6 Ways to Increase Sales After the Holidays

Your Business Guide on Beating Post-Holiday Fatigue

It’s no surprise that people shop more doing the holiday season. A report by Adobe Analytics found that consumers spent $80.3 billion-and that was just online-from November 1 to December 6 in 2018.

If you were fortunate, your business enjoyed great seasonal success.

But whether you made a hefty profit or experienced a holiday sales slump, there are ways to increase sales in January. I’m sharing 6 of my favourites:

1. Throw another sale.

While customers may feel post-holiday fatigue after an overwhelming number of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day deals, you can still reach your target audience with a tempting winter clearance.

Here’s a good example: Clothing and home retailer Anthropologie has a winter clearance on all sale items. By taking another 40% off items that are already at a reduced price, they’re appealing to customers and clearing out old stock to make room for new spring inventory.

Remember that your fans are savvy, so be authentic rather than just slapping a sale sign on a poorly selling product or calling a small discount a “winter clearance.”

2. Tie in New Year’s resolutions.

No matter what product or service you’re selling, there’s probably a way to tie in the “New Year, New You” angle.

A 2018 survey by Tangerine found that nearly 70% of Canadians have made resolutions. Over half of respondents focused on improving their physical health, and almost a third wanted to get better at managing their finances.

So, start by thinking about how your product or service improves someone’s:

Financial, personal or professional success
Health or wellness
Confidence or self-esteem
Then, brainstorm ways that you could incorporate New Year’s resolutions and goals into your sales program to prevent a post-holiday sales slump. For instance, we created a post for one of our clients, using personal success in 2020 to drive sales of her Small Business HR Crash Course book.

3. Create a buying guide or blog.

While we tend to give Xmas most of the attention, don’t forget that people want gift ideas year-round.

According to the 2019 Holiday Season Shopping report, 47% of gift shoppers surveyed didn’t know what to buy. To turn browsers into customers any time of year, help guide your visitors. For example, you could create a top 10 list of popular gifts for teens or Moms, or highlight the hottest gifts for Father’s Day.

People will feel less overwhelmed and will be more likely to add an item to their cart with a little guidance, which can really help you increase sales after the holidays.

4. Update your newsletter signup.

With so much going on in a small business owner’s life, it can be easy to overlook this important marketing tool. Are you offering an eBook that’s been up for years with a newsletter signup, or pushing an outdated promo?

Take a look at your eNewsletter signup page and think about the year ahead. Is there a way you can make it more appealing to attract leads and sales?

Maybe you could create some fresh content like an eBook or a video tutorial, or offer a free consultation.

5. Spruce up your social media.

If you gave your social media accounts a holiday touch, now’s the time to take down the decorations, so to speak. Even if you didn’t add any holiday flair, now is a great opportunity to reflect on what messaging you’re putting out there.

While you shouldn’t update your logo or branding just because it’s a new year, at least do a sweep of your social media to see if you need to change/add:

Your operating hours and location on Facebook and Google My Business.
Old pinned tweets on your Twitter account.
Images for Google My Business and Instagram.
Profile photos for all of your social media accounts.
While you might argue that this isn’t directly a way to increase sales after the holidays, you’d be surprised! If you have old assets collecting dust or you can’t be bothered to change out a Christmas banner on a social media platform, people are going to wonder how efficient and trustworthy your small business is.
The Right Reasons for Rebranding Your Business Logo

Over time your business will grow and evolve. You may offer new services or products, enter different markets or target another demographic. If this happens, you might need to consider changing your marketing graphics.

However, you need to be careful you’re not undoing all the hard marketing and branding work that you’ve done and that you fully understand how to rebrand for the most effective results. Read more on our website.

6. Get creative with celebrations throughout the year.

There’s a long list of January “holidays” you can check online that will get you started. By making a note of relevant dates throughout the year, there are surely some fun ways that you can incorporate them into your marketing strategy.

You could offer a discount, freebie or promo that relates to what you sell. Here’s a delicious example: The Italian chain Carrabba’s Italian Grill celebrated National Pasta Day last year with a $10 pasta deal.

One of my favourite examples is what WWF did for World Penguin Day (it’s coming up on April 25!). They shared an informative article ‘Top 10 facts about emperor penguins’, with a call to action to “adopt” one of these adorable waddling birds.

We were so much captivated by this campaign, we adopted a few ourselves! Since the Emperor Penguin is our official mascot, how could we not!

No, we didn’t get our very own penguin, but we did get a cuddly toy, regular updates, stickers and other cool stuff for supporting the initiative.

There’s no reason why you have to expect and accept a post-holiday sales slump. While we tend to focus a lot of our marketing (and personal) energy on the festive season, we must remember that our customers are still out there! They want to hear from us in a meaningful and relevant way.

With a little planning and creativity, you can break through the post-holiday fatigue and set up your small business for a prosperous 2020.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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How to Set Social Media Goals in 2020

Create the Most Effective Social Media Marketing Plan

There’s a vast sea of social media information out there. Experts are everywhere and there are just so many opinions on best practices and tactics.

Not only that, but the platforms themselves are constantly changing, whether it’s adding new features, increasing character limits or otherwise changing the rules.

That’s why I’ve created this guide to help you understand how to set social media goals for 2020. This article is especially good for you if you’ve never taken stock of your marketing campaigns or created objectives.

Throughout this process, it’s really important to be honest about your successes and failures. It’s okay to admit that some of what you’ve done has been a wasted effort-that’s why we’re here.

Here’s my 3-step process to set social media goals for 2020:

1. Check Your Reports

Keeping reports is a must if you want to properly assess the efficacy and efficiency of what you spent time sharing online. There are many ways to configure a report, but if you need direction and inspiration, Smartsheet has a free social media report template to get you started.

