How to Use Giveaways to Skyrocket Holiday Sales

How to Use Giveaways to Skyrocket Holiday Sales

Are you looking for a way to dramatically increase and sales this holiday season? If so, you’re not alone. Brands across all industries know that this is the best time of the year to increase profits, with 30% of all annual sales occurring between November and December.

When Black Friday and Cyber Monday rolls around, everyone’s looking for the best deal. You can’t get a much better deal than free, right? With brand giveaways, you can get more people invested in your company, spread awareness, and increase engagement across all platforms.

The result? You’ll see a big boom in sales as more people discover your brand for the first time through this event. There’s a good chance that many of these people will come back to your site to make future purchases, which will drive sales for the coming year.

Building high-quality online contests ensure that you’ll bring in prospects that are more likely to buy your products or services. Now, we are going to show you how exactly to use giveaways to skyrocket holiday sales.

Let’s get started!

Understand Your Audience

Before you can host a successful giveaway, you have to take some time to understand your target audience. If you don’t know who you hope to reach with your event, you’re going to have a hard time securing more leads and sales.

Extensive customer research will help you build a strong foundation around your contest, which typically leads to more engagement across all platforms.

The best way to get to know your audience is by creating buyer personas that define your customer segments. For instance, an online pet store would likely start with two personas, one for cat owners and another for dog owners.

Both customer segments have unique interests, pain points, and needs when choosing a pet supply company. Creating personas that define these individuals will help you make smarter marketing and design choices when hosting your giveaway.

You can create your own user profiles by examining trends on your website, social media, and email marketing campaign.

Use the Right Tools

If you want to ensure a successful giveaway, we suggest getting all of the resources you need to quickly and easily host your event. RafflePress is an excellent WordPress plugin that gives business owners all of the tools they need to create fun, interactive, and highly effective contests.

We like the fact that you can use the software to create a landing page for your giveaway. In other words, when a user sees your promotion on social media and clicks through, they will get the chance to learn more about the product you’re offering and your business as a whole through your giveaway landing page.

There are plenty of other benefits to using RafflePress as your all-in-one giveaway tool. You can select winners, completely customize your contest design, allow for multiple entry methods (more on that later), and much, much more.

When you’re getting everything you need for the big event, it’s also worth looking into social media plugins for your website. Adding your social feed to your contest page can help keep users engaged, and you should regularly track engagement and conversions to get the most value from your giveaway.

Decide on the Giveaway Rules

Now that you understand your target audience and have the software you need, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll run your event. We suggest using a consistent rule set across all contests so you can accurately measure your results.

There are quite a few things you’ll need to consider, such as how people can participate. We suggest adding multiple ways for visitors to enter so you can build up as many platforms as possible while giving users a reason to engage with your brand.

Standard entry methods include:
– Subscribing to an email list
– Sharing the giveaway post
– Following your brand.
It’s possible to grow your email list, help your giveaway go viral, and boost social media followers with this strategy. Focus on creating concise calls to action, so subscribers know exactly what they need to do to enter.

You’ll also need to consider the prize you’re giving away. Depending on your goals, you can choose a popular product from your online store or something more accessible, like an Amazon gift card. If your goal is strictly to grow your following, the Amazon gift card is an excellent choice. However, a prize from your product catalog will ensure that more targeted consumers interact with your brand.

The last rule you should establish is the start and end date. We like running contests for about two weeks because that allows enough time for the post to grow, without consumers forgetting that they entered. Pick a start and end time and promote it throughout your website, email, and social media.

Build Awareness

The next step is to start building event awareness. You’re going to have a hard time picking up new entries if you don’t actively tell your audience about the giveaway.

Your first stop should be your social media channels. Over 3.81 billion people use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to buy products and interact with brands. When you promote your contest across these websites with an option to share for a chance to enter, you could experience viral growth overnight.

The key is to promote your contest on your page and in relevant groups. Facebook groups are jam-packed with different people interested in all industries. Look for people that are involved in your niche, and make sure they see your contest. Spreading awareness early will help you achieve the best results when the giveaway ends.

Don’t forget to include a timer on the event, so consumers know exactly how long they have to enter. Studies show that 60% of people make purchases due to fear of missing out, so you can expect comparable results when looking at users that are willing to enter a giveaway.

Another way to dramatically improve engagement is to send out a blast email to your subscribers to let them know that the contest is starting. Even if these folks are subscribed to your email list, the other actions to enter can significantly impact the visibility and interactions on your post.

Announce the Winner and Follow Up

After your holiday giveaway has run its course, it’s time to announce the winner, or winners, depending on how many prizes you’re giving away. Announce the winners on social media and thank everyone for participating.

But the contest benefits don’t end there. You can offer a discount to everyone who took part in the giveaway to use on your website. If you line up the end of your contest with a seasonal deal and give everyone a discount for more savings, you can expect a substantial bump in sales.

The key is to make sure you get the discounts out as soon as the event ends and put a time limit on how long the code is valid. This step will incentivize users to click through and take advantage of your seasonal offers before their deal expires.

Final Thoughts

Giveaways are an excellent way to grow your business all year long, but many marketing teams find more success with this strategy during the holiday season. People are looking for gifts for others and festive discounts that are bound to pop up during the last 2 months of the year.

If you’re getting off to a late start, don’t worry. You can quickly set up a contest in less than an hour if you have all of the right tools. Similarly, if you’re reading this after the holidays, don’t let that discourage you from adding this highly effective strategy to your marketing toolbelt.

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.

4 Insights to Attract More Customers During the 2020 Holiday Season

4 Insights to Attract More Customers During the 2020 Holiday Season

Amidst changing consumer preferences, new COVID-related safety measures, and supply-chain setbacks, many marketers are adapting their playbooks in preparation for an unprecedented holiday season. With the majority of consumers working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) events are bound to be unprecedented.

Big retailers are also closing brick and mortar locations to address public health concerns and to decrease overhead costs. As a result, the current climate is quite unpredictable and at times unsteady. How can brands cut through the noise ahead of the Holiday season to win big?

It’s important for advertisers and brands alike to take a close look at the recent consumer trends in order to properly pivot in order to have a successful Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday Season. Read on for key pre-Black Friday insights and findings.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Starts Early

Due to the unprecedented and sometimes chaotic nature of the global pandemic, it’s no surprise that consumers may feel overwhelmed or indecisive. A recent consumer report by Fluent revealed that 59% of consumers are unsure when or how they will conduct their holiday shopping.

Holiday shopping and black friday

This presents advertisers with a keen opportunity to help consumers make a holiday shopping plan. By making sure online offers and shopping experiences closely mimic in-person shopping experiences, advertisers can tap into consumers’ needs for a sense of normalcy and familiarity.

Further, many brands are launching their holiday and BFCM deals earlier this year. Walmart started promoting their annual Black Friday sale on the 4th of November. Some brands are even planning on continuing to have BFCM offers beyond the thanksgiving weekend as an incentive to get indecisive shoppers to engage.

This may be an advantageous tactic, especially because as we draw near to the holidays, shipping times are expected to increase because online orders have doubled during the pandemic — pre-Holiday season no less. As a brand, it’s important to be very vocal about shipping times. Having constant reminders on websites, in ads and on social media will help to ensure that consumers know when they need to place an order by to receive their delivery in time for the holidays. Recently, there’s also been a shift towards offering free expedited shipping, as opposed to just free standard shipping.

Was Amazon Prime Day Too Early?

Another big change this year was Amazon Prime Day. Amazon typically holds their annual 2-day savings event during the summer. This year however, they opted to have it in October.

According to Fluent’s consumer Pulse report, 22% of surveyed consumer didn’t shop this prime day. Prime day was likely too close to Black Friday to make it worth it for consumers who didn’t participate this year. These consumers are likely waiting for better deals, like the ones typically seen during BFCM. What does this mean for your brand? COVID-19 has led to individuals being placed on leave or furloughed. At this time, shoppers may be putting a greater emphasis on the value of offers and sales. As a result, there has been a recent shift towards deep discounting with some marketers promoting 70% off first-time purchases.

Amazon Prime Day

Another reason for the reduced Prime day participation could be that certain consumers could have been waiting to make up their mind. As we saw from Fluent’s findings, users may not know how to go about shopping this holiday season. This is an opportunity for advertisers to reduce friction and to remove barriers to entry. Making their holiday shopping as painless as possible is sure to be a strong motivator.

Lastly, those who did participate in this year’s Prime day savings event spent more than in previous years. This suggests that consumers who do have the means may be spending more online than ever before. There’s also been an uptick in ‘self-gifting’, likely as a result of restrictions and health guidelines and the impact they’ve had on people’s ‘self-care’ routines.

Mimic In-Person Shopping Where Possible

The pandemic has brought on quite a few unique shopping experiences. More than ever, there is an emphasis on Click and Collect, Buy Online Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup orders to ease tensions around shopping in stores. There is also a big emphasis on highlighting any changes that have been made to ensure in-store safety protocols.

Holiday shopping black friday

Where pickup or in-store shopping experiences aren’t possible, it’s important to make sure that online shopping experiences feel familiar and comfortable to shoppers.

This includes:

  1. Adding deep links to your emails, ads or app notifications and push notifications will make it easier for shoppers to find items they’re interested in.
  2. Adding a pop-up before users check out can entice users to grab a few more items like they would in a check-out aisle in stores.
  3. Offering ‘at-home kits’ for experiences users can no longer have in person (for example, a pre-cooked Thanksgiving meal or an at-home gel manicure set) can increase the bottom line by tapping into new audiences while filling a gap in the market caused by restrictions and closure.

