Did you know that online shoppers in the US spent a staggering 126 billion dollars during the 2018 holiday season? And this year, they’re expected to spend even more.

But not every business will get a piece of the profits. To make the most of the holiday season, you have to start marketing early while delivering competitive prices and all-star customer support.

In this article I’ll walk you through the steps we’ve taken in the past to boost sales during the holiday season, and how you can use our tried and true techniques to do the same.

1. Engage With Your Audience on Social Media

Social media is a great place to connect with your audience before the holiday season starts. That’s because people love following their favorite brands on social media to see what kind of special seasonal offers they’re running.

There are several ways we use social media to grow our brand and boost sales. The most effective methods we’ve used include:

  • Share valuable content: Build an audience by sharing not just your own high-quality seasonal content and deals, but content from other relevant sites as well. Focus on sharing content from businesses that are complementary to your own, rather than those in direct competition.
  • Chat directly with your audience: Instead of just broadcasting your own content, communicate with your followers and target audience by replying to them and participating in comment threads. Did someone tag you on Twitter and give you a glowing review? Share it with the rest of your audience, and thank them!
  • Run a giveaway: Giveaways are a smart marketing hack because they can easily go viral with the right incentive, helping to reach a whole new audience.

Giveaway campaigns are one of our favorite ways to engage on social media to get more traffic and sales.

2. Optimize Your Store for Mobile Customers

Did you know that mobile devices were responsible for 95 percent of all organic traffic in the US in 2018? Plus, Google ranks search results based on their mobile appearance, so that means a site that doesn’t work well on mobile is far less likely to appear in search results.

That means that if your site isn’t easy to use from a smart phone or tablet, you’re going to miss out on a lot of traffic and sales during the holiday season.

So, what’s the best way to make sure your website works seamlessly for mobile users?

First, focus on small but meaningful changes. For example, we simplified our checkout section by only including required text fields. This change allowed us to reduce the number of pages mobile users have to go through when completing their purchase, which is proven to increase conversion rates.

Make sure your website has a responsive design that looks good on all screen sizes. If you’re using WordPress, most modern themes are designed to be responsive by default. Try exploring your site using your own phone to see what the user experience is like.

Improving your site speed will also help to optimize your site for visitors using mobile devices, who tend to be more impatient. Using a caching tool can help to boost your search engine rankings and conversions.

3. Show Social Proof to Build Trust

Social proof is a phenomenon where people are more likely to make a choice based on the decisions made by other people. You can easily use this phenomenon to your advantage to boost sales during the holiday season.

Let’s look at three ways we show social proof on our websites.

  1. Reviews: One of the best ways to build social proof is by allowing consumers to leave reviews on your products or services. How many times have you made an impulsive choice on Amazon because the product you were looking at had 4000 reviews and a 4.9-star rating? You can add a review section under each of your products, create a testimonials page, and share reviews from individuals on social media.
  2. Guest posts – Guest posting is a great way to grow your brand during the holiday season. Look for reputable blogs that feature content related to your niche, and pitch an idea based on their guest post guidelines. Consumers are far more likely to trust your brand and follow you if they see that you’re affiliated with a large, well-known website.
  3. Social Proof Notifications – Another tactic that works just as well as online reviews is displaying live activity on your website. Show notifications to your website visitors any time other shoppers become email subscribers, register for a demo, make a purchase, and more.

Check out our social proof notifications in action in the example below:

When visitors see that others are doing business with you in real-time, they’ll be more likely to check out your website this holiday season.

4. Create a Festive Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing has an amazing ROI for any business year-round, but it’s especially effective during the holiday season. We use holiday sale campaigns to boost interest in our products and convince casual subscribers to come back and check out our latest offers.

As always, segmenting your list based on subscriber interests and their on-site behaviors will boost the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Our team creates various campaigns where we reach out to subscribers based on their interactions with our brand.

Here are several segments to consider when sending your holiday campaigns:

  • Has the person made a purchase in the past?
  • Did they sign up for specific product categories when they subscribed?
  • Did they abandon their cart after subscribing?
  • When was the last time they opened our emails?

When you segment your emails, you can focus each one on a particular goal. For example, you can send an upgrade offer to customers with existing accounts, while offering a new customer discount to those who have never purchased from you before. Specific emails tend to convert much higher than general one-size-fits-all offers.

Here’s a bonus email marketing tip for you: Personalization has a huge impact on our holiday email marketing campaign. Small actions, such as using the subscriber’s name in the email title, can improve the open rate by 26 percent.

Start Planning Today

The sooner you start planning your holiday marketing campaigns, the more likely you are to grow your brand and increase your sales.

This well-rounded strategy is what my team and I use to succeed year after year, and I know it will help you generate sales and spread brand awareness this holiday season as well.