Christmas in July? Pleeaaazzzeee…

By Scott

Every July for the last 13 years i’ve had the same “brilliant” idea.

It usually goes something like this…

Me: Let’s launch a “Christmas in July” campaign. Our goal will be to help online merchants realize that the investments they make now could make or break their holiday season…

Nik: Makes sense. If they start now, their SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing campaigns will be likely to hit stride by Cyber Monday…

Dan: And they will be far along in their conversion test plan!

The best laid plans…

And each year, without fail, we start getting very busy in July before even having a chance to launch our “Christmas in July” campaign. We have yet to launch a proper Christmas in July marketing campaign in our 13 years in business, although we ARE currently planning a “Christmas in August” campaign this year!

I suppose it’s a good thing though… that so many of our clients (old and new) already prepare for their peak seasons well in advance. These merchants undestand that the early-bird often gets the worm, and we get to spend 100% of our time helping our clients to grow, rather than developing clever gimmicks.

For those of you who either don’t get the importance of preparing early for the fourth quarter (like… now), and/or for those of you who don’t think you have the time (like… everyone)…

Here are 5 “Should Haves” you might tell yourself when UPS and FedEx pick-up your last holiday shipment later this year:

1) I should have had my email marketing act together…

Competitor X really nailed it this year. Good thing I shopped their stores, I now know they customize their promotions to make them relevant and timely to their customers. I bet they got multiple orders from a lot of folks. Oh well, maybe i’ll do that next year.

2) I should have focussed on improving long-tail search results after the “May Day” update…

Thanks to the big-box stores and all of these niche shopping portals, Google barely pays any attention to my product pages. My traffic (and sales) from long-tail search terms have plummited. This is costing me money! I wish I addressed my site’s spiderability and content problems earlier.

3) I should have upgraded to revenue-based pay per click marketing management…

I can’t figure my competitors out. Competitor Y is all over the place with their bids. Sometimes they outbid me by 75%, and other keywords they seem to have missed completely. Either they have their heads in the sand, or they know something that I don’t. Too bad all I know is the cost-per-conversion of my keywords. What if they have more data? What if they manage their campaigns based on REAL Return On Ad Spend?

4) I should have gotten more customers to “like” us on FaceBook

Competitor Z has 50,000 fans on FaceBook and man, those fans are spreading the word like crazy… they love Competitor Z! It almost seems unfair. Everytime Competitor Z wants to promote a sale or recomend a product they have an audience that’s ready to engage. Next year i’m going to promote my FaceBook page to everyone… on the order confirmation page, in a follow-up email, and more!

5) I should have spent all of 2010 focussed on increasing my Conversion Rate!

WOW! I had 900,000 visitors to my site in the fourth quarter. But my conversion rate was only .75%, and 75% of shoppers who pressed my “add to cart” button left before completing the order. If only I had spend 2010 trying to get my conversion rate up, and reducing my cart abandonment, I could have increased sales without increasing my marketing budget. Maybe i’ll do some conversion testing next year.

My advice: Don’t make 2010 another “I should have…” year. It is not too late! Invest time over the next few weeks evaluating the various ways you can increase your revenue, your profit, and your ability to scale – and then prioritize those opportunities accordingly.

And while you are at it – become a fan of Exclusive Concepts on Facebook today!

P.S. We would love to hear the “Should Haves” that you would like to avoid this year! Please email them to Kelly (krose@exclusiveconcepts.com) and we’ll share the best ones on our blog. If you would like us to keep your name and store confidential just tell us in your email. If not, you may just get a link!

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare