It’s October. That means you are entering one of the most important seasons for marketing your e-commerce site. Now is the time to start promoting and preparing for Cyber Monday. If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry. You can still get moving on the things you’ll need to see success come November 28th. Let’s take a look at the things you’ll need to do to make it happen on the quick. We’ve tried to organize things in two-stints:
Things to Do Right Now
Yes, time is of the essence. Where should you start? It can be overwhelming, so let’s start with a bite-sized set of suggestions to get you rolling.
Plan Your Deals
Take a look at your products. Which ones are most popular? Which ones have the most margin? Which ones might have limited supplies? Before you start figuring out which deals to offer, it’s a good idea to determine which ones are going to have the biggest impact on your bottom line and lead to long-term and repeat customers. It’s also good to make sure offering the deals is not going to cost you more money than you expect to make over the long run.
Identify Your Target Customers
Once you know what your deals are going to be, it’s time to figure out how you are going to get in touch with the right customers for those products! Who are the main users of those products? What media works best for advertising to them? What is it they use the product for and what message will most set your product as the right solution for them? How can you make all of that even more exciting, so they are going to buy when they see the offer?
Things to Do 6 Weeks Ahead
OK. You have the ball rolling. What’s next? Let’s start by getting the word out and trying to cultivate some special connections with your most likely buyers.
Start your Promotional Campaigns
You know who your target customers are. You know what deals you’re going to offer on which products. You know which channels will put your deals in front of the target customers. Time to get moving! Buy those ads! Make the social media posts! Send the offer or the teaser out on the mailing list segment that targets them.
Offer VIP / Early Bird Signups
Want to make someone feel special? Have a limited inventory of promoted products? Why not offer VIP treatment to people for signing up in advance? You can create a sense of urgency and make someone feel special if they get first crack at a promotional price. If you want, you can even make the deal a bit sweeter for them as a VIP. What do you get from it? In addition to a customer who feels special, you also get a way to continue to reach out to them throughout the year once they’ve signed on to be a special customer.
Review Your Website
Now is the time to get to work on updates. Start building pages for new products. Start testing for performance bottlenecks and fix them. It could all take a fair amount of time, so starting 6 weeks ahead is really the bare minimum for getting started on these things.
Ready to get Started?
Things to Do 4 Weeks Ahead
You probably have piqued the interest during the previous 2 weeks. Time to start thinking about how to move prospects from interested to sold.
Send Reminder Messages
It is going to take several communications to truly reach your target customers. This is a chance to sign up more VIPs and mailing list subscribers. Tease the big savings and direct people to the landing pages to sign up so they will get access to the deals. Try a new round of ads to test different messages and see how they performed relative to your first promotions.
Publish Blog Articles
You know your product is good. You’ve started promoting it which is great to help make people curious. Now you have a good chance to sell them on it. Since they’ve already heard about your product, you can really start to go into detail about how it will help them. A blog article will let you share user testimonials, describe use-cases, brag about how it works better than the competition, and focus buyer attention on the benefits, not just the features.
Things to Do 2 Weeks Ahead
Starting to enter crunch time. Let’s turn up the urgency and get customers to start buying ahead of Cyber Monday!
Review and Adjust, but Keep Promoting
By now you have some good data to work with. You have at least two sets of messaging you can compare. How many signups came from each type? Which is working better? You also have an idea of how many customers are interested in buying. You can use that! Talk about how much of the limited supply is left and get more people to sign-up for the pre-sale to avoid missing out!
Start Preview Deals for VIPs
Now’s also the time to open up the pre-sales. You can watch the response from this to get a sense of how well demand has been impacted by the offers. Perhaps that changes the deal you plan to offer publicly come Cyber Monday!
Update the Site
Last minute patches? Get them in place. New product pages? Get them finalized and staged. Performance tweaks? Wrap them up. You don’t want to be working on these things over the weekend before the big day.
Things to Do on Cyber Monday
These steps might actually be better to start the Friday before in some cases. Either way, the day is here. Let’s focus on execution.
Check Your Storefront
This may seem like an assumed step. Of course, you want to make sure your storefront is working! How about taking steps to handle the possibility of a problem? Make sure your site is backed up. Freeze any and all updates (especially any auto-updates that might run while the store needs to be online). Everything that needed to be ready should have been done in the previous two-week segment to make sure the site is ready to run securely and efficiently.
Man the Support Lines
Do you have coverage in case the worst happens? Make sure you have the staff available and your IT department ready to jump on any problem that comes up. Site visitors will want immediate help if something is confusing, so don’t assume that they will wait for support.
Things to Do 2 Weeks After a Transaction
Two weeks after the sales, you have an opportunity to make customers even happier! Here are a few ideas.
Follow-Up With an Email
You have a great list of new customers. Now’s the time to keep them coming back! Many times, customers receive emails immediately asking them to give feedback or review a product. We suggest a different approach. Give them time to use the product and determine how well it’s working for them. We suggest this because if they haven’t used the product, you’re unlikely to get useful feedback about it! Also, asking later helps keep you top-of-mind by providing a new contact point.
Ask for Referrals and Reviews
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. This is especially true for reviews and referrals. Make it as easy as possible with links to the most important places for reviews (Google, Amazon, your own E-Commerce website). You may even consider incentives like coupons and discounts to encourage more people to take action!
Offer Deals on Related Items
So, they loved your product? Why not make it more attractive to upgrade? There are related items and support services you can offer to help customers get the most out of their purchases. Just a little nudge can make a big difference!