As we sweep up the glitter and confetti of Christmas and New Years, it’s easy for small businesses to feel both excited and a little anxious about what the year ahead means for their brand. For many industries, January is a slow period, where leads trickle to a halt, customers are on holidays and key stakeholders are ignoring their inboxes until February. But don’t despair – this is the perfect time to kickstart your digital marketing initiatives with some fantastic groundwork.
1. Get your email lists together – and segment it!
Your email list is one of your most powerful tools for conversion, but we meet so many clients who have no idea how to utilise it. Before you dig into campaigns and automation, start with the bare basics. Bring all your email lists together onto your platform of choice (We love Mailchimp or Vision6 for list organisation and creative campaign creation) to ensure nothing is missing, or lost to that scrap of paper or napkin that you’re sure to throw out during your New Year’s desk tidy.
Now, to segment. Traditionally, segmenting your email might be as basic as ‘Wholesale customers’ and ‘retail customer’, or demographics by gender or geographic location. Why not take the time and get more advanced through a tagging system? We love that Mailchimp has recently integrated this, meaning I can tag email leads of mine with relevant info, such as industry or size of business, while ensuring they are still kept on my New South Wales list.
As all good business owners know, segmenting is the key to creating messages that resonate with the right audience. When a message aligns with an individuals own beliefs and needs, conversions rocket. Take that time, tidy up your email segments, and campaign creation is suddenly a thousand times easier.
2. Turn Christmas customers into loyal customers all year round with retargeting
If you’ve dabbled in Facebook advertising, you’ll know one of the best features is the ability to create custom audiences from web traffic. Using this feature, we can not only show advertisements to previous visitors of our website, but even if they have done certain things, like abandoned a cart, clicked a link, or visited a specific page.
If you look over your web traffic from the Christmas period, you might start to see patterns in behaviour and purchases that can form the basis of ongoing campaigns. For example, if your bundled Christmas gift packs performed fantastically, why not remix that sale into a birthday gift, or for other calendar events? If you know your holiday customers were buying gifts, you could follow up with a late January email that offers a ‘something for you’ discount.
With retargeting, you can then set these offers to appear to the audience of your choice. Just remember to set that Facebook pixel up to ensure those users are being recorded!
3. Embrace the lull as a chance to create powerful conversion tools
As marketing gets more pervasive in our everyday lives, it’s not enough to offer a pretty picture and a discount. Customers look for value at every step – think samples with orders, instructional videos, whitepapers and downloads.
I’ve seen conversion tools split into two areas – conversation starters and lead magnets. A conversation starter might be lower value, like a blog post that features a guest that appeals to the brand’s demographic, whereas a leads magnet might be a powerful instructional handbook that requires an email in exchange for access.
While demand is slow, take time to brainstorm and lay out a conversion tool that suits your audience. If you don’t have the internal ability, consider investing in a graphic designer to layout your work beautifully, and create an item of value that will continue to be an incredible sales tool for you all year round.
Lee Douglas is the senior strategist at Tailor Group, a digital marketing agency that specialises in Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Brand in Australia and the U.S. Lee is passionate about empowering small businesses to learn more about digital marketing and how it can elevate their brand and generate long term success.