Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing tips and insights from the New Engen Performance Marketing team to ensure you dominate your December goals and finish out the year strong. ‘Tis the season of giving, after all!
These pro-tips come directly from our team and are based on trends and themes we have seen across multiple accounts over the past holiday seasons.
Seasonal Lulls: Q4 booms for many of our clients, but for some of you, you may be seeing a lull. Before immediately taking action, we suggest checking out the Google Trends tool to get a read on seasonality for your brand.
Go back 5 years (which allows you to see the yearly trend and not get tricked by anomalies over the last 12 months). Then, type in your brand name or the closest head term that matches your industry.
Pro-tip: In our experience, industries that get hit hard during Q4 include personal finance, fitness, meal delivery kits (though we have one client who is proving us wrong), health/wellness, insurance, real estate, interior design.
When you put your seasonal lull in context, it helps you determine the appropriate action to take. Ready, set, dominate.
Quality of Q4 Customers: Do you define your CAC (customer acquisition cost) targets based on customer LTV (lifetime value)? Then this one’s for you!
Adjust your target CPA down during the holidays. Especially in the retail category, new customers acquired in Q4 generally have lower LTVs than customers acquired between Q1-Q3. This is because Q4 attracts a lot more ‘one & done’ customers looking to buy a gift for their friends and family.
Pro-tip: If this applies to you, think about adjusting your CPA targets. Reach out to our Performance Marketing team who can walk you through this in more detail.
Lovey Dovey Notes: If you’re an agency, now is a good time of year to give an authentic ‘I really appreciate you (yeah, you)’ note to all of your clients. A signed card or simple email from the heart to show your appreciation will give them all kinds of warm and fuzzies.
Pro-tip: Over the next couple days, ask your clients for addresses! Send those out in time for New Year’s Day and make an impact.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay if you don’t want to run promos for Q4. We know it can be frustrating watching competition slay with promos, and some may argue that you are missing out on easy money. Generally, we might agree… however, the short-term revenue gained through discounts during Q4 may not be the best use of your company’s dollars.
Here’s why: By not going gangbusters on discounts in Q4, those dollars could result in higher ROI if spent well during other times of the year. Promotions can be addicting to companies, but you risk possibly turning existing customers into promo-only customers. There are several brands out there that are always running promotions and you could argue they’ve trained their customers to never buy at full retail price – and who wants that?
Pro-tip: Discounts make complete sense when you’re selling items commonly sold by other retailers and can take the margin hit. But, if you’re a company building your brand, the case for discounts is not so clear. Recently, we saw a brand run zero promos during Black Friday and Cyber Monday – and they had amazing results. If they had run a promo, the revenue would have been through the roof. But what about the net margin and impact on customer’s future shopping behavior? Something to think about!
Importance of Christmas Ship Dates: If you’re an agency, it’s critical to align with your clients on shipping cut off dates for Christmas.
Y tho? Once a client can no longer deliver their product in time for Christmas, conversion rates plummet making it close-to-impossible to compete. Some clients may also have products with different shipping cut off dates. Even a minority share of products not being able to deliver in time for Christmas will impact conversion rates so it’s important to understand this full schedule by category.
Pro-tip: If you haven’t gotten this intel yet from your client, we strongly urge you to get this information. It’s always good to also explain why you are asking for this information, as some may not understand the impact these cut off dates can have on performance. Once you have the cutoff date identified, it’s critical to pull back bids and budgets on that date to ensure you maintain efficiency.
Boxing Day in Canada (the day after Christmas) is HUGE. We're talking half off Black Friday/Cyber Monday volume. "Typically, Boxing Day isn't something we think about in the U.S., but it’s still an uptick in conversion," said Corey K., New Engen Performance Marketer and Ambassador to our Northern neighbors. "So you don't necessarily need to have a Boxing Day Sale - but don't sleep that day like the competition will. Most advertisers have all burned through their holiday 2018 budget, so CPM's will be super cheap and conversion volume will be higher than you think, so be opportunistic."
Pro-tip: Give yourself a chance to be surprised because it could be a bigger day for conversion rates than you expect – so have ads ready (they don't need to be Boxing Day specific).
Missed shipping cutoffs = missed conversion opportunities. The week of December 17 is going to be a big one because most shipping cutoff date’s will be coming in hotter than Aunt Carol with her spiked eggnog. You want to encourage people to buy now so they don’t miss the deadline and so you don’t miss out on getting that conversion.
Pro-tip: Try using countdown copy in the Google UI leading up to free shipping to create a sense of urgency. For example, “3 Days Until Christmas – Order Now!”
After ripping open gifts on Christmas morning, a lot of new phone activations occur which means the App store will be blowin' up. If you run app install campaigns, it's an excellent time to promote them.
Pro-tip: If you're already running app install campaigns, be ready with new creative and audiences - and plan on being aggressive. If you haven't before, ask yourself if this is something that could benefit you and your brand.
Have questions? We'd love to hear from you, so please reach out.