While this year’s holiday season will likely signal a much-welcomed return to normalcy for consumers, there’s still a lot of unpredictability for businesses and marketers. An uncertain economy, rising CPM costs, and increasing brand competition will require unique strategies and tactics to connect with and spur consumers into action as winter quickly approaches.
Having an effective holiday strategy is non-negotiable, and savvy marketers know that a diversified strategy will be critical to achieving their goals. And one of the best methods of marketing channel diversification for the upcoming holiday season is Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM).
Despite a challenging and competitive economic environment, this holiday season presents an array of opportunities for marketers to hit their targets. Here are three tips on how to leverage PDM for maximum marketing impact this holiday season.
Tip 1: Plan for and Embrace the Chaos
This year’s holiday season will be one of the busiest to date, with a significant amount of pent-up consumer demand from the pandemic. Marketers should expect a surge in traffic and engagement from digital channels. Agility will be paramount. You should mentally prepare to shift budgets towards the best-performing channels.
Being ready for the holiday chaos means scaling your marketing efforts well in advance, including PDM. Things move quickly come November and December, meaning you’ll want to get started today. The holiday season is extremely time sensitive from a marketing standpoint, so having reliable performance channels installed ahead of time is essential.
Don’t wait until game day to see if your playbook works. Start now by testing new strategies, offers, and channels. Carry any results, analysis, and learnings into your holiday marketing to optimize performance. Test different audience segments with both digital and PDM in your marketing mix to fine-tune things over the next few months.
And remember that excessive discounting or promotional pricing is not the way to capitalize on the holiday rush. PDM can achieve better results than discounting, without eating into your margins.
Tip 2: Keep the Full Customer Lifecycle in Mind
Be mindful of the entire customer journey, not just holiday activities and engagement. Last year’s highest Average Order Value (AOV) customers will provide insights into the optimal customer journey for this year, so you’ll want to model audiences of prospects based on last year’s best-performing segments as well as current website shoppers.
Make sure to engage prospects while they’re in the market, even if they’re unfamiliar with your brand. Use both digital and PDM tactics to introduce them to your brand with thoughtful, timely, and relevant marketing materials during this key discovery phase. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to segment retargeting and messaging.
A lot of customers will be visiting your site between now and the holidays, and it’s important to understand the difference between prospects and customers. You’ll hope customers visiting your site complete a purchase, but be ready to retarget them to ensure that the ad spend that got them there isn’t wasted.
Ergatta is an excellent example of how by pairing these two strategies, you can fuel sustainable performance at the top-mid funnel. With PebblePost’s Acquisition Solutions, the company was able to make the “home” environment a part of its omnichannel acquisition strategy, exceeding their prospecting CPA goal by an incredible 117% and their retargeting CPA goal by 742%.
Also, make a point to re-engage seasonal and lapsed customers. The holiday season is the perfect time to re-introduce your brand to those who’ve only purchased once or haven’t in quite some time. Knowing which customers to engage means working with your PDM partner to optimize your customer list based on conversion potential. This way you’ll better focus budget expenditures on those most likely to convert, optimizing resource efficiency.
For example. PebblePost recently conducted a study with a premium meal kit brand that leveraged our Customer Engagement product to optimize a very large list of lapsed customers they wanted to win back with the greatest possible efficiency.
When comparing the optimized audience to a randomly selected control group, the brand saw incredible success:
- 91% high order-rate
- 44% more efficient customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- 81% lift in win-backs
Finally, your creative should match the moment where each customer is in their lifecycle. Prepare various creatives that cater to different segments and be ready to scale when the holiday rush comes. Prospects might receive a first-time offer, for instance, while customers can be enticed with promotions and creativity around free shipping.
Tip 3: Be Prepared for Purchases Everywhere
Once you’re ready for the holiday chaos with PDM and digital strategies that address the entire customer lifecycle, you’ll want to prepare for purchases in just about every format and avenue. This means aligning your internal teams toward tracking both in-store and online transactions.
This will provide you with ample data to make informed marketing decisions when the rush of holiday purchases takes place. Be ready to pivot from underperforming channels to more effective ones in real-time so that you can maximize your key metrics. Towards that end, carefully consider how you’ll measure success during the holidays.
Think about what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be during this high-volume period, whether it’s total revenue, AOV, or some others. Ensure that you have transparency in your PDM campaign reporting. Working with your PDM partner well in advance is key to ensuring you have the right data points and reporting.
The economy, consumer sentiment, and generally the world will likely still be in flux during this holiday season. Utilizing PDM in various ways will help you cope with the chaos, address the entire customer lifecycle, and measure success.
And while it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen, we can take steps toward implementing a strategy that’s agile, well-targeted, and focused on driving as many holiday conversions as possible.
Want to learn more about how PDM can help you maximize revenue during the upcoming holiday season? Check out some of PebblePost’s core solutions here and speak to someone at Cogent: