If you’re looking for a proven way to bump up your sales this year, I’ve got two impactful words for you: seasonal events.
Now, though? Businesses of all sizes – both big, small, and everyone in between – run seasonal marketing campaigns and reap the rewards. Because they work.
Make no mistake. It’s not enough to just offer free shipping and add a heart emoji to your social media posts to win Valentine’s Day and other holiday shoppers.
If you want to succeed with your seasonal marketing campaigns, you need a solid plan. And that’s exactly what this article is all about.
Here’s a 7-step plan that will help you run effective marketing campaigns around seasonal events, holidays, and other key dates throughout the year.
Table Of Contents
Bonus: If you want additional tips on how to use GetResponse to create a stunning and high-converting Valentine’s Day campaign, you can watch the webinar we hosted right before Valentine’s Day.
0. Start early
Before we jump into the crucial steps you need to take to launch a killer seasonal campaign, let us start with the most important bit of advice: start as soon as possible.
If you want to run a Black Friday discount – start planning in the summer; if you plan to offer a big Christmas bash – get to planning before October; you get the gist.
And be ready for any unexpected changes that may come your way at the last moment.
If you want to learn more about how to put that slower season to good use, make sure to check out our podcast!
1. Start with the essentials
Most campaign planning starts with figuring out the foundations.
Things like what you’re going to offer, whom you’re going to target, and finally, how you’re going to do this.
When it comes to seasonal marketing campaigns, there are two additional questions you should ask yourself before you start investing your time and resources.
- Is the holiday I’m going after the ‘right one’?
- Will people care about my offer at this time of year?
It’s not enough that your offer will look attractive to your audience. It has to be compelling enough for them to want to act upon it at that specific time of the year.
Think of it this way. If your local Home Depot started a sales campaign for their lawnmowers around Christmas time, you most likely wouldn’t immediately go storming their store. It’s not that time of year and not that kind of holiday.
Presuming that you said yes to both of the questions I mentioned above, let’s now move on to the second step.
Campaign idea: Want to build more awareness around your brand? Why not partner up with a charity!
By sharing your profits with a charity, you’ll open yourself up to new customers and give your audience an extra reason to buy from you (while supporting a great cause yourself).
2. Collect leads using a landing page
Most marketing campaigns are built to achieve one of two goals. They want to generate leads or drive sales.
In this particular campaign plan, we’ll go for a slightly longer sales process and focus on driving leads first. Then we’ll nurture them and finally convert them into sales.
No matter if you’ve decided you’ll be selling an ebook, an online course, or custom-made t-shirts, you’ll need a page where you direct all the traffic from your promotional campaigns.
Rather than using your website’s homepage, it’s usually a better choice to build a landing page suited to your new campaign.
Not sure exactly what that is? A landing page is usually a simple page that’s developed with a single goal in mind. It’s meant to drive conversions. And a conversion could be anything from an ebook download to a registration for a 1-on-1 meeting.
Using a tool like GetResponse, you can build a landing page in under an hour. To do that, you can use a drag-and-drop editor and build your page from scratch. Or you can use one of the ready-made templates and customize it to match your branding.
Here’s what the setup process looks like in the GetResponse Landing Page Creator.
A landing page is only a medium. Conversions will happen there, but only if:
- You design your page according to landing page design best practices.
- You give your audience an excuse to opt in, i.e., provide a lead magnet.
Since landing page design is a topic of its own, I recommend that you read this post which offers great advice on how to design a high-converting landing page.
When it comes to the conversion itself, there are many things that could act as your lead magnets.
These could be:
- A free book chapter
- A free 1-on-1 training session
- An introductory free lesson
- Free downloadable files
- An ebook
- And virtually anything else!
Read this article if you want more inspiration, examples, and tips on how to choose the right lead magnet.
3. Drive traffic with Facebook Ads
It’s time to start driving traffic to your landing page. Since Facebook Ads are one of the quickest and most-effective ways of acquiring that traffic, we’ll go over this method first.
For most seasonal marketing campaigns, you’ll want to target two distinct audiences – your existing customers and your soon-to-be customers. Facebook Ads can help you reach both of these segments.
If your customers are on Facebook or Instagram, here’s how you can target them.
To reach a new audience:
- Create a custom audience by providing the characteristics of the audience you’d like to reach
- Create a lookalike audience to reach people similar to your current customers
- Create a lookalike audience to reach people similar to a specific segment within your customer base (e.g., high spenders)
- Target people similar to those who like your Facebook page
To engage your current audience:
- Create a custom audience of those who’ve not engaged with your email communication for a certain amount of time, e.g., 30 days
- Create a custom audience of those who’ve bought from you but haven’t done so in the last 30 days
- Target people who like your Facebook page but haven’t bought anything from you
- Target people who’ve visited your website or landing page but haven’t completed their purchase
Now that you know what you can achieve with Facebook Ads, a good question to ask is how you can do it.
