The holiday season predictably brings a flurry of marketing advice, tips, and 'revolutionary' hacks. Most of it is background noise, and some of it is gold. Instead of making you sift through all of it, we've distilled decades of our marketing expertise into actionable strategies that truly move the needle.
The stakes for this holiday season are already high. Forecasts paint a cautious picture with analysts expecting a modest single-digit growth for Holiday 2023. The backdrop? Consumers grappling with rising interest rates and inflation. To add to the complexity, third-party cookies, our once-dependable digital allies, are nearing obsolescence. As ad platforms tighten their tracking reins, the effectiveness of your ads is at risk.
Our goal is to help you prepare and stay focused on what’s important to win Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) have a record-breaking holiday season and end the year with a bang.
Ah, the holidays. A time of joy, cheer, and... segmentation? Yes, indeed! Just as there are twelve days of Christmas and eight nights of Hanukkah, there are four stages of holiday retail buyers. Know them. Understand them. And most importantly, market directly to them. In the intricate dance of holiday retail, knowing when and how your audience moves is the difference between a successful campaign and missed opportunities.
Organized and proactive. Capture their attention with early gift guides and offers.
These are the planners, the strategists, the ones who’ve had their gift lists ready since the jack-o'-lanterns began to glow. Early Birds are those unsung heroes who bypass the holiday rush, choosing instead the eerie calm of Halloween's shadow. They gift-wrap by Thanksgiving, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Think "Type-A Personalities." They likely have a penchant for organization tools, calendars, and maybe even an early-bird (pun intended) yoga class.
Target those who have searched for "Holiday gift guides" in October or who have frequent shopping habits in gift stores during early November. Remember, for these folks, early is on time, and on time is late. Don’t let them fly away!
Individuals who use planning apps, digital calendars, and reminder tools.Target ads to users of popular productivity apps, or those who have searched for "holiday planning tips."
Those actively engaging with or searching for holiday gift guides before mid-November. Look for website visits related to early gift guides or searches for terms like "best holiday gifts 2023”.
People who are already engaging with holiday content, from music playlists to decoration ideas. Use data from social media likes or shares related to holiday themes, or even streaming patterns from music platforms with holiday playlists.
Not just after savings, but the thrill of the hunt. Entice them with flash sales and deal alerts.
The suspense lovers, the thrill-seekers, the aficionados of the fine art of "The Deal". They bide their time, knowing the sweetest victories come to those who wait (but not too long). And no, they're not just after savings; they're after the chase.
Not necessarily budget-conscious, but definitely value-driven. Often engaged with coupon websites, deal forums, or have a search history that looks like a treasure map.
Target those who've signed up for price drop alerts, or who often visit comparison shopping websites. They’re seeking the golden goose of deals, and you just might have the golden egg
Individuals who are members of coupon websites or frequently engage with deal forums.
Those who use comparison shopping engines to ensure they're getting the best deal.
Buyers waiting for short-term deals, often alerted via email or app notifications.
They thrive under pressure. Nudge them with quick delivery options and cart abandonment reminders.
In a hare vs. the tortoise race, these are the hares. Fueled by adrenaline, convinced they work best under pressure, they rush through aisles (or web pages) with unparalleled speed. "Next year will be different," they say. But we all know it won’t. The procrastinators. Those who recently searched "fast shipping gifts" or "instant download gift cards". Their online carts are full, but they're waiting for that mysterious sign (or just the looming deadline) to click 'Purchase'.
Target the ones with the digital footprints of hesitation – items left in carts, frequent page revisits, and wishlist additions. Give them a nudge; they're almost at the finish line.
Those who have left items in online carts without completing the purchase.
Shoppers searching for last-minute gifts with instant delivery options, like digital subscriptions or e-gift cards.
Buyers looking for quick delivery options.
Indulgent post-holiday shoppers. Cater to their reflections and self-gifting tendencies.
They've gifted their loved ones, and now, it's their turn. Fueled by year-end reflections and gift cards, they indulge in some self-gifting before the reality of the New Year sets in. "To me, from me" is their motto. Recent recipients of gift cards and those who frequently browse "best of the year" lists. Their online activity is more contemplative, diving deeper into product reviews and comparisons.
Target individuals who’ve made returns post-holidays (maybe that sweater wasn’t the right fit) or who have searched for "New Year new me" products. They're ready to splurge, but this time, it's personal.
Individuals who've recently received or registered a gift card.
Those searching for products that align with typical New Year resolutions (fitness, organization, self-care).
