On the Web: 12 Ways to Spruce Up Your Website for the Holidays
It's Christmas in July! Or it better be if you plan to have your e-commerce website optimized for the first holiday season since the great recession theoretically ended. Here are 12 tactics to implement now if you want to maximize your products' slice of Santa's workshop budget.
1. Add More Email Sign-Ups
During the holidays, the number of distractions increases dramatically. Typical users will spend less time per visit on your site. One of the best things you can do is capture their email addresses aggressively so you can email to nudge them to come back. People respond differently to different requests for their email addresses — some folks happily sign up for newsletters and e-coupons, others will sign up for advanced sales or free downloads. The more ways you ask for email addresses, the more you'll get. Once you get their addresses, take away all but a couple of the sign-ups.
2. Implement a Trigger Email Program
Trigger emails — also known as "good dog" emails — are sent to individuals based on their actions. The triggering action could be good, thanking them for signing up for your free e-newsletter; bad, reminding them about abandoning a cart; or indifferent, confirming a poll vote. But it's always a happening, event or instance. Triggers are successful because they have higher response rates than regular emails, better deliverability and improved lifetime profit. Find the whole concept of triggers overwhelming? Start with the easy ones: Thank customers for their orders and send shipping confirmations.
3. Fix Your 'Ordering From a Catalog?' Section
If you're sending an abundance of traffic from offline marketing — catalogs, space ads, etc. — you likely have some sort of quick-order form. It's important this form has a picture of the catalog or ad, and space to enter at least the first item number and quantity. Weak quick-order forms are one of the biggest mistakes traditional marketers make. They need to be simple, easy to fill out and very aggressive. In the right-hand column, you also need to include full contact information, especially your phone number.