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5 Creative Ways to Use Marketing Automation this Holiday Season
By Alessandra Gyben
As Summer comes to an end, we move quickly into the holiday season. As business owners, marketers and sales professionals, we all have the same goal - to finish off the year with a bang. The holidays represent an opportunity for businesses to get a little more creative with their end of year strategies. This blog post is going to give 5 different and creative ways you can use marketing automation to better connect, engage, and convert website visitors into customers this holiday season.
Dive deeper into your data
Although this may not seem very ‘creative’ at first, using data for personalization is only limited to your imagination. Most of us probably use data regularly to personalize our marketing messages and lead nurturing emails, but more often than not, we are only using a small portion of that information in our efforts. The holidays, however, present an opportunity to dig deeper into your previously collected data and use it to hyper-personalize your offerings. Use different data sets than you normally do, such as location, weather, if they have kids or not, or other personal interests as a way to create more ‘holiday-friendly’ messaging. If they have kids, for example, you can use that data to showcase how your product/service might save them time over the holidays and how they’ll benefit with spending more time with their families. This may not be data you use regularly, but allows you to take a different, more ‘personal’ approach during this time of year.
Some things to think about when using data:
Use both online & offline efforts
The holidays are a time where you can use play with new ideas to really make yourself stand out from the competition. A simple, yet effective way to do so is by taking your efforts offline (especially if you haven’t already incorporated this tactic into your strategy). Create physical holiday cards or holiday promos to add an additional touch point in your customer journey. Using a platform like Postalytics that ties directly into your CRM, like GreenRope, can help you automate and personalize your holiday print marketing campaign. Plus, it will all be trackable within your CRM, so you can evaluate the effectiveness and whether it was worth the investment.
A few ideas:
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Send your audience on a holiday journey
Have a holiday promotion or special? Don’t just send out your message once and see what happens. Create an automated campaign/journey with multiple touch points based on your contacts’ actions and behaviors, this adds an extra personal touch. For example, did a contact not read the first message you sent? Send a follow up reminding them of this special offer. Keep in mind, you don’t want to repeat the first message again. There was a reason they didn’t open or click on it in the first place, so switch it up, get creative, and inspire action. Send your audience through a journey that tells a more personal story. The holidays are a time for friends and family so the ability to transmit that warm and fuzzy feeling through your holiday messaging can provoke a more emotional response, resulting in better engagement and higher conversion rates.
Try www.journeyflow.com to start making your own holiday journeys!
Revitalize old customer or leads
Holiday themed marketing efforts and seasonal promos often see higher engagement rates than your typical sales message. Use the season to reach out to older or cold leads and customers to see if you can reactivate them as prospects or upsell on past purchases. The end of the year is also a time where people start to think about Q1 and the New Year, so this may be the perfect time to re-establish yourself as a company of interest. Remember, stay away from the traditional sales email, send them through a journey and trigger touch points based on their behaviors and reactions to your messages. Also, I would recommend not sending them through the same journey you send your current leads as your messaging should be different for each segment.
Ideas to reactivate cold leads or upsell past customers:
Optimize your campaigns
Use your creativity and automation to optimize your holiday campaigns. Many of us probably do a lot of testing throughout the year, and the holiday season shouldn’t be any different. Test different variables in your messaging and send the messages that receive the best results. Remember, you can test any number of items, but make sure to test one element at a time, as that will offer more accurate insights into what variable made the greatest difference. For example, you can try testing layout or content, but not both. If you are using a system like GreenRope that has an easy to use built in campaign optimizer, you can test multiple versions of the same email to find out which holiday message spurs the greatest reaction. Then, send this winning email campaign to the rest of your group, segment or contact list. This is a chance for you to get creative, utilize data, and automate your efforts for optimal results.
Ideas to test:
The holidays are a busy time of year, so why not start early to get the most from the season? From the first day of Fall (September 22) until New Year’s eve, you want to make sure you are connecting with your customers. Yes, they are busy, but if you can somehow make their lives easier, either by providing them with the perfect solution in their Inbox or saving them money during this pretty ‘spendy’ season, you may just earn a customer for life.
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