Shoppers looking for luxury or 'treat yourself' products post-holiday.
This holiday season, remember that not all buyers are created equal. Or, at the very least, they don’t all shop at the same time. Know their quirks, anticipate their moves, and always, always listen to their digital whispers. Knowing your audience and segmenting them appropriately is the key to a successful holiday marketing strategy. Tailor your approach to each segment to maximize engagement and conversion.
The excitement surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) often dazzles brands into funneling all their marketing efforts into this one-week extravaganza. It's understandable, given the fervor of the season, but what if there's a more sustainable, long-term approach? By pivoting the focus from just BFCM to a broader perspective – the entire Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer you don’t just win BFCM, you win Q4 and you set up to win long-term.
While BFCM is predominantly seen as an acquisition play, there's a golden opportunity for retention. If a customer is drawn to your brand for the first time during BFCM, they’re exhibiting trust in your offerings. Now, it's up to you to nurture this trust, ensuring they don't just remain a 'Black Friday shopper' but evolve into loyal customers.
How? By ensuring their BFCM experience is impeccable – from the quality of the product to the customer service. When they receive value beyond just a discount, they're more likely to come back.
It's a fallacy to measure a customer's worth based on a single sale, even if that sale occurs during the lucrative BFCM window. True business growth happens when you maximize the value of your customer for the entire duration of their relationship with your brand. This means considering every potential touchpoint, purchase, and interaction they might have with you, beyond just the holiday season.
Instead of viewing Black Friday as the pinnacle of the sales cycle, consider it as the entry point or a "lead offer." This means that while a customer is lured in with a BFCM deal, you're already strategizing on their second, third, or even fourth purchase.
For instance, imagine a customer buys a discounted coffee machine on Black Friday. What's next? Perhaps they'll need coffee pods, a cleaning kit, or a replacement filter subscription. By forecasting these needs and subtly introducing them through targeted marketing or bundle offers, you can pave the way for future sales.
An important insight many retailers overlook is the post-holiday potential. A customer who was eager and ready to purchase during BFCM is very likely primed for another purchase come January. Maybe it's the allure of the New Year or the satisfaction from their BFCM purchase, but this window is ripe for re-engagement. Personalized email campaigns, exclusive New Year deals, or simply a "Thank You" note can trigger additional purchases.
While BFCM is a discount-driven event, loyalty is created through value. Loyalty programs play a pivotal role. Rewarding customers who shop with you year-round not only encourages consistent buying behavior but also strengthens brand affinity. Exclusive early access to deals, redeemable points, or special gifts can serve as tokens of appreciation, showing customers that their relationship with your brand extends beyond just discount days.
The grandeur of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) is undeniable, as consumers eagerly await the slew of deals and discounts. Retailers gear up for these sale events as they expect a significant boost in their sales numbers. However, there's an underlying reality that often gets overshadowed in the rush: It's not about creating new demand. Rather, it's about catering to a demand that has been strategically re-allocated.
Every year, as the holiday season approaches, there's an overarching belief that Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring forth a new wave of consumers ready to splurge. While it's true that these events generate significant buzz and attention, what's often overlooked is the fact that these are not necessarily new consumers. Instead, they are consumers who have been trained, over the years, to hold off on their purchases until these grand sale days.
If you dissect consumer behavior in the months leading up to BFCM, you’ll likely notice a trend. There’s a slowdown in Q3 and the earlier parts of Q4 as consumers hold off on making significant purchases. Why? Because they anticipate the deals that are just around the corner.
The belief that customers are spending more during BFCM is somewhat misleading. What’s happening is a shift in when they're spending, not necessarily an increase in spending. The budget they might have allocated for a purchase in September or early October is now held off until late November.
When diving into the frenzied waters of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM), it's easy to get swept away by the chaos. Whether you're a seasoned retailer or a newcomer, setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals is your key to aligning your north star. These goals not only provide direction but also help gauge success and areas of improvement.
If this is your first BFCM rodeo, the task of goal-setting can seem overwhelming. A good starting point is to analyze the data from the last few months. What was your average monthly traffic? How many sales did you make in the past quarter? Armed with this data, you can forecast a realistic increase for BFCM, like aiming for a 20-30% boost.
Holidays are a prime time for businesses to connect with their customers, both existing and potential. But with a slew of holidays lined up during the end-of-year season, it can be overwhelming to determine where to direct your marketing and sales efforts. From Black Friday to New Year's Eve, each holiday holds unique potential. Above all, don't feel compelled to jump on every holiday bandwagon. It's better to focus and execute a fantastic campaign for a few select holidays than to spread yourself too thin. Remember, it's not about the number of holidays you participate in, but the quality of engagement and experience you offer.
