But this topic wasn’t easy. Just do a simple Internet search on this topic and the only advice you’ll find is to review how you did over the holiday season. While that’s a crucial step, it’s only the first step to turning things around this month.
That’s how I knew there was a need for this blog post.
If you threw all your money at YouTube ads with no results, you’ll need to hit the ground running this year. And that requires a lot of action over the next few weeks.
Some introspection is required before you start. Look over your sales data, define your target audience and review your brand before launching into campaign mode. Without knowing this, any action you do may be against your company’s needs.
So, what post-holiday marketing ideas can increase sales during the winter slump when your customers are likely broke from the holiday season? I have five ideas:
Hit the Road
I recently traveled to another (much warmer) state for a business trip. It wasn’t the best value to rent a car for the trip, but we needed transportation to and from the airport as well as to and from dinner.
It also wasn’t a city where it was easy to catch a taxi, so we hired a different rideshare driver for each trip.
If you’re still confused, think of companies like Uber, Lyft and Wingz.
Drivers for these ridesharing companies are locals who drive customers around in their own vehicles. And with a different driver each trip, we got to meet many exuberant personalities that not only knew the town like a local but also kept us laughing during the entire trip.
Most of these drivers weren’t full-time drivers. In fact, many drivers were also full-time businesspeople who wanted to promote their business venture, so they drove for a couple hours per week or per day.
We met an author promoting his upcoming books. We met an entrepreneur refining the smart device charger for vehicles. And we met a catering chef not afraid to travel across state for his next gig.
Often, the best marketing is word of mouth. So why not talk to your target audience in person?
I reviewed all the legalese for these ridesharing companies and not one says that you can’t market your business venture. It’s probably against policy to sell your product during the ride, so pass along a portable giveaway that encourages your passengers to take action towards purchasing your product or service after the ride, such as a QR code or business card. Drive around the parts of town that are common hangouts for your target audience to increase your chances of connecting with a future consumer.
Shoo Away Shopping Cart Snafus
If you sell your product or service on your website, you learned the harsh truth about online sales: Many potential customers start the purchasing process, but don’t complete it. In other words, they put the product or service into their online shopping cart, but they don’t complete the checkout process.
We call this cart abandonment.
You’re not alone. Recent research shows that the average shopping cart abandonment rate across all companies is around 69%.
That’s more than half!
While more than 58% report cart abandonment because the potential customer was “just browsing / not ready to buy,” there are other reasons that could be holding back your potential customer from purchasing from you, such as shipping costs, too slow of delivery, website crashing or the checkout process was too complicated.
But you can’t know there is a problem unless your potential customer tells you.
This is where an eCommerce cart abandonment tool can help. The right tool can show you how your potential customers interacts with your website and experiences your checkout process. Some even give your potential customer the opportunity to tell the company why they are abandoning their shopping cart in real time or set up targeted emails to encourage cart abandonment users to complete their purchase.
You could increase sales simply by making the online shopping experience friendlier for your customers!
I have my preference when it comes to eCommerce cart abandonment tools, but I won’t share it. Every company is different as is every eCommerce cart abandonment tool. Research your options and choose the best one that fits your company needs and price.
Send Some Love to Your Fans
We’ve all heard this before: It’s easier to keep selling to a current customer than a new one.
But numbers are more persuasive than words. And when loyal customers usually spend 31% more than new customers—and are 70% more likely to buy again—it makes sense (and cents) to nurture that connection.
Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time to send out your thank you cards. Don’t you think your customers deserve some thanks?
Send out a thank you card, be it in print or by email, to all those that purchased from you over the holiday season. Even if they are not likely to make another purchase soon, this keeps your brand top of mind over your competitors.
You can also use this thank you as an opportunity to start a conversation with your loyal fans and new customers. If done tastefully, you can ask if/how the gift to another (or oneself) was enjoyed or invite them to take a short survey on the purchasing process.
Catch Up on Content
Over the holiday season, as well as the past year, you probably learned a lot about your customers. Now you know what questions they’ll ask before they ask and what challenges keep them from advancing to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
What if you could provide the answers or reassurance they need sooner? Because you can!
First, make a list of the most frequently asked questions you receive not just from your loyal buyers and potential customers but also questions asked by potential customers across the industry.
Next, make a list of the challenges that your customers face during all stages of the buyer’s journey before purchasing your product or service. How can you solve these challenges so that your customers aren’t held back?
Now, decide how to create content that’s most valuable to your customers, be it a FAQ webpage, blog post, white paper or infographic—just make sure it’s the right kind of content for your customers!
By creating content around these topics, you are not only creating more educated buyers but you are also creating a smoother purchasing process for both you and your consumer.
Talk It Out
A few years ago, marketers were pushing content marketing. This year, it’s podcasting.
But they have numbers to back them up. Over 35 million people listen to podcasts on a weekly basis with 79% of listeners streaming the podcast immediately.
That’s a lot of potential ears wanting to listen to you!
Of course, you can’t produce a podcast just about your specific product or service. But podcasting can be a great tool to earn trust, establish authority in the industry and discuss current trends or issues. You can also use this platform to talk through customer challenges or answer frequently asked questions.
Starting a podcast is relatively affordable. All you need is a good microphone, headphones, a pop filter (for those Bs and Ps) and a way to record your podcast session. The biggest investment is time because your listeners are less likely to return if you’re not producing a new podcast weekly.
If producing a podcast seems too big of a project to take on this year, consider other ways to get involved in the podcasting realm.
Advertise on a podcast relevant to your industry or of great interest to your target customers. Listeners normally don’t mind these ads because the pitch is read by the podcast host and cleverly woven into the current podcast topic.
If low on marketing dollars, try to build partnerships with current podcasters. If they invite you on as a guest to their podcast, that’s free marketing to potential customers who are interested in your expertise.