How to take advantage of holidays to increase sales
How can you make January your most successful sales month in 10 years? How, in the first 10 days of the quarter, can you sell more than you do in rest of the quarter? How can you make Halloween the best sales day of the year? Our answer: create holiday sales promotions. That’s what this article is about. You’ll learn whom to acknowledge, how to do it correctly, and what to give them as a present.
Just give a reason
Do you want to increase sales? Find a cause and create special limited offer. Result: profit!
Seriously, use holidays. You will find a bonus from us at the end of the article – The calendar of promotions.
There are many other celebratory days in the calendar, in addition to the usual New Year’s and International Women’s Day. These are the magic days when people are unafraid of those who want to take their money. On the contrary: they drop money into the pockets of sellers with pleasure. Your only task is to choose a holiday that’s close to the spirit of your audience, to come up with an action dedicated to it, then put their money in your pocket. That’s all!
The main thing is to not overdo it. And you can – because it’s simple. Bit there are nuances.
What kind of promotion to create
Some people ask themselves: “What should I offer?” You need to proceed by asking what kind of problem the customer wants to solve by buying your software. You have to offer something that will help him solve his problem better, faster or on a large scale. Offer complementary products.
“Do you want to super-size that?”
At the McDonalds checkout
For example, if you’re selling software that adds dates to a photo, why not offer more software to remove noise from a photo? (Life hack: it’s not necessary to offer your own software. Find partners.) If you sell software that anonymizes web surfing, offer anonymizing in Skype at a discount.
For ideas, subscribe to the mailings of your largest competitors, or large software manufacturers or well-established businesses like Amazon, EBay or Ozone. They have money to hire the best marketers and to put out great promotional newsletters. They’re a good way to learn what these marketers are doing and how they’re doing it.
All about discounts
The most obvious (and least interesting) idea for a promotion is to offer a discount. Everyone likes to pay less. On the holiday eve, the news of the discount seems natural and makes your offer attractive. The only question is the size of the discount.
I have met people who said discounts didn’t work for them. For example:
“I offered a Christmas discount of 15%, crossed out the old prices on the purchase page on my site, and didn’t notice a surge in sales. I earned 15% less.”
To understand what discounts work, I recommend that you study the most successful promotions on Groupon. They are a success for a reason. Now, the user is not sensitive to discounts of less than 30-40%. (And by the way, reporting a discount on the purchase page is a bad idea.)
“We always try to give a discount. It always works. The discount should be expedient. On Suit, you can even give 70%. For ordinary products, we try to give no more than 50%.”
Pavel Goncharov, marketer at Soft Orbits, on discounts
Think of what you can give your customers other than discounts. Perhaps it will be more profitable to offer a gift instead of a discount. The second product in the suite, the license for the additional product, 1 year of free updates, an iPhone.
“Good. Christmas is on the street, and consumers have a lot of disposable income. However, how do you persuade the user of the PDF converter to buy the DOC converter? Honestly, in fact, there is no real need for it. Therefore, we sell the PRO version. The customer buys a converter; there is also a super version with additional options and huge discounts. This option is suitable for large numbers of people. We offer benefits not only through the purchase itself, but also from all future payments and upgrades, which are more expensive in the PRO versions than in the conventional ones.”
Olga Lapshinova, marketer, Coolutils
How to inform users about your promotion
Okay, you have created a promotion and decided on a discount. What’s next? To talk about it whenever you can:
• Send e-mails.
Life hack: a good promotion is not only an information guide for your own database, but also for the partner base.
Offer 50% of sales to those who will advertise your promotion on their home page, and increase coverage times;
• Post news on your site;
• Display information in the program itself;
• Send banners to partners;
• Enable remarketing to people who have recently visited your site;
• Write a post on Facebook and boost it through a paid ad;
• For the sake of a good promotion, turn the contextual advertising.
For us, e-mail remains one of the cheapest ways of informing people, so it helps to deliver the largest return on marketing investment (ROMI). We use MailChimp and UniSender to distribute our emails.
“I was convinced that people like simple human communication. Everyone appreciates humor. Last year I wrote:
Merry Christmas to you and your family! P.S. Yes, I should be correct and write Happy Holidays instead. Nevertheless, having travelled around a world, I noticed that most people love Christmas, even they believe in gods with six hands and blue faces instead of Christ. After all, holidays should unite people, not separate them.
Responses increased by 50%.”
Lifehack from Olga Lapshinova, Coolutils marketer
When to start
The general rule: when people are thinking about a holiday, but the gifts have not been bought and there is money for them. For example, Christmas promotions should start at end of November. In the United States, they even came up with a special day for this: “Black Friday”. In the case of small holidays, starting the sale 48 hours in advance is good timing.
You can also use Google Trends. Input the name of the holiday, and see when the wave of requests comes in. You must be prepared BEFORE it starts:
In the B2B segment, the tie is no longer to holiday dates, but to the end date of the fiscal year. “If a new budget starts in January, and the old one is not spent, next time they’ll give less money. Urgently spend what you have on something useful!”
Where to send promotional e-mails
First, decide who your proposal is aimed at: users or a business segment. The style of communication and the best time to send your campaign emails depends on it. The proposal letter should appear in the customer’s B2B box one hour before the start of the working day. It is inefficient to send emails on holidays. Also, consider time-zone differences. People check their email before work, at lunchtime, in the evening and on weekends. Therefore, your letter should also be sent at these times. Is it worth it?
Five examples of how they earned on holidays
How to make the year’s best month of sales
Here’s a case from Patrick McKenzie on the sale of cards for playing a lotto on the eve of Halloween. He did the following:
1. In September, i.e., two months before the event, he made a one-page site landing, stylized for Halloween.
2. Patrick caught a wave of organic traffic from Google and strengthened his