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Your Holiday Campaign Checklist

Posted on 11.01.2015

It’s that time of year again when retailers are counting on conversions to make up roughly 20 percent of their annual sales. 

The majority of them won’t rely on their good name or their past successes to get them sales, of course, as they will turn to a number of digital initiatives to generate traffic, buzz and revenue. Regardless of campaign – whether it’s on social, search or housed on a website – there are some items to check off before going live:

Does it include a prominent and relevant call-to-action (CTA)? Use contrast and exciting copy to encourage potential buyers to click. When it comes to relevancy, a CTA like "Learn More" could be improved with "Buy Now" if it's an ad or promotion for a specific product.

Will the user’s expectations be met when they click through? An ad, for example, should direct users to a similar-looking landing page with the same type of messaging and products available.

Is it mobile-friendly or responsive? There is a high probability that customers will at some point interact with a brand on their mobile devices this holiday season, make sure campaigns are catered to all customers regardless of device.

Is the copy legible? While ghost CTAs and animation effects may seem cool, they should never compromise the readability of a message. 

Do the links work? Check all links and then check them again from a different device.

Has someone else reviewed the campaign for errors? Have a peer read over messaging before hitting send or publish.

Will the results be trackable? Even print campaigns can have trackable elements (like a source-rich URL) to measure whether the marketing initiative was effective and should be replicated.

Is the message relevant to the person receiving it? For a social media campaign, for instance, there are plenty of targeting capabilities to ensure the right message gets to the right person (e.g. age, location, occupation, current customer, etc.).

Is the message relevant to the channel it’s being delivered on? While it's tempting to repurpose social media content on email and vice versa, people have different goals when interacting with a brand on different channels. Even a subtle change to the CTA, message length, imagery, etc., could make a big difference.

Are there other ways to repurpose this campaign? Speaking of, brands create plenty of content that can be used in multiple places. For example, a blog could become a slideshow, a video, etc. 

Are there supplementary actions the user can take? Once a user clicks through, can they only buy that particular product? If yes, they should be given more options, like related products, site search, etc. 

Will the user know what you are asking them to do? This goes back to a strong CTA. Don't let them guess about which action they should take.

Have start and stop dates been set? It's important for obvious reasons (e.g. frustrated users) to ensure promotions that have expired are no longer being run or promotions on products that are no longer available are pulled.

Is your website prepared to handle an influx of traffic? The best campaigns will burn in flames if a website is unavailable because of server-side issues

Is your customer service staff prepared to handle an influx of questions? Educating everyone about campaigns is a wise choice as customer service reps, for example, may have incoming questions they need to prepare for. 

Have you set delivery parameters (e.g. existing vs. returning customers)? There's nothing more annoying than receiving a campaign for an action you already took, a product you already bought or something else that makes it clear the company does not know who you are.

Does the campaign provide genuine value? With ad blocking software and consumers' attention becoming increasingly short and fragmented, brands need to actually solve a customer's problem, offer a promotion they could really use, etc. 

Does the message get to the point? Don't waste their time. Give all campaigns an edit to see if you're talking just to talk. 

Can any fluff words be eliminated? 

Does the campaign include the company logo? You'd be surprised to see how many campaigns have no mention of the company running them. Don't make this mistake. 

While there are many more considerations to make before launching a campaign, these are some of the top ones. Of course, different initiatives require a different set of rules. With retargeting, for example, marketers will want to use a burn pixel to ensure those who have already followed the CTA (e.g. subscribe, buy, join, etc.) do not receive the message again, whereas paid search campaigns should include ad extensions to make it easy for users to interact with. 


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