As we welcome the month of November, retailers across the country have already started gearing up for the shopping frenzy, which will only continue to accelerate into December.
As holidays drive Black Friday, Cyber Monday and day-after Christmas shopping events, this season is the one of the busiest and most lucrative times of the year.
While it is common for retailers to slash prices and for consumers to expect sales during the holidays, the act of discounting may be less advantageous to sales strategies than one would think. Rather than offering up a sleigh of deals, follow the tips below to keep consumers merry this season and effectively sell without sales.
Let Curated Content be the Shining Star
Marketers have heard it time and time again, but "content is king." This is especially relevant when crafting a successful holiday marketing campaign. It is crucial to remember discounts are just one way to attract a customer's attention, but what they truly seek is value.
Rather than offering a promotion, marketers should focus on creating content that brings non-monetary value to a customer. For example, if a marketer looks at past purchases and knows a specific consumer purchased an item such as an iPhone or Xbox last year, delivering an email this year suggesting a complementary accessory or the latest version of this item is a much more assistive way of communicating with a customer.
This approach to curated content delivers a pertinent and serviceable element to customers as opposed to "spray and pray" sales promotions discounting items likely not relevant to the consumer.
Offer a Seasonal Sneak Peek
What makes the holidays so special is the fact they only come around once a year. That said, it never hurts to build excitement and start celebrating a bit early. A great way to pique subscribers' interest is by offering a limited edition product or service ahead of time, as this marketing strategy provides a sense of urgency to purchase.
While this strategy does not have to entail dropping prices, language such as "limited edition" and "holiday offer" usually do a great deal to incentivize consumers to purchase right away.
Create emails offering a sneak peek into this year's hottest item, then open a window for subscribers to purchase this year's "must have" present early. Focusing on the exclusivity of an item is a great way to attract attention without a discount and still drive sales.
Tie Email Marketing and Social Media Together with a Bow
The most successful brands this holiday season will be the ones able to integrate all branches of their marketing together to create a memorable customer experience. In fact, when leveraged correctly, social media and email marketing can have a synergistic relationship with brands by enabling social media to drive email subscriptions and emails to bring more followers to social channels. Additionally, this approach allows brands to meet users across various touchpoints on the path to purchase.
Marketers can start by cross-promoting campaigns and building social icons into emails. This allows customers to access pages with just a few clicks while checking email. Focus on bringing as much value as possible to the consumer by showcasing holiday goods across platforms, providing additional information on products on both email and social channels and offering customers a way to connect with brands across multiple touchpoints.
Discounts and sales are not the only means to a successful holiday season, and while price tag markdowns, sales promotions and vouchers may have dominated holiday campaigns in the past, the tide is changing. These days, price conscious customers are far from "penny wise, dollar foolish;" they want to receive value in brand messaging in the form of personalization, seamless interactions and brand loyalty.
By focusing on strong content, limited edition items and social media integration, retailers can certainly expect to sell without sales this season.
About the Author EJ McGowan, general manager of
Campaigner, has more than 25 years of experience in the software industry with expertise in building highly available, scalable SaaS-based solutions.
EJ McGowan, VP of Engineering for Glance Networks and Founder of Carpe Diem Software, is a highly experienced software professional with a career spanning over three decades. With a background in mini-computing and experience building major applications for microcomputers, EJ has a unique perspective on the evolution of technology. He was the architect for one of the first SaaS applications and now focuses on creating scalable and highly available applications for the on-demand marketplace. With a successful track record in building and leading development organizations and sales and marketing teams, EJ is a valuable asset in the software industry.