Three Effective Ways to Boost Holiday Sales From Your Website

As we start to make our way through the month of December, the holiday season is in full swing. As consumers, we're inundated with an overload of marketed content hoping to capture our interests (and wallets) as we do our holiday shopping. On the other end of the spectrum, brands everywhere are implementing their best tactics to make sure they reach their target audiences.

This overload of holiday marketing makes for a competitive environment during a time of year when ROI and improving your bottom line is incredibly important to businesses. In the past, often during the most impactful times of year for online retailers, we've seen some major websites have glitches and some even go down completely due to the massive uptick in users shopping online. For mid-sized businesses, this time of year can seem very intimidating when it comes to having an effective online presence. It can be difficult to find the right edge to make your brand stand out amongst other companies also fighting for the attention of the customer.

That being said, time and time again, the most successful companies seem to have one thing in common--they focus on optimizing their online user experience to provide as much relevant value as possible. Business leaders should focus on the needs of their audience and how their company can fulfil those needs most efficiently. If done correctly, aside from generating significant growth for the brand, they'll also be able to garner long-term customer loyalty.

It's not too late to create a real connection with your users this holiday season. Consider the following three tactics that are sure to help your company capture the interest of users and help you boost sales generated from your website before the year is over.

Email Marketing
Email marketing is an excellent choice when it comes to reinforcing your brand's value with customers that have expressed interest in your products or services. A recent eMarketer study found that digital retailers find email as the leading tactic that produces the highest ROI. It's incredibly crucial to integrate email marketing campaigns as a way to reach your audience directly.

During this festive time of year, most brands are looking to highlight exclusive offers, unique promotions, or special discounts to increase the likelihood of generating sales, and email is undoubtedly one of the best options to successfully do so. Aside from using best practices with email marketing, it's crucial that you link to the specific landing page on your website so that users cross over from one platform to the next. If you're showcasing a deal on certain products, encourage users to click through to your website by including a compelling call-to-action and then taking them to the product page those goods can be found on. Bringing the user as close as possible to the point of conversion will drastically increase the likelihood of a sale.

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Including email marketing in your overall business plan this time of year isn't incredibly difficult to do. There are a plethora of tools available in the industry that make the process of email creation and dissemination simple to do. Programs like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and SendGrid offer value to businesses of all industries and sizes, making it quite easy to connect with users in their inboxes. Further enhance your emails by segmenting your lists by factors like demographic or interests, in order to provide an incredibly relevant experience with content tailored to each sub-group within your audience.

Homepage Design
Nearly all users that want to learn more about your company, your products, or your services will check your website first. During this popular gift-giving season, the special holiday offers that you want to promote should be highlighted on your homepage so that during an initial visit to your website users see these deals immediately and have a chance to further engage with them.

Every business should be taking the necessary steps to create both a mobile and desktop design for their homepage that is tailored to attract holiday shoppers and can lead them to relevant pages where they can learn more about unique offerings, gift ideas, and any deals that are for a small amount of time. Hiding these promotions in deeper pages or sub-sections of your site is a common mistake that a lot of brands make, and unfortunately, it can be a costly one. A lot of users won't check other pages and thus you miss out on the opportunity to facilitate a conversion, simply because they didn't know this deal existed.

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Like any strong website design, your holiday-centric homepage should have a clean look and feel to it--aesthetics should be vibrant and cheerful, but should never take away from usability. Keep messaging concise and easy for the user to digest, and use large text to ensure that you can easily read the content itself.

Most importantly, to keep potential customers in your buyer funnel, allowing you to continue marketing efforts towards them during this competitive time, have a sign-up for your newsletter or email lists on the homepage. Offer an incentive for signing up aside from the high-quality and valuable content they will receive. Exclusive discounts or early access to products are likely to spark the interest of those with purchasing power.

Social Media Promotions
Given the immense growth of social media as a platform, having a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram is essential. For both businesses and individuals, social media has become a premium outlet for sharing both content and information, as well as discovering the value a company may possess. Whatever your holiday promotions are they absolutely should be posted on social media and link back to your website so that you can drive traffic to the page where a purchase can actually be made.

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To further improve the reach of your social media posts, you want to focus on creating content for these platforms that will naturally resonate well with users and be something that they want to share on their own profiles. Posts with images always perform better than those that lack a visual, so for starters incorporate imagery into all of your seasonal posts. Content that contains statistics, or posts in the form of an infographic are known for being highly "shareable" because they provide an obvious value, and make any given statement far more authoritative.

It's Not Too Late
The holidays are here, but that doesn't mean you're out of time to make your marketing reflect this time of year. Email marketing, the design of your homepage, and social media promotions are three simple things any business can do without breaking the bank--all you need is some creativity, time, and effort. Providing a great user experience and sharing your value proposition with your potential and existing customers is a fantastic way to promote your brand, increase sales, and generate long-term brand loyalty.