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Boost peak season profits by planning Christmas campaigns in the summer

For most retailers, bumper Christmas profits are usually something you anticipate all year, a highlight even. But preparing for the seasonal sprint is no mean feat in an increasingly competitive market. That’s why the greatest gift you can give yourself—and your customers—is building a Christmas campaign now, during the summer months.

If you want to ensure you get a head start on the festivities, our holiday inspiration guide will help you design winning campaigns to activate, engage, and retain customers. Here are some highlights from the guide as well as tips for approaching the lucrative festive period, phase by phase:

Activate your audience 

Customers need to know how they can extract more value from a brand they really like—often through user accounts, loyalty programs, and exquisite onboarding. 

That’s why you should consider refining the user experience and making hay while the sun shines. Stress-free account creation and product information will tee customers up for a sale. Meanwhile, you can capture and harness data for tailored messages and suggested purchases, leverage in-product messages for account signups, and review onboarding UX until it’s crisp, quick, clear and unified. Then, you could spark a loyalty enrollment campaign to offer something exclusive while deepening customer relationships. Essentially, the sooner you activate an audience, the better you’ll nurture it. 

Prep for the holidays

Next, it’s worth considering the types of holiday campaigns you’re going to run and what marketing strategies your audience will thrive on. 

You could set up dynamic personalisation, for instance, to recommend unique products based on interactions and browsing history. Is someone clicking through five pages of your best-selling boots? Well, they might need a prompt and not buy until they see a ‘new arrivals’ banner on your homepage or newsletter. You can also leverage paid social during October, November and December when ad spends are at their most competitive. However, we suggest synchronising those ads with customer profiles and automating them to maximise value. If you draft those killer messages now, you’ll be able to tweak and perfect them throughout the holidays. 

The peak holiday season

What about when December finally arrives? Using the customer information you’ll piece together over the summer—with previous campaign data—you’ll learn what tends to tempt people back to your store if they abandon their cart. Test and iterate when these messages should appear and what messaging you could use. You might even want to throw in a special 5% or 10% discount to sweeten the deal.

Elsewhere, you can launch flash sales on your most popular channels. We’ve found that Content Cards (consistent messages through banners, carousels, apps and other touchpoints) are particularly impactful and 38 times more effective than emails when you’re pushing sales in a three-day period.

Post-Christmas campaigns

Finally, it’s worth asking yourself how you’re going to wind down and keep customer relationships warm in the new year as many brands experience the dreaded post-holiday slump. January comes round fast and you don’t want to be pulling together campaigns at short notice–or even worse, miss key customer engagement opportunities. With early planning, you can remove this friction and enjoy the holidays knowing that you have a strategy in place and ready to activate.

This could include segmenting lapsing customers and reminding them of their purchases and interactions with your brand to re-engage them. Additionally, a great way to encourage customers back to your app or website is leveraging recurring newsletter campaigns with personalised content that offers value and leaves them wanting more.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit when you’ve got campaigns to plan, and there are endless options for strategies and tactics you can deploy. For more tips and tricks on making the most of your holiday marketing efforts, check out the Braze Holiday Inspiration Guide, a collection of case studies that will help you effectively prepare your customers for the season and keep them engaged during and after it.

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