You need to learn to look past the number of impressions and understand how your content is really performing. Are people liking it, sharing it, commenting on it?

Pay close attention to metrics like engagement-this valuable info is like your potential leads all telling you what they liked or didn’t. So take that into account when planning out 2020’s content.

For instance, I make an effort to share valuable content daily on our Twitter account.

From Twitter to Facebook, each platform offers free analytics on the profile’s performance, so use it!

This free reporting helps you see what you’ve shared that’s worked well and what’s fallen flat. Look for topics that visitors and followers have been consistently interested in, and share more of that content going forward.

If you’re up to the challenge, you can do some paid promotion for your business. Remember, you can always contact us and let us manage the heavy lifting so you can focus on running your business.

We’re constantly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. And, we stay on top of the latest trends and tips and love analyzing reports and stats!

2. Study Your Analytics

Yes, you want to look ahead, but it’s necessary to look back as well. You can share content left and right, but unless it’s leading visitors to your website, it’s not serving its purpose. You want to drive people to your site, where they’ll hopefully engage further and buy a product or service from you.

Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google that is key to planning your social media in 2020. It shows you how your actions on social drive traffic to your business, broken down into lots of relevant stats.

To see these results, navigate to your Acquisition section for Social and then click on Network Referrals. You can select the previous year as the date range. Then, you should be able to see how many people have clicked on your posts and subsequently landed on your website.

Read 5 Social Media Marketing Tips for 2020

Is social media marketing not working for you anymore?

Are you wondering what you should be changing in order to get better results?

In our Tea Time Tip: Marketing for Busy Entrepreneurs, I’m sharing 5 valuable tips so you can learn what’s working, what’s not and what you need to focus on more. Read more on our website.

3. Set Your Goals

The first two steps should give you an understanding of where you are, and now it’s time to create your plan. You’ve got a great idea of what type of content worked, which platforms your target audience is hanging out on and where you should focus your efforts in the upcoming year.

Other things you need to do to reach your goals:

Track your month-to-month follower growth. If you’re not gaining new followers throughout the year, you need to take a look at why that is.
Keep an eye on which seasons your content is most popular on a particular platform. For example, Pinterest trends show increased usage in the summer and around Christmas, with spring and fall seeing big dips.
Only share content that has value. You want to sell without driving people away. You also want to give people non-salesy resources like blogs, inspirational quotes, events-whatever makes sense for your brand and audience.
For example, I share articles, events and news on our company’s LinkedIn account.
The biggest mistake you can make is to allow your marketing campaigns to become a chore, rather than a positive part of your business. When you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll find you share more engaging and interactive content.

When you set your goals to conquer social media in 2020, keep in mind that you may not attain all of them. That’s not failure! As long as you’re prepared with a solid social media marketing plan and what you’re sharing is authentic and honest, then you’re doing a great job!

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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Make Your Black Friday Promotion Work For You!

All the other companies are running Black Friday (or some other holiday) promotions – you should probably run one, too. But what are your objectives? I mean, what do you want to achieve with your sale? Here are some points to keep in mind.

Attracting new clients
A lowball price is almost always guaranteed to catch the attention of people. Ideally, you want to attract people who are either members of your target audience, or reel in current prospects. You can also do this by “bundling” – keeping your regular price, but adding in extras for people who purchase during the promotion period.

But most of the companies I see running promotions, well… they don’t do anything with the people who buy the offer! You need to quickly convert these folks into regulars – get them to fall in with your ways of doing things, become fans. In order to do that, you need a program for them to follow. You need to immediately start building a relationship with these new buyers, give them freebies or low-cost purchases that bring them further into your fold.

Don’t screw over existing customers
I spend a lot of effort getting my clients to develop their own customers into regulars. That is, people who return again and again for the same products/services, or who look to their company for extra products and services. New customers fill in the natural attrition of your customer list, and help it grow. But it costs a lot of money to bring in one new customer; you make most of your profit from regulars.

But many – if not most – businesses ignore existing customers. They spend all their time and effort hunting down new customers, but treat current customers like crap. They offer major discounts to new customers, but expect existing customers to “like it or lump it,” as it were. It’s a few days before Thanksgiving as I write this, and I’m watching several companies deal with severe public customer backlash. They’ve offered discounts to new customers, but expect existing customers to be happy paying a higher price.

Not cool! If I’m your customer, and I don’t get the lowball price you’re offering some schmuck off the street, you’d better give me a ton of other products and/or services for me to re-up my subscription that the newbies just don’t get.

Loyalty Programs
For people who’ve recently become aware of you, your business, your products and your services, they have no idea what to expect from you. They probably expect that, once they buy from you, you’ll ignore them at best. Somewhere in the middle ground, there are companies that simply pound people over the head for sales. At the crap end of the stick, there are companies with hostile customer service policies and employees. A handful have some kind of loyalty program, and a very few have effective loyalty programs that actually offer benefit to customers and businesses.

In brief, you need to ask customers what they want. Many won’t answer you, and some have no idea. Listen to everyone else. Then, you need to provide them with value. Most customers who want consistently low pricing aren’t looking for high quality, and people who are looking for superior products and services know they’ll have to pay a reasonable price.

A loyalty program (or member’s group, fan club – whatever you want to call yours) should allow you to collect contact info, and then use the list you’ve made to collect info, build relationships, and offer to sell products and services. Few people will stick with a loyalty program if they feel like they aren’t being listened to.

Most importantly, reserve your best deals – your lowest pricing, your best bundles of products and services – for members of your loyalty program! You spent a lot of money to get each one of those people. Is a few bucks in your pocket today worth ticking these folks off, and having them take away all your future profits? And frankly, that’s exactly why you want to develop a base of regulars – so that you can depend on their future purchases to drive your revenues and profits.

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