Today I’m excited to discuss how to increase sales and engagement this holiday season especially if you really don’t have the time to attend a sales training. In addition, the following strategies can be fully leveraged at any time to ensure continued success throughout the year.
Ready to crank things up to 11? Let’s get started!
Even if you’re a bit late for end-of-year preparations, keep in mind that additional holidays happen throughout the entire year. Always keep every holiday in mind, not just the traditional end-of-year festive season.
So, what can you do to prepare early?
Drop subtle (and obvious) related phrases in advance. Use your articles to remind readers that the holidays are coming up in just X amount of weeks, for example.
Give your website a holiday theme just before the holidays are in full swing. This lets people know that you’re keeping up with the holiday spirit. And in your readers’ eyes, they know this often translates into special perks or discounts.
In essence, you’re simply getting them warmed up for what’s coming, and they’ll be more aware of your potential offerings.
Transform Your Homepage
A typical blog simply displays the latest articles at the top. Instead, leverage everything “above the fold” with eye-catching content aimed at increasing engagement and/or sales, depending on your primary focus.
Implement a big, in-your-face subscription form encouraging readers to sign up to your newsletter. Offer big benefits if you sell a product, a service, or if you provide other perks exclusively to email subscribers (such as a digital gift card or free guides).
You may optionally create a ‘Welcome’ video as the first thing readers see. Consider wishing everyone a happy holiday and nudging them to perform any desired action. This helps put a face to your blog, reminding visitors that you’re a real (and caring) human.
Lastly, declutter your homepage in general. Keep it focused on your main goal as much as possible, at least while holidays last. Make everything else (ads, certain articles, non-essential links) a secondary thing for now.
Add a Sense of Urgency
The holidays are only available for a limited time, and so should most of your special benefits (they’re special for a reason, after all).
Whether the goal is to sell “hard” straight from your blog or simply to increase newsletter signups for future efforts, remind your visitors that your offer won’t be around forever:
Offer your products and services at a much lower price for a limited time, either to every visitor or exclusively to newsletter subscribers.
If you display an item on sale, increase its price daily while displaying a countdown timer. For example, a written guide that starts at $1, followed by $2, then $3, and so on.
Increase newsletter signups with limited-time perks, such as giving away a guide that is normally paid, or handing out a free subscription to your premium service.
Pro tip: Do you have previous testimonials? Use them alongside whatever you’re trying to sell or accomplish. Remember, user comments can also be used as testimonials. Feel free to grab a previously-published comment in which someone praised something you’re currently promoting.
Leverage Contests and Giveaways
I had already mentioned giveaways in this article, but only briefly…
You can use the above strategies – such as setting up a newsletter form – and promoting a big holiday contest throughout your homepage more prominently.
Make sure everything stands out with lush colors, fonts, and beautiful imagery. If you own a beauty blog, for example, show off a high-quality picture of certain beauty products that you’re giving away.
Refer to this other article on making the best out of contests and giveaways to increase blog engagement and sales.
Be Readily Available
Poor customer service is a huge reason people become detached from brands. Here are some quick and easy ways to ensure blog visitors are always satisfied:
Decrease your average email response time. Do you find yourself answering queries within 48 hours? Try to respond inside of 12 to 24 hours.
Install a chat plugin. Are you normally in front of your computer (or not doing much) during certain hours? Let customers reach out and get an almost-immediate answer with a chat plugin. Yes, this means having a real-time conversation with them 🙂
Pro tip: Even if you’re not currently selling anything, consider a permanent chat plugin as a way to befriend readers in general, which can quickly turn to returning visitors and future customers. You’d be surprised with the amount of people that simply want to say Hello!
Don’t make visitors jump through hoops. Do you provide a subscription service? Make it relatively easy for customers to cancel or unsubscribe. Likewise, ensure your contact form isn’t broken (I have seen this happen many times, especially if you rely on outdated Contact-form plugins).
Gamify Your Blog for the Holidays
I personally love, looooove blog gamification. In fact, you should read this article where I discussed it in more detail (along with other ways to gain blog traffic).
Recommended gamification plugin: WPAchievements for WordPress.
Here’s the gist: You can reward visitors with points and badges for performing numerous actions such as:
Registering to your blog
Publishing an article
Leaving a comment
When someone visits a specific post or page
Give away a product after someone reaches a specified amount of points, or perhaps offer it at a heavy discount. You may also have them opt into your newsletter to receive your gift, giving you incentive to stay in touch for future deals.
The above scenarios are just begging to be leveraged through creativity!
Use all of the above to grow your social media presence during the holidays and beyond. Inform blog visitors that some discounts / giveaways are only done through your social media profiles…
As blog visitors start following you on social media, start a simple contest which requires people to “tag” one of their friends and comment on your media post. This slowly creates a snowball effect that grows your social media presence as well as your blog in the long-run.
Ready for the Holidays?
Again, apply these strategies for the holidays as well as any occasion throughout the year. From a flashy newsletter box to regular contests, these can surely increase holiday sales and overall engagement long after the festive season is over.