Want more customers over the holidays?
I don’t need to unload stats on you. You already know the holiday season is (for most companies) the best sales period of the entire year.
But do you know how to capitalize on it?
In today’s article, I’m going to show you seven Christmas marketing ideas to make more sales this holiday season.
The first Christmas marketing idea I have for you is simple: Design.
A holiday flair on your online store can get you into the spirit of Christmas and show off your sales.
If you want to get into the holiday spirit, I’ve got three ways to do it.
Even an occasional Google user has seen that they change their logo to match the season.
You can do the same thing! It’s easy — just hire someone on Fiverr to recreate your logo with Christmas or general holiday elements like:
Hot chocolate (my favorite)
Here are a couple examples…
Canva is an amazing free graphic design tool for non-designers. It’s a drag-and-drop what-you-see-is-what-you-get design tool!
To make a Christmas themed banner, first create a design with the custom dimensions of 800 x 300 pixels. Once you’re in the editor, go to the Templates section, search for Christmas, and pick a theme you like.
Now just change up the text to whatever you want it to say — including your discount code or pictures of your products — and download it. Easy!
Finally, to prep your store for Christmas, consider changing your fonts to some of the following:[*]
Now — to some more tactical Christmas marketing ideas!
Everyone likes a good deal. Rather than giving out insane discounts to compete, try creating product gift bundles instead.
Not only will this help you give your customers a deal without cutting too deep into your profit margin, it also helps you increase your average order value. You can get your customers to buy more than they were originally planning to.
Let’s say you sell standing desks. You probably get a lot of customers looking to buy someone (or themselves) a standing desk for Christmas.
But you know that standing for a long time can be a bit draining. So you also sell stools that match the standing desk, standing mats to help your customers feel less fatigued, matching filing cabinets — you get the idea.
Rather than giving a strict percent discount on your standing desks, you can offer all these items for less in your Christmas bundle!
GameStop is a master of this:
Not sure what products to bundle? Here are two options:
Create a bundle that makes sense. Accessories that go with a main product or refills for something consumable, for example.
Combine your best sellers. Check your analytics to see your 2-5 best-selling products and put them all in one package.
If you don’t know how to offer bundles on your store, here are a few plugins/apps for the major store builders:
Shopify: Product Bundles by Bold, Bundle Products by Thimatic
WooCommerce: WooCommerce Product Bundles
Magento: Magento Product Bundled Discount Extension
Bigcommerce: Built-in (Go to Products › Product Options to get started)
Once you’ve built one bundle, consider creating more and doing a “12 days of Christmas” deal. Reveal a new bundle each day. This will keep people coming back to your store (or opening your emails) to see the deals.
Done? Good. Moving on!
This is hands-down my FAVORITE marketing idea on this list.
Why? Because content is the backbone of long-term growth.
You can create a search-optimized Christmas gift guide focused on a Christmas keyword, get this guide to rank through link building, then update it every year for continuous, free ROI.
For example, we recently wrote a guide to camping gifts for people who love to camp and hike.[*]
These buyers guides have the potential to bring you hundreds, if not thousands of visitors searching using purchase-intent keywords. People searching for “gift ideas for campers” are looking to buy something.
Here’s how it’s done:
Start by searching “gift ideas for [your niche here]” or “[your niche here] gift ideas”.
Grab the first URL that’s a gift guide (skip any URLs just linking to homepages). Copy-paste it into Ahrefs (you can get a seven-day trial for $7). Then click the “Organic Keywords” section.
Now you’ll see all the keywords that URL ranks for. Find the highest-volume keyword they get traffic from and use that as your primary keyword.
In this case, we have “gifts for dog lovers”. So I would literally call this article “50 Best Gifts For Dog Lovers (Satisfaction Guaranteed!)”
Pro Tip: The reason I added the parentheses (Satisfaction Guaranteed) is that this helps the meta title stand out in the search results, which has helped me get more clicks and bump up my rankings.
Now create the article, being sure to follow SEO best practices. Include the keyword in the:
Meta title and description
Image alt text
A few times in the content itself
Finally, once you publish the article, your work isn’t over. You still need to build links and promote your article to get it to rank.
This means sharing it on social media (more than once), emailing other bloggers in your niche to tell them about it (and hopefully they share and link to it), and writing guest posts for other blogs with a link back to the article, just to name a few.
Pro Tip: You can also write gift guides NOT centered on SEO just as a way to guide your customers to the right gifts. For example, Macy's created gift guides for “him”, “her”, “teens”, “kids”, etc.
Remember — ranking takes time. So get writing ASAP!
We can’t talk about marketing without mentioning ads.
Just like you want to write content to target gift keywords, you’ll want to switch up your keyword budget to bid on gift keywords and other seasonal keywords.
For example, “home decor” (the red line below) gets searches all year long. But “Christmas home decor” peaks, obviously, in the last week of November.
It may seem like common sense, but it can be easy to forget to add these seasonal keywords to your ad campaigns — or even swap your budget entirely to them during the peak season.
Consider running those seasonal keywords to point to your new gift guides instead of directly to product pages. It’s possible this will have a lower CPC and more clicks!
Pro Tip: As always with PPC campaigns, make sure you test before you commit. For all you know, you could lose money on the seasonal keywords because they may be more competitive. Test it. If it works, great. If not, go back to what you were doing before or test something else.
You may or may not already be offering gift cards on your store. If you’re not, you should — they make great Christmas gifts!
Think about it. You have loads of products on your site. Your visitors might not know what size the person they’re buying for wears, or which color they want, or which model… you get the idea.
The solution? Rather than losing them to a competitor due to uncertainty, offer them gift cards!
Here’s an example of how gift cards are sent on Shopify:
Here are guides on how to set up gift cards:
While physical gift cards are usually preferred (since that gives your customers something to physically give to someone on Christmas), you can also use coupon codes and tell them to write them down if you’re not able to go the physical route.
Pro Tip: You can advertise gift cards as last-minute gifts for people who don’t have time to wait for shipping! Simply create a pop up on your store advertising your gift card (which is sent via email instantly) on the last 3-4 days leading up to Christmas. You can do this with Sumo’s Grow Email List Shortcut. Set it up on your store now in preparation for Christmas by clicking the button below.
Look — free shipping is becoming a necessity these days.
With stores like Amazon offering free two-day and even next-day shipping for their customers, if you want to stay competitive, you have to join in. According to Greg MacDonald, the founder and CEO of Bathorium (plus, Enterprise Success Manager at Shopify), “Customers today expect free shipping and a fast turnaround. We knew 7-10 business days to reach the destination wouldn’t fly — especially around the holidays.” [*]
If you’re worried about losing money, you have two options:
Test, test, test. I could be completely wrong about free shipping being a great marketing idea for your specific store/niche, but you’ll never know unless you test it. You have to try it, see how it goes, then make a decision based on YOUR specific data.
Free shipping can get people in the door, then you can use the other Christmas marketing ideas on this list (like product bundling) to increase your average order value enough to make it worth it!
Lastly, when thinking through your shipping strategy for the holidays, you need to be prepared to meet the influx of orders from your marketing successes. Earlier this year, Bathorium sold 12,000 units across 4,800 orders on a single day. [*]
By preparing their internal team and third-party logistics provider (ShipBob), they were able to fulfill and deliver all orders within 72 hours. To provide the best end-to-end customer experience and acquire the word-of-mouth reputation that all brands strive for, you need to plan for unforeseen success spikes such as this.
Just because Christmas is over, doesn’t mean people aren’t still looking for deals.
“Santa didn’t get you what you wanted? That’s OK — here’s one last deal so you can buy it for yourself!”
People are usually content and relaxing at this time, which means they’re passing the time on their phones, just waiting for something interesting (like your sale) to come their way. Here’s one example from Watson’s:[*]
This is also a great period to push any leftover inventory you didn’t sell during the holiday season (if you hold your own inventory). Create some steep discounts that entice people to open their wallets one last time before their New Year’s resolutions.
There you have it — seven Christmas marketing ideas to ramp up your ecommerce sales this holiday season.
But if you’re itching for more, click the button below to get seven more Christmas marketing ideas (like piggybacking on other people’s gift guides)!
Christmas is coming. Is your store prepared?