To determine which holidays to focus on, look at data from previous years if available. Which holidays yielded the most sales or engagement? Were there holidays where you didn't see a return on your marketing investments?
For newer businesses without historical data, consider your target audience and product offering. A business specializing in artisanal chocolates might find Valentine's Day or Easter more profitable than, say, Free Shipping Day.
Tailoring your approach to each holiday's unique flavor and potential, you can forge deeper connections with your customers and optimize your end-of-year sales.
Black Friday. Offer deep discounts on popular items.
Small Business Saturday. Emphasize your local roots and community involvement.
Cyber Monday. Focus on online-exclusive deals and bolster your website infrastructure to handle increased traffic.
Giving Tuesday. Align with a charity and donate a portion of the day's proceeds.
Halloween. Offer themed products or services.
Thanksgiving. Emphasize gratitude, perhaps through customer appreciation events or deals.
Hanukkah. Provide deals that last the eight nights or offer Hanukkah-themed items.
Free Shipping Day. Offer free shipping with no minimum purchase.
Christmas Eve. Promote last-minute gift deals or gift card purchases.
Kwanzaa. Highlight the principles of Kwanzaa through themed merchandise or events.
New Year's Eve. Emphasize end-of-year clearances and new beginnings.
When it comes to preparing for BFCM, the early bird truly does catch the worm. And in the context of digital marketing, growing your email and SMS lists is that proverbial worm. As the holiday season approaches, your communication channels become the lifeline that links you directly to your customers, informing them of deals, offers, and the latest stock updates. Here's how you can ensure you're fully prepped in time.
Growing your email and SMS lists should always be high on your marketing priority list. As BFCM draws near, its importance magnifies. Engaging with a robust list of subscribers can significantly amplify your sales and improve customer engagement during this peak shopping period.
Pop-ups are the easiest way to grow your list year round, but BFCM is an amazing time to double down. Use a persuasive and straightforward message. Perhaps something like, "Want to be the first to snag our Black Friday deals? Sign up now!". Make your pop-up visually appealing, ensuring it's in line with your brand aesthetics. But, most importantly, incentivize the sign-up process. By showcasing that subscribers will get early access or exclusive deals, you're giving them a tangible reason to share their contact details.
If someone's following you, they're already interested in your brand. Now's the time to convert that interest into a direct line of communication. Try creating a dedicated landing page for your followers. This page should be optimized for conversions, with clear CTAs and a promise of value – like exclusive deals or early-bird offers. Make it clear that sharing will give them a benefit and watch your list grow.
In the bustling world of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) promotions, the power of precision cannot be overstated. One-size-fits-all strategies are passé. If you're seeking a competitive edge, it lies in your ability to segment your audience effectively and then tailor your offers accordingly. Consider using Skydeo deterministic segments which you can use to power multi-channel campaigns.
You don’t have to go crazy. Here's a simple way to think about your audience:
VIPs. Your most loyal customers. They've been with you through thick and thin, and they deserve exclusive attention.
Previous Purchasers. Those who have made a purchase but aren't frequent shoppers. They've shown interest, but need the right nudge.
Yet to Purchase. Potential customers who have shown some interest but haven't made that first purchase yet.
Don’t guess, know.
Use deterministic segments (hint: we can help, we have 30,000+ of them) to identify niche holiday audiences. We’ve decoded audiences from 320M+ people so you can quickly and predictably pinpoint segments more likely to convert. We use 1.4 trillion data points to predict affinity, motivation, and purchase intent of 30,000+ segments. You get 30,000+ ways to understand, engage, and resonate with the right audience.
Some segments to consider
Here are some Skydeo Segments you may want to consider for your Holiday Campaigns:
Skydeo > Seasonal Shopper > Seasonal > Affluent Christmas & Holiday Shoppers
Skydeo > Seasonal Shopper > Seasonal > Black Friday Shoppers
Skydeo > Seasonal Shopper > Holiday > Holiday Shoppers > Tween Gifts
Skydeo > Seasonal Shopper > Holiday > In Home Holiday Party Hosts
Skydeo > Interest > Food & Drink > Holiday Bakers
Skydeo > Interest > Special Events > Holiday Shopping
Create your custom audiences
Remember, while the above segments are beneficial, the true power of Skydeo lies in its ability to provide custom audience segments. Depending on your unique business and offerings, the Skydeo team can craft specialized segments ensuring your campaigns resonate with the exact audience you want to target.
