It’s mid-September. That means you had better start marking your calendar with your upcoming Holiday business promotional activities — and duties! These are things every WordPress and eCommerce site owner needs to take into consideration from this day forward to be prepared for the upcoming Holiday Season.
Only 9 Sundays until Black Friday
Yikes! That puts this important time-frame into perspective doesn’t it? Remove a week for shipping time and you can easily see how you’ve got even less time than you may surmise. While I, like you, don’t like the idea of having to think about the Holidays before Halloween — I am — and so shall you!
It seems like the big box Christmas merchandising displays seem to be up earlier every year. But there is a reason for that. Watch all the big brands and know that they do not do anything without the data to back it up!
With all the noise online you’ve got to grab your customers attention! You need to start planting those gift idea seeds early — and often. Creating your promotional mailings and having them scheduled in advance is a sanity saver. This will help you to concentrate on implementing your promotions with accuracy — and less stress!
Yep, that clock is ticking…
Have an online eCommerce website or want to be able to promote online during the upcoming Holiday season? Starting your planning now is simply a wise business practice. To begin the process, get your calendar out and start your planning with:
- Drop-dead Order Dates
- Drop-dead Ship Dates and Providers
- Promotional Pricing Start and End dates
Are you going to include special Holiday handouts, brochures, giveaways in snail mailings and orders? How about cute little Holiday greeting card to include with orders? Instead of those computer printed gift messages create gift cards that you complete with your own hand writing. Now that’s a personal touch that makes a lasting impression!
Get all your creatives setup and orders in. I use VistaPrint for all this kind of stuff. Once your promo materials are in house that is one less thing for you to have to think about!
How about packaging materials, special wrappings, labels? Yep — order those now too! You’ll then have them in stock and ready to fill all those orders coming your way!
Creative Planning Can Make a Huge Difference
Buy online and avoid the hassle!
Setup specific promos and deals on your website so folks can avoid the crowds. We know the busiest days tend to be Black Friday – thru Cyber Monday. You could take a creative and unique approach in your marketing efforts by targeting the days to avoid the crowds and hassle.
While we don’t know yet which days those are going to be for this year, we can use last year’s stats as a guide to create our marketing strategy!
Last Year’s 10 Busiest Days
- Super Saturday, December 17
- Black Friday, November 25
- Friday, December 23
- Saturday, December 10
- Monday, December 26
- Sunday, December 18
- Saturday, December 24
- Thursday, December 22
- Wednesday, December 21
- Saturday, December 3
If you have a storefront use the “least busy” days to drive foot traffic!
Last Year’s 5 least busy days to shop
- Tuesday, November 29th
- Monday, November 28th (Cyber Monday)
- Wednesday, November 30th
- Thursday, December 1st
- Monday, December 5th
WordPress Holiday Site Planning Tips
Here is are a few things to think about and to add to your calendar for you to keep front and center as the Holidays approach:
- “Holidize” your site! While a total theme over-haul is not necessary, a creative Holiday accent here or there can reflect your attention to detail. This also gives the perception and that you are actively involved in your site. As an example, look at how Google creates date specific unique logos for special days. Simple, memorable and effective.
- Holiday Hours and Schedules: Be sure to note clearly in the most apropos and obvious location(s) on your WordPress site what your Holiday hours and schedule are. Are they extended? Are you closed and on what dates? Ensure your visitors are informed!
- eCommerce Sites: Have your drop-dead shipping dates and schedules prominently displayed where customers cannot miss them. At the top of your Shopping Cart page is recommended. This ensures folks can choose the mode of shipping that they desire. Do whatever you can to help visitors plan their orders so they are received on time for the Holidays.
- Holiday Specials: The Holidays give you the opportunity to tailor a promotion that fits your customers needs. Be sure to have a special sale just for current customers only to thank them for their loyalty and support. Plan out your promotions from start to end date, how, where and when you’ll announce them.
- Social Media Collateral: Every social site has slightly different sized graphic recommendations. Add to that we know posting to social sites once is not effective. You have to post multiple times/dates and … be social. Create all those graphics and text snippets in advance. Big time saver! [Check out Shopify’s article: 5 Awesome Black Friday Cyber Monday Social Media Campaigns You Can Steal]
- Editorial Calendar: Think about the stories and topics that you can write and Blog about that pertain to your product or service that are Holiday related. Shopping, saving, wrapping, organizing, checklists, “Top 10” gift lists, “How To” PDFs or articles that assist your target market in some way during the Holidays. Accentuate your expertise and ability to make their life easier. That’s what sells! By planning ahead and writing now when you have some free time here or there, you can avoid some of that hectic stress thing that takes over our lives around the Holidays.
One of the many neato things about WordPress is you can craft posts in advance and schedule them to go live at a future date! Use the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin to help you plan your Holiday blog posts.
- Newsletter and Email Blasts: Plan the specific dates, text, images and designs to announce your Holiday promotional activities — and gift buying “reminders”. You can automate this process with AWeber. Try to also offer useful and valuable information peppered with your specials and Holiday promos. We never send out excessive hypey-sales-pitchy mailings of no value now, do we?
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!
~ Benjamin Franklin
Yes, fall is not yet here. Keep the above issues in mind and do yourself a favor by starting to think and plan now. Doing so will help in offering a hassle free experience during the Holiday Seasons ahead (and a few less gray hairs for you).
At your service,
P.S. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Read my full Affiliate Disclosure Statement here.