Holiday Prep Checklist
This time of year, the days seem to fly by. If there’s even a spare minute it is taken up by something related to holiday planning or shopping. As business owners, we have to be prepared for the increase in demands on our business, as well as prepare for the way we’ll enjoy the holidays with our own families and friends.
Without setting up a schedule of marketing emails, site promotions, and ad campaign rollouts, it will be even more difficult to keep your communications flowing once the holiday season hits. Create a calendar and do as much early preparation of your marketing pieces as possible.
Schedule when you are going to send out your promotional emails, and when you need to communicate with your customers about their last day to order to guarantee arrival by Christmas or New Year’s. Schedule an email blast to let people know you are participating in Free Shipping Day. Put Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) on the calendar, and schedule an email blast letting your customers know what promos you have. Schedule promos for Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving), which has turned into one of the biggest online sales days of the year.
Social media: Schedule yourself and your staff to be a bit more active on social media. This is the time of year that people are not only shopping more online but they're buying more, too. Keep yourselves on their minds with engaging, useful posts and promos.
Dress up your site: Make sure your messaging and holiday promos and engagement are noted on your home page and throughout your site.
Shipping policy: Make sure your shipping policy is clear on your order page and on any emails that go out to the customer.
Example of a holiday prep checklist: Setting up a calendar of important dates to remember can help you manage the flow of demands this time of year. Google has a free calendar that anyone can access from the web provided they have a Gmail account. You can set up notifications to come to your Gmail address so you never miss an important day. Google also has sharing features so that everyone on your staff can view and edit the calendar.
Nov. 23: Add holiday shopping messages to your home page
Nov. 25: Revise and clarify shipping information if necessary
Nov. 26: Email #1: Alert customers to a sale
Nov. 28: Email #2: Highlight interesting items in the sale, Remind customers that Monday is Cyber Monday (traditional online shopping day) and that you will have great deals and mobile-only deals
Nov. 30: Email #3: Invite customers to your site to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals
Dec. 3: Thank everyone for their interest and tease for upcoming winter holiday sales
Dec. 4: Add holiday shopping messages to your home page
Dec. 10: Email #1: Alert customers to Free Shipping Day (mid-December, varies year-to-year)
Dec. 14: Email #2: Remind customers about the last day you can guarantee shipping arrival by Christmas
Mid Dec. : Email #3: Remind people that today is Free Shipping Day (on the specific day, varies year-to-year)
Dec. 21: Email #4: Invite customers to your site to take advantage of last-minute or mobile-only deals
Dec. 24: Email #5: Remind people that the sale is ending
This idea is just the same as when you prepare a big Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. The more you can plan and prepare ahead of time, the more you can relax and enjoy yourself, or expend energy on the truly unexpected things that come up, rather than just the day-to-day tasks. Hopefully, a little bit more preparation will make the holiday shopping season a more profitable one!
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