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Dec

05

2014

Inbound Marketing Tips for Holiday eCommerce

Inbound Marketing

In all areas of life, you can't beat a solid plan - and nowhere is this more true than in the world of inbound marketing. We're in the time of year that will make a massive difference in the bottom line of any ecommerce site - so planning is more crucial now than ever.

Any inbound marketing manager can approach this time of year in one of two ways:

  1. Fly by the seat of their pants and perform a shock-and-awe campaign on the members of their email list which will bowl them over/wear them down to the point where they just have to click over - at least in theory.
  2. Create a well thought-out campaign which relies on the performance of holiday campaigns past, tweaking where necessary and providing the sort of personalized communication combined with massive value that yields profitable results.

Which will be your choice?

Between Cyber Monday and Black Friday ads being "leaked" earlier every year, it's clear that an ever-growing number of consumers are turning to the web for holiday shopping. In fact, according to Adobe Digital Index, 2013's Cyber Monday brought in $2.29 billion and was up 16% year-over-year. Cash in on your share of the wealth by keeping these inbound marketing management tips in mind when crafting holiday marketing campaigns:

Personalize your communications

Let's face it: The members of your email list are likely going to be deluged in the coming weeks by any ecommerce site they've ever ordered from. The notion of being just one in a sea of names is daunting. This is why it's crucial to remember that everyone reading your communications is an actual person - which can be easy to forget in the quest for clicks and conversions.

Segment your emails by past activity or engagement in order to provide more focused, personalized emails which will resonate more strongly with their recipients by not only presenting them with what they're most interested in, but by making them feel like valued customers whose preferences actually matter.

Show some love

You're grateful for the support of your customers throughout the year, and now's the time to show it. 'Tis the season for savings, so offer your customers some by sending them a promotion and reinforcing the fact that you're doing so out of gratitude.

And when it comes to converting leads, it's promotions to the rescue once again. Be creative; test shipping specials or tie two or more related products into a bundle. Remember that your presence in someone's inbox is a valuable thing. So even if a prospect hasn't made a purchase yet, be sure to let them know you appreciate their time.

Stay on top of metrics

A critical part of inbound marketing management lies in analyzing your metrics. Take some time to look back at last year's holiday marketing efforts. Pay special attention to your open and clickthrough rates. How many resulted in transactions and what were the average order values? What was the average revenue per email?

Also, keep an eye out for the level of engagement your audience exhibits based upon the time of day and days of the week. Generally, evenings and weekends provide the best open and clickthrough rates, but this could change per audience. A little testing should provide great insight.

After scheduling this year's inbound marketing, make it a point to monitor these metrics as emails are sent out, and apply your insights to next year's campaigns.

The holidays are no time to be lazy with your inbound marketing management - in fact, it's the time to be at your sharpest. But a little advance planning, starting now, should translate to happy holidays for you and your business.

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