Make your website work for you this Christmas

Christmas is on the way and most of the UK population enjoys the festive season in all its glory: the indulgent food, the extra socialising, a few cheeky drinks at the office party and of course the extra shopping. Consumers enjoy buying presents for others and can always justify spending that little bit more on their loved ones. We think you should get onboard and give them a reason to buy from you… Do you have a fantastic Christmas offer or new product you would like to promote? Use the run-up to the Christmas season to interact with your customers.  Remind them about your fabulous brand and entice them to buy from you. This installment of the Christmas series looks at the reasons behind making your website Christmas-ready and the benefits that this can bring. Have a website that works for you and your customers this Christmas. It is the biggest online shopping days of the year this week on Friday 28th November – Black Friday and Monday 1st December – Cyber Monday. Get your website ready before Black Friday in order to capitalise on your consumers increased spending. Utilise your banners and provide all that extra information that your customers will find useful this time of year. Part Two: Get your website Christmas ready With consumers starting their Christmas shopping as early as September due to wanting to spread the cost of Christmas over as many paydays as possible it is never too early to start thinking about a dedicated your website to Christmas. Reasons behind making your website Christmas-ready:
  • Meet your customer’s expectations. Customers are now used to finding all the information they require in one place, therefore supply all your Christmas information clearly on your website i.e. delivery information, store opening times etc. Do not disappoint them or make their Christmas shopping more complicated by not meeting these simple requirements. Add extra menu items into your navigation so that it is easy to find no matter where it sits on the site. The benefits of this will be making their shopping experience as easy and as straightforward as possible and could result in a boost in your sales.
  • Attract your customer’s attention.  Customer will be interested in your offerings and be willing to engage with your company more so than usual around the Christmas period so making your website Christmas themed will ensure you grab your customer’s attention. The benefits of this will be the ability to hold your customer on your page for longer which could have a helping hand in increasing sales. Also, the duration of time spent on your site is a factor in Google’s algorithms when ranking your website.
  • Provide a selection of products. Customers will be spending more time on your pages and increasing their engagement with your company so ensure you use this opportunity to display your Christmas products or offerings clearly. Emphasise your Christmas gift guides, special product ranges or current promotions and the possibilities of making more sales with each individual will grow.
  • Manipulate the user journey. You will be able to direct your customers from your other marketing campaigns i.e. email, paid search ads or banner ads to the Christmas elements of your website to ensure you have integrated your marketing communications to provide maximum effectiveness. Some content ideas to include on your website could be:
    • Christmas Gift Pages
    • Christmas Gift Guides
    • Christmas opening times
    • Delivery times – last order details
    • Christmas banners.
Performance It is always handy to have Google Analytics tracking across your website, as this is a great facility that will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about your customer’s journey behaviour. You will be able to see which marketing campaigns were the most successful in getting your customer to your website, which items were most popular and even what products generated the most revenue. The information generated can be used time and time again for other special events or used to improve the general performance of your website. Get in touch with us if you are interested in getting your website Christmas-ready. We can discuss your business needs and find something that is perfect for you. In the next and last installment of the Christmas series I will be looking ahead into 2015 and offering advice on what you could prepare in your downtime. Keep a look out for it…    

Get more from your email marketing this Christmas

With consumers starting as early as September to hit the pavement for their Christmas shopping it is vital that companies are ready. Early Christmas marketing campaigns will enable you to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds in these early shopping stages! Star Digital offers many campaign ideas to our clients around this festive period. We are able to produce email broadcasts, customise website banners and implement changes in their Adwords account to improve search rankings relevant to Christmas. This is part one of a series of posts where we will offer hints and tips around the services we can provide to you around the Christmas period. Keep your eye out for our others… Part One: Let’s talk about email campaigns Consumers are now spending more time online with 52% of UK consumers using mobile devices as their preferred method to access the web. This includes online shopping as well as reading emails. Consequently, the early Christmas shoppers are now utilising this channel and spending more money online therefore one way to reach these prospective customers is through email marketing. If you are not already utilising emails here are some of the benefits. The benefits of using email marketing:
  • The ability to track your emails. You can see how many recipients opened it, what they clicked on or if they unsubscribed from it. You are able to check the times and dates it was opened, which links were the most popular as well as tracking who traveled to your website from the email and what they did when they were visiting. This enables you to get the full picture! We can even produce reports on your email campaigns so you can see how well they performed.
  • Scheduling your campaigns. We are able to schedule your email campaigns to be sent at any time day or night so even if nobody is in the office on Boxing Day your email will still be sent to your database informing them of your Flash Sale!
  • You can create a sense of urgency. Give your customers a limited time offer or a limited quantity available or even inform them of important dates i.e. the last order date for delivery in time for Christmas. Customers like to know where they stand.
  • User friendly. We are able to ensure your emails are fully responsive so no matter what device your consumer is using they are able to get the excellent user experience that they come to expect from their favourite companies. 47% of emails are now opened on a mobile device. We can either build and send the emails for you or just build you a template for you to edit and then send yourself.
Remember the basics:
  • Ensure you have a great subject line as consumers are known to open emails that entice them. We can offer split-testing which enables you to test up to four subject lines on a percentage of your database to see which one generates the most opens. You can then send the winning subject line to the remaining recipients. This will encourage open rates. You could try using something like “Bored at work… why not go shopping!?” and schedule it to send at 2pm when you know the majority of your customer base will be at work.
  • Once the customer has opened your email then you have to hit them with a too-good-to-refuse offer or promotion to allure them to click through and then either purchase it there and then or hit the shops themselves to take advantage of the offer!
  • Most consumers like to know who is emailing them and stay with a familiar brand, so you must ensure you build up a relationship with your customers first before you start your campaign. When a customer first signs-up send them a welcome email which directs them to the important sections of your website.
  • Emails to consumers should also be personalised and relevant to their interests. So bear this in mind before sending a lawn mower offer to a teenager. Not only will it waste your time and their time but they might even unsubscribe… this is the last thing you want! Even small things like using a customers’ first name can encourage engagement rates – personalised emails had a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click rate in 2014.
Obviously all your customers are different, some will love receiving your emails and be receptive to your Christmas campaign but sadly some will not even open it! But by undertaking our above advice you will increase your chances of building up a relationship with your customer and by providing the products and offers that are relevant to them they will keep coming back for more! There is still time to get familiar with your customers before the Christmas rush begins…  we still have 6 weeks until Christmas and don’t forget Black Friday (28th November) and Cyber Monday (1st December) are also looming! Last year online traffic increased by 34% and mobile sales grew to 43% over Black Friday compared to 2012! Cyber Monday sales increased by 21% from 2012 to 2013 and consumers spending on their mobiles accounted for £260 million of all online sales last year! Get in touch with us if you are interested in setting up an email campaign. We can discuss your business needs and find something that is perfect for you. In the next instalment of the Christmas series I will look into the wonderful world of landing pages. Keep a look out for it…