If you’re pivoting, pivot with intention. This is a great time to do it!

Christmas Compassion – Give the Gift of Giving

Since a large number of people are concerned about savings, it’d be greatly advantageous for advertisers to lean into that; people are looking for help this year given that loads of folks have been affected by COVID-19. Any deal or offer that will lower a barrier to entry for shoppers will yield better results.

holiday gifting black friday

There has also been a shift recently where brands are leaning in to more philanthropic and ‘here to help’ messaging and offers to ease concerns around holiday spending and expensive items. Others are actually giving back (via their offers) to COVID relief initiatives, unemployment, or homelessness relief programs. There’s also a big focus on helping small and local businesses who may be struggling due to the pandemic.

Ensuring that messaging and collateral leverages these points where possible (and in a genuine way) is a great way to help consumers get through their gift lists while simultaneously giving back to the community.

Hit the Ground Running this Holiday Season

Given these insights, advertisers should aim to offer more aggressive deals, start Black Friday deals earlier and potentially after Thanksgiving to catch late buyers, and add ‘up-selling’ campaigns to their media plans to capture multi/big purchase consumers.

For more holiday shopping tips and tricks, make sure to watch Fluent’s latest webinar, Holiday Shopping Insights: Trends & Insights for Marketers.

If you are interested in taking your performance to the next level, let’s chat. We’re here to help!

eCommerce Tips for Increasing Holiday Sales

eCommerce Tips for Increasing Holiday Sales

As the “most wonderful time of the year” for online shopping and spending quickly approaches, if you have an online business then you are surely at the edge of your seat and waiting for the flood gates to open.

However, just having an ecommerce site doesn’t promise riches of any kind. As much as you may be preparing for the year end sales spike, millions of other sites and etailers are doing the same thing.

With Deliotte already forecasting a 9% jump in holiday sales this year, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you have all of your planning and marketing materials in check.

To help you in this never ending journey to continually break new sales records, I’m going to list some great highlights from Prestashop’s 2014 Ecommerce Holiday Planning Guide, which will be sure to get you thinking and tweaking ad campaigns with plenty of time to spare!

Important Shopping Dates You Need to Know

If you want to succeed with bringing in more traffic, customers and sales than ever before… you simply need to prepare for the days ahead, and we aren’t just talking about Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the week before Christmas.

While October is quite a mind blowing month for any Halloween based etailers, it’s also a great time to prepare for the huge activity to come in November and December. You can see a break down of many of the important dates and events to prepare for over the last 61 days of the year.

Important Holiday Shopping Dates

It’s also important not to forget about the first week of January when you can hit your audience for “New Years Resolutions” as well! Hint: This is when weight loss, financial and self improvement campaigns do best!

It’s All About the Holiday Marketing Baby!

There’s just something warm and fuzzy about the Holidays that gets everyone so happy and cheerful — even when they are spending a ton of money that they probably can’t afford to spend in the process.

This all comes into play when you look at the different types of marketing and ad campaigns that take place throughout the year. Happy commercials with holiday music playing, kids opening gifts and of course Christmas trees and winter snow… all wrapped nicely around your best selling products and specials.

Take a look at how popular brands like Old Navy and PetSmart bring that special holiday feeling to their site design every year.

Holiday Ad Creatives

But don’t forget… it’s not just web site designs and themes you need to be paying attention to — also think about email designs, landing pages, flyers, customer segmentation (gifts for girls/guys) and so much more. Each of these tweaks and methods can bring a nice boost to your holiday conversions and sales.

SEO, AdWords and Blogging

Many of us focus our efforts on important SEO and keywords throughout the year, but we also forget the importance of how SEO plays a part in holiday shopping as well.

You might be ranking on the first page of Google for your best selling products, but what happens when people start throwing words like “christmas gifts”,  “holiday shopping” and “free shipping” into the mix? Are you still even ranking?

Holiday Shoppers Spending Money

These are just some of the key points you should be thinking about when preparing for end of the year shopping.

The same applies for your Google Adwords campaigns. Throw out the slow performing default ad copies you are using and spruce them up with holiday keywords and promotions.

As for your blog… there’s never been a better time for you to come up with some quality content that really gets your audience engaging with and sharing your product pages. Everyone loves to share content about their favorite holidays… especially any useful lists and articles on how to save money during the holidays and best gift recommendations for friends and family.

Get creative and see what happens!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Ad Testing

There’s no doubt about it… running an online or offline business during the 4th quarter is extremely exciting and as a great time to really get creative with your ad campaigns. Millions of people are more willing to pull out there credit card and spend money than at any other point during the year.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the many different ways you can prepare your business for the holidays, but the free report from Prestashop goes into way more detail. At the end of the book you will also receive a holiday checklist to get your business in organized and on the right path for the massive online spending that is about to take place.