5 Tips for Successful Holiday Campaigns

- October 28, 2010

The holidays are quickly approaching.  Soon Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas will be knocking at our doors. Get prepared for holiday season now, so it doesn’t catch your business off guard. Here are 5 tips to help get your paid search campaigns ready for buyers.

Tip 1. Have a Game Plan
It sounds simple enough, but many businesses skip this step and it shows in their paid efforts. Decide which holidays your business will target with paid search advertising. If you’re only interested in reaching the Hanukkah and Christmas audiences, set a date range for when ads will begin and end. Hanukkah is from December 1st through 9th. It would make sense to run ads in November to reach this audience; whereas Christmas is December 25th and ads for this holiday could begin at the beginning of December. Determine what strategies your business will use to target searchers. Will you try banner ads? Will you offer incentives? If so, what type of incentives? This leads us to tip 2.

Tip 2. Offer Incentives
If you haven’t noticed, most people like to get a good deal during the holiday season. In fact, many of your competitors will probably be offering an incentive. What will your business offer? Will you try coupon codes? If so, when will they expire? Free shipping and discounts on products are good ways to get people to purchase. Also, make sure to plan out what discount your company can afford to offer. If your company decides to offer free shipping, but the shipping costs will eat into your profit too greatly, consider offering free shipping with a minimum a purchase amount. For example, free shipping on orders over $50. It’s good to offer incentives, but make sure the incentive will not hurt your profits. Next, start working on your ads

Tip 3. Make sure ads are Holiday Related
Ads are a crucial part of your holiday campaign strategy. They determine if people will click on them and get to your website. Include “holidays” in your ad copy. For example: “Big Thanksgiving Sale”, “25% Off Christmas Sale”, “Celebrate Hanukkah Sale”. This signals to the searcher that these sales are for a limited time. Why? The searcher knows that a Thanksgiving Sale will not be running until Christmas. It may cause the searcher to think, if they don’t act now, they might miss out on the holiday sale. If your business is doing banner ads, make sure they have the right holiday theme. Don’t run ads with pilgrims and turkeys in the background with ad copy that says, “Enjoy Our Christmas Sale.” By the same token, a generic background may not signal to the customer that this sale is related to an upcoming holiday.

Tip 4. Bid on Holiday Keywords
In keeping in sync with holiday related ads, your business should include holiday search terms. If your business sells jewelry and is targeting the Christmas holiday, consider bidding on keywords like “jewelry for Christmas”, “Christmas jewelry gift” “Christmas jewelry sale,”etc. Keywords that are holiday related can help drive potential buyers to your site.
Once the keywords are in place, think about your landing page.

Tip 5. Landing Pages that Reflect Holiday Incentives
Landing pages are one of the final steps in getting a customer to purchase your product or fill out a lead form. The page that a visitor lands on once they click on your ad is called a landing page. Make sure your landing page lines up with the messaging in your ads. If your company is offering 20% off in the ad copy, the landing page needs to mention 20% off. It can be frustrating to a customer to click on an ad that offers 20% off, but end up going to a page that doesn’t even mention the discount. How can they be sure they’ll receive the discount? Furthermore, is it worth their time to find something they like, hoping that when they get to the shopping cart page the 20% off offer will be there? Think about it. 

The holidays are a great time to reach many new customers. By following the five tips above, a business can rest assured that they are on the right path to having a successful holiday campaign.

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