As the Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) frenzy looms large, brands and retailers are vying for attention with jaw-dropping deals and offers. But here’s the catch: in the rush to entice customers, profitability can't be left on the back burner. It's a delicate balance between providing value and ensuring a robust bottom line.
Before launching any deal, evaluate its profitability. The ultimate aim is to maximize conversion while ensuring each transaction positively impacts your financial metrics. Zero in on high-margin products that are in high demand. These are your golden geese - products that allow flexibility in promotions and still guarantee a healthy profit margin.
Raising prices before a discount might seem counterintuitive, but when executed tactfully and well in advance, it can act as a buffer against deep discounts. However, remember to ensure the raise is justifiable and won't alienate your core customers.
If a customer shows interest in a particular product, it’s an indication of their affinity for that product category. Seize this opportunity to upsell by showcasing a premium version, which offers added benefits and features, thus increasing the order value.
Every product has its companions. If a customer has chosen a specific product, introduce them to related products or services that enhance their primary purchase. Not only does this increase the sale value, but it also improves the overall shopping experience.
Encourage bulk or volume purchases. By offering a slight discount on bulk orders, you leverage the quantity to offset the reduced price, ensuring a maintained or even enhanced profit margin.
Build excitement post-purchase by offering an immediate, time-sensitive secret deal exclusively for those who've made a purchase can drive additional sales. It adds an element of surprise and urgency, encouraging instant action.
While crafting innovative deals is excellent, never underestimate the power of straightforward offers. Free shipping or a flat discount can sometimes be as enticing as more complex deals. Moreover, value-added services like premium shipping can sometimes be the differentiating factor in a customer's purchase decision.
A well-crafted bundle can be a win-win. By pairing a deeply discounted product with one of regular price, you create an attractive offering for the customer while ensuring the combined sale remains profitable.
Marketing strategies and platforms may come and go, but one factor remains consistently powerful: owning your audience. By cultivating and nurturing your owned audience, you eliminate middlemen, ensure direct and personal communication, and see better engagement.
When you own your audience, you free yourself from the unpredictable whims and costs of advertising platforms like Meta or Google. This isn't merely a matter of cost savings; owned audiences, such as email subscribers or SMS lists, typically exhibit a deeper engagement with your brand. They've opted in, signaling their interest and trust in what you have to offer.
It's essential to have a clear transition strategy. While platforms like Facebook or Google can be instrumental in acquiring new customers through targeted ads, the ultimate goal should be to move these customers into your owned channels. Whether through incentives, exclusive content, or personalized engagement, find ways to encourage sign-ups to your email or SMS lists.
While it's easy to get caught up in the glitz of digital ad campaigns, never underestimate the power of a well-curated email list. Email marketing continues to boast one of the highest ROI among digital marketing channels. It's personal, direct, and offers a space for detailed communication that's hard to achieve through other mediums.
Black Friday and the holiday season are characterized by a barrage of promotional messages flooding consumers' inboxes. Stand out by communicating early. By alerting your audience ahead of the crowd, you not only grab their attention but also show that you value their loyalty. Consider offering these dedicated customers early bird specials or sneak peeks into upcoming deals.
While email offers depth, SMS promises immediacy. With almost instantaneous open rates, SMS can be a powerful tool to drive urgent actions. However, tread carefully. Given the personal nature of text messages, it's crucial to be respectful and avoid overwhelming your audience. Limit yourself to the most valuable 1-2 offers, ensuring that each message holds significant value for the recipient.
The holiday season, with its sales, promos, and deals, is a battlefield for digital marketers. The promise of high returns beckons, but so does the risk of increased costs, especially when it comes to paid media spend. Digital channels buzz with competition, making it essential to strategize and spend wisely.
When it comes to the holiday season, paid media spend is usually the most significant cost for businesses. Digital channels like Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram see a surge in competition as brands vie for their slice of the holiday pie. This frenzy translates into higher ad costs, with the week of Black Friday being the peak.
Instead of going all out during the peak week, consider front-loading your ad spend in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. During this period, many customers are in the 'discovery mode,' actively researching and planning their purchases. By investing early, you can capture this audience, encouraging them to bookmark or remember your offers. When the high-traffic week arrives, these potential customers are more likely to return to your site, bypassing the competitive and costly ad ecosystem.
The week after Thanksgiving is the digital ad industry's equivalent of a gold rush. Instead of getting carried away, set a cap on your bids. By putting a limit, you ensure that you're not overpaying for clicks or impressions, even when the competition is fierce. This strategy can help maintain a balance between visibility and profitability.