The seemingly obvious answer is to use the Facebook Ads Manager. However, although it’s their native tool, some marketers find it hard to use, especially when they’re just getting started.
The second option is to use external tools. That’s where GetResponse is a huge help, as they recently developed their very own Facebook Ads feature that lets you run your paid ad campaigns without having to integrate multiple tools.
Here’s the most crucial benefit of the second approach:
If you connect your Facebook account with GetResponse, all your landing pages will have the Facebook pixel installed in them automatically. This means you’ll be able to target your landing page visitors without any additional setup.
The same applies to the contacts on your lists. If you’d like to target your email subscribers with Facebook Ads or use them to create a lookalike audience, you can do that in just a few clicks.
The video here shows you what the GetResponse Facebook Ads creator looks like:
4. Create an email sequence
Once your leads start flowing, you’ll need to find a way to convert them into sales. One way to effectively do this is to run a lead nurturing campaign.
What is lead nurturing about? It’s about slowly warming up your leads and building a relationship before you present them with your most important offer.
The best way to run such a campaign is to set up an email sequence, sometimes referred to as autoresponder emails (or a drip campaign).
So how do you set them up?
Like before, if you’re using GetResponse, the process is simplified. You just need to find a template that you like, prepare a copy for the number of emails you want to send, and place them using the calendar view.
It’s very easy to manage autoresponder emails and keep track of data, like how many people will be receiving your message on any given day.
Here’s how you can set up autoresponders inside of GetResponse:
And if you’d like to learn more, check out this post on how to keep your leads hot using autoresponders.
5. Set up a sales page
Finally, it’s time to make a sale. How? Using a sales page.
Much like landing pages, sales pages have a single goal – to drive sales. Their success also lies in similar foundations – good design and a compelling offer.
If one of the two elements is missing, you’ll struggle to generate many sales.
Now, how do you set up an effective sales page? In this video below, Leslie Samuel makes it easy for you by guiding you through the entire process.
As an extra step, you can also prepare a) a one-time offer for those who end up buying from your sales page and b) a remarketing campaign for those who abandon the page.
To present a one-time offer, you’ll need an upsell page that will appear right after the first transaction takes place. Here’s what the process looks like in GetResponse:
As for remarketing campaigns, this post explains the Facebook Ads setup process in more detail.
6. Send out an email campaign
With all the other marketing assets ready, you’re ready to begin a wider promotional campaign using all the other marketing channels available to you.
The reason we’re suggesting that you send an email campaign (sometimes referred to as an email blast) is that it’s simple and doesn’t require any additional monetary investment on your side.
If you’re already using an email marketing platform to send out your autoresponder emails, you might as well send an email campaign to your contact list.
When doing so, however, pay attention to segmentation and only send your offer to those who may be interested in it.
Carefully decide if you want to target everyone because it may be best that you filter out groups who are unlikely to convert.
7. Track and analyze
Finally, it’s time to talk about numbers.
It’d be easy to just head onto another task and forget about this step but trust me, it’s critical.
All marketing campaigns should be tracked. By skipping this step you’re reducing your chances of learning about your customers, what works for them, and what doesn’t.
Whether you’re going to be running ads on Facebook or sending emails to your audience, you should make sure to track your campaigns.
For Facebook Ads and email campaigns, that means you’ll need to add UTM parameters to your links (assuming that you’re using Google Analytics).
On top of that, you’ll also want to enable Google Analytics tracking on your landing page and the sales page. You can do it by providing your Google Analytics Tracking ID in the page settings and then creating a goal in your Google Analytics account.
With this setup, you’ll know things like:
- Which traffic sources generated the highest number of visits to your landing page
- Which traffic sources attracted the most engaged users
- Which Facebook ad generated the highest number of leads
- Which email generates the highest number of click-throughs
- Which email generates the highest number of conversions
- And much more
On top of that, you’ll be equipped with extra knowledge that will make your future campaigns even more successful.
Making the plan happen
As you saw in this post, running a seasonal campaign takes a few steps. It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not something that you can set up within a day.
That’s why it’s best to start with a plan, which I hope this post has provided you with. Once you’ve got the plan, it’s time to pick your tools and build one thing at a time.
As you saw, all the key elements are available in GetResponse. So, if you’re about to run your seasonal marketing campaign soon, why not set up a free account today?