For small businesses, the holiday season is a lot like professional sports. In the offseason, owners and staff are preparing themselves for a chance at greatness. As the Big Game approaches, there's a lot of hype in the lead-up. Not to mention, the "experts" proclaiming they have the game plan for success.
How do you separate fact from fiction? Myth from true story? Don’t worry. We researched common false claims and have a few tips we think will help you achieve glory this busy season.
1. Myth: Holiday marketing has to be expensive and time-consuming.
In their roundup of the best ways to market on a budget, the Forbes Communication Council said that making campaigns in-house, templatizing messaging, and being personal go a long way. To make that happen while saving time and money, you might want to incorporate A/B testing (available with all paid plans) and multivariate testing (available with Premium plans) into your strategy. These features let you experiment with subject lines and copy, which means that adding that personal touch just got a lot easier. Whether it’s clicks, opens, or revenue, you’ll be able to see which emails are resonating with customers. The best part? It only takes a few clicks.
2. Myth: You have to be on all social platforms at all times.
Here’s something we know for sure: Facebook is the most used social network in the world. Is it a great place to start? Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a pool of more than 1 billion users to potentially target. However, for all you know, your audience might be more active on Twitter and Linkedin, so it would help your business to find out where they're most active. With our CRM tools, tracking those customer behaviors—including their activity on social media—is a lot easier. Oh, and you can get ahead by scheduling social posts to save time. Be sure to check out the marketer’s CRM guide we put together before you start.
3. Myth: The crazier the promotion, the better.
We know that e-commerce customers have grown to expect some form of promo code. In fact, 65% of consumers say that discount offers weigh heavily into their purchase decisions. That being said, the biggest discount or wildest offer doesn’t always mean better sales. Your holiday promos should be informed by your data, and can be collected by using optimization tools such as reports. This way you’ll know how relevant or impactful that promotion is because you’ll have detailed information on that particular campaign’s performance. Also, don’t shy away from more simple approaches such as having a buy-one-get-one-free offer or complimentary gift wrapping.
4. Myth: Nobody responds to direct mail anymore.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t like getting good news in their actual mailbox. (Plus, many a good email message has been lost to the spam folder. It happens.) Whether your shop is strictly e-comm, brick-and-mortar, or both, sending out a physical “hello” with postcards is a strategy we encourage. Along with saying, “Hi,” telling your customers, “Thank You,” also goes a long way, and we’ve got some tips you can use to do just that.
5. Myth: You need an e-commerce store to make online sales.
It doesn't take spending hours on Cyber Monday scouring for deals to know that online sales are crucial during the holiday season. However, that doesn’t mean you need an actual e-commerce store to cash in. Try combining our Mailchimp landing pages feature with Square. You can add Square payments to your landing pages to sell a limited-edition item, run targeted promotions, or launch a new product. It’s all made easy with our pre-designed landing pages templates, or you can start from scratch with a basic layout, then add your own content and visuals. Another bonus: with Square, there are no contracts or hidden fees, so you only pay one flat rate when you make a sale.