During the high-competition, high-cost periods, shift your focus to remarketing. Why? Remarketing campaigns target users who've already interacted with your brand, either by visiting your website, engaging with your content, or adding products to the cart. These users have a higher likelihood of converting, and more importantly, remarketing generally costs less than acquiring new customers. By increasing your spend on remarketing during peak periods, you ensure that you're investing in an audience already warmed up to your offerings.
The holiday shopping season is synonymous with a frenzy of activity and heightened customer expectations. As a business, your foremost aim should be to provide an impeccable shopping experience. The difference between a potential customer and a loyal one often boils down to the ease and efficiency of their online shopping journey. It's essential to have a seamless, engaging, and clear shopping experience.
The numbers speak for themselves. In 2022, 73% of BFCM purchases were made through mobile devices. Mobile shopping isn't the future—it's the present. It's imperative to ensure that your website or app offers a responsive design that caters first and foremost to mobile users. This means fast loading times, easy navigation, and a seamless checkout process.
A clean, uncluttered design isn't just aesthetically pleasing—it’s also functional. Overloading your website with too many elements can be overwhelming and confusing for shoppers. Instead, focus on presenting products in a visually appealing manner with clear CTAs and intuitive navigation. The goal is to guide the customer effortlessly from browsing to purchasing.
Today’s consumers crave personal connections. Your website’s copy should reflect a tone that’s conversational, relatable, and engaging. It's like having a friendly chat with your customers. A conversational tone breaks down barriers, making shoppers feel more connected to your brand.
While being engaging is essential, it’s equally crucial to be clear and concise. Shoppers should be able to quickly understand product features, prices, and benefits. Additionally, policies regarding returns, shipping, and customer support should be straightforward and easily accessible. Ambiguity can deter potential purchases.
Every piece of content should add value. Whether it's product descriptions, customer reviews, or blog posts, ensure the information is relevant and beneficial to the shopper. However, it’s equally important to be concise. In the fast-paced digital world, attention spans are limited. Make every word count.
The whirlwind of Black Friday and Cyber Monday might leave you feeling drained, but if there's one thing seasoned marketers know, it's that the holiday hustle is far from over. As the confetti from BFCM settles, a myriad of holiday opportunities await, ready to be seized.
Once Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the holiday calendar doesn't pause. December is dotted with numerous festivities and events, from Christmas and Hanukkah to Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve. Each of these occasions offers unique opportunities to engage with your audience, promote special deals, and introduce holiday-themed merchandise.
Not everyone is an early bird. Many customers delay their holiday shopping, either due to busy schedules or indecision. Catering to these last-minute shoppers can give your sales a significant boost. Offer expedited shipping, gift-wrapping options, or curated gift guides to assist and attract these procrastinators.
The immediate aftermath of BFCM provides a brief window to assess what worked and what didn’t. Dive into your analytics, gather insights, and adjust your strategies for the upcoming events. This iterative approach ensures continuous improvement and better results with each subsequent holiday.
Customers are still in the holiday spirit post-BFCM, and with the right messaging, you can keep the momentum going. Showcase testimonials, top-selling products, or user-generated content from the BFCM period to entice others to make a purchase.
As the year draws to a close, consider offering end-of-year clearance sales. This not only helps clear out inventory, making way for new products in the coming year but also attracts deal-hunters looking for post-holiday bargains.
The holiday season is a time of gratitude. Take a moment to thank your customers for their loyalty and support throughout the year. A simple email, personalized offer, or exclusive deal can go a long way in strengthening customer relationships.
The holiday season, with its Black Friday and Cyber Monday highlights, is more than a mere rush for instant sales; it's an opportunity to connect, understand, and build. At its core, success hinges on genuinely knowing your customers and focusing on the broader picture: the lifetime value each one represents.
This season isn't just about meeting the immediate demand of a sale event. It's about setting SMART targets, preparing early, and using precise tools like deterministic segments from Skydeo to craft campaigns that truly resonate. Your strategies should encompass everything from crafting the perfect offer to ensuring a seamless customer experience, and from owning your audience to optimizing every penny of your spend. And as you navigate this season, always remember: while BFCM events might conclude, the journey with your customer doesn't. The year-end offers more chances to connect, grow, and set the stage for an even brighter new year.
As you gear up for this bustling period, remember you're not in this alone.
We can help.
If you need to power your campaigns with deterministic audiences,
The Skydeo Team is here to help. Contact Us