Next year's online holiday strategy begins now

Share this content:

Retailers that started offering online discounts and promotions early are better positioned to grab consumers' attention as more of them shop online and earlier for the holidays. Luckily there's still time to boost online marketing to make the most of this – and the next — holiday season in order to gain new customers and drive sales.

Below are three tips that marketers should consider when planning their online holiday retail strategies.

1) E-mail should be at the center of your strategy. The holiday marketing season starts way before the holidays, so it's best to begin building an e-mail database early. It takes time to build consumer trust, and marketers should work to do so throughout the year via relevant e-mails. Tiered promotions, giveaways and time-sensitive offers are a few options to consider when executing e-mail marketing campaigns during the year. Not only will such tactics help to build trust with consumers, but they will also deliver results. Since e-mail ROI is roughly $43.52, according to a recent Direct Marketing Association (DMA) report, this isn't a tip retail marketers should ignore.

2) Diversify your customer acquisition strategy. Customer acquisition should be more than just a search campaign, especially as online click fraud increases. One of our clients, PalmBeach Jewelry, for example, runs a variety of marketing programs and constantly evaluates which channels deliver the greatest number of new and qualified leads.

This holiday season PalmBeach Jewelry ran search engine campaigns and optimization programs on Google and Yahoo. The company also ran placements on shopping comparison engines and social networking sites. The strategy has paid off. Eighty percent of its traffic coming from comparison shopping engines consisted of first-time visitors. Sign-up ads, another tactic PalmBeach Jewelry has deployed, collected basic user information (such as an e-mail address) within an ad or on a publisher's site in a 100% opt-in and transparent way. These ads drove 100 sales in just three months.

3) Social is real. It's here. Use it. Social media can help retail marketers engage with consumers on a more personal level while still driving sales. The impact of a Facebook post about a brand is huge as it's the equivalent of a referral from a trusted source.

E-mail campaigns are a great way to extend the conversation or promotion about a brand from an inbox to a social networking page, especially after trust is built between a brand and the consumer. Major retailer Tommy Hilfiger (another client) found this tactic successful when shaping its digital strategy. It used e-mail to build a community of users on social networking sites, including its now nearly 700,000 “friends” on Facebook.

It's never too early to start planning your next online holiday retail strategy, so if you're too far beyond for 2010, take these steps now to prepare for 2011.

Zephrin Lasker is the cofounder and CEO of Pontiflex, an e-mail and social acquisition tech startup based in Brooklyn, NY.

close

Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above