black Friday/Cyber Monday preparations to start early. The more time you invest in capturing quality leads now, the larger and more targeted an audience you’ll have to promote your holiday campaigns to later in the year, which leads to greater conversions and higher earnings.
The lead-capture campaigns you use now don’t need to be holiday related–in fact, it’s better if they’re relevant to the current season. Run a photo contest that encourages customers to submit user-generated content in exchange for the chance to win a prize. Set up an opt-in discount in exchange for providing an email address. Offer a free gift with purchase to encourage first-time conversions. A/B test lead generation campaigns on different channels and track what performs best.
Then, once November draws near, you can begin building excitement and generating buzz about your upcoming deals by sending sneak peeks, early bird exclusives and more to your audience of warm leads.
Streamline your marketing efforts
To run effective holiday marketing campaigns, you need a command center from which to plan and control it all. Springbot makes it easy to integrate all of your digital marketing channels and build automated, omni-channel marketing campaigns that reach customers on every platform.
Drive targeted traffic from social media, use email to engage shoppers with personalized messages, get data-driven recommendations to increase the efficacy of your online ads, and more. Get a head start on your 2020 Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday marketing now by scheduling your free Springbot demo today.