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It was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunk tank an old man said to me, it’s time to get your store ready for the festive season. Here are our top five web design tips for the 2016 holiday season.

1. Add in Festive Branding

Instead of visiting various stores and hustling out the best offers around town, shoppers in 2016 will once again turn online for their purchases.  Your branding should always primarily represent the values and personality of your brand, but if you want to get your customer into the Christmas spirit, you have to change your branding slightly to reflect that the holiday season is coming.


To start, think of altering these elements and try to avoid just putting a santa hat on your logo. Be creative!


  • Background
  • Banners
  • Promo images
  • Logo Icons

Other elements to take into consideration, keep copy straight and to the point of what you are trying to promote. You might have some special holiday products you want to be seen… Tell that directly to the audience with simple but effective design. Try bold background colours and various playful typography styles.

 

 

2. Call To Actions on SALE

In some ways, that small button or single line of text can be the most important part of your sales page. When optimized correctly it is the final step to convincing those undecided customers to purchase. Call to actions (CTAs) deserve a lot more attention than they ever seem to get. Be sure to take the time to optimize your CTAs to gain the highest transactions during the festive season, here are a few tips to get you started...


  • Emphasize categories of importance

  • Use the colour red

  • Make sure the secondary colour is contrasting

  • Create urgencies on sale offers

  • Be specific with CTA copy

  • Use segmentation where possible on sale specifics


For example, messages such as: one day only, limited sales, special discounts, buy one get one free and holiday discounts are amongst the most popular deals. However, in order to bring the attention to the actual message, be sure to place the text on a background that is festive but not too distracting. Apply the original principle of font hierarchy too, by giving bigger font sizes to the CTA’s and discount value information.

 

3. Create Specific Landing Pages on Christmas Promotions

Creating specific landing pages from Christmas promotions is also a great idea, did you know that one third of people start their Christmas shopping in September? So now is definitely the time to start on these, as it can take Google several weeks before it will rank new content. You need to make sure your Christmas content is already listed and ranking well in Google, so from a SEO point of view, alone, it’s important not to leave publishing festive content till last minute.


Here are a few reasons why Christmas landing pages are a great idea:


  • Grabs the attention of Christmas shoppers instantly as it is specific and far more engaging

  • Bounce rates will lower as it will be far more engaging, allowing all sales to be maximized during the Christmas period

  • Landing pages allow you to group/highlight all your christmas specials together, to make the shopping exercise as straightforward as possible for customers

  • Christmas sale promotions can be used to help increase average basket value

  • Unify your Christmas proposition by bringing your content all together on the one page

  • Direct customers to your landing page through email marketing and online campaigns

  • Your Christmas landing pages will also help you SEO-wise, as it gives you more pages for the search engines therefore you can increase your rankings


Landing pages will ensure to a higher conversion rate over the christmas period. It’s a no brainer, start now or forever hold your pennies.

 

4. Festive Drip Campaign with Countdown included

This is massive one. You’ll notice all the big brands do it, so you should too. Your email marketing can be extremely powerful leading up to Christmas, as people are searching for different gift ideas for different people - not just honing in on the one item. This allows you the opportunity to upsell what you have. Did you know 43% of marketing experts say that email is a very important channel to generate additional sales during the Christmas period. Email affects at least 10% of the total holiday sales.


So where do you start? Well, first look what has and hasn’t worked for you in 2016 so far. Once you refine your knowledge you can start on the five phases of email marketing outlined below.

  1. Pre Holiday - This is where you send a little ‘hello, Christmas is coming - here is what we have…’ in November.

  2. Pre Weekend - The weekend where people buy the most from the drip campaign - so make it all about the PRE-SALES e.g pre holiday clearance sale.

  3. Countdown - From December it is on like donkey kong, it is ALL about Christmas. You really do have an excuse to send emails every day, but if you do want to take that approach, keep a good eye on your numbers and if they are actually working. Remember to segment your customers from the very beginning so you are delivering useful and relevant content.

  4. Christmas! - You made it! It is finally the big day.. This is your time to send thank you’s to your customers and wish them a very Merry Christmas. It is a wonderful opportunity to act human, not sell and make that connection with the customer.

  5. Aftermath - So we survived but there still is New Year's Eve to market towards, what to do with things you might want to return and how to spend all that money your grandparents gifted to you. In the aftermath, these are the issues we aim to solve.


5. Do a Christmas Copy Clean

Write holiday specific copy. Now that is easier said than done. Often marketers are fraught with stress on how to attack festive copy. Whether it’s a greetings card as a reminder to your customers that you are thinking of them or a themed drip campaign to show of all your great products, you are going to be spending A LOT of time mulling over the right words to use. So here are some helpful holiday ideas to keep your copy clean.


  1. Know your audience - create an avatar or if you are doing segmentation approach create various avatars and write to that persona each time. If you are unsure of how to create an writing avatar, read this.
  2. Don’t take on the world - whilst it is always great to be personal, don’t try too hard and take on your entire list. Personalised emails are great to an extent, but time is money and most people these days know everything is automated. Try and segment your list from the beginning and break down personalisation into categories rather than individuals.
  3. Play safe not silly - with copy, never, I repeat never be afraid to just play it safe… A simple ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ will do - often marketers (yes, me included) tend to overthink things. We analyze over word after word. Whereas most of the time, it should be ‘simple stupid’ no one has time to figure things out these days, so why make it harder for your beloved customers to understand? If in doubt, play it safe.

Final thoughts…

Christmas time is the big league, so in order to get your brand ready. You need to invest time into making the elements of your store more festive.


A company who follows the above tips will ensure they are in a better position than if they did not. Ensuring your campaign goes to the right customer, at the right time, with the correct offer during the peak sales period is vital to your success.

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About the Author

Jacinta is an Aussie export who manages growth at We Make Websites. After completing her studies, she focused on fashion full time and it wasn't long before her bags were packed and she was braving the streets of New York. From model to agent to creative director, she spent the next six years living in all the major US capitals. She is a swimmer by heart, a walker by nature and, most of all, an advocate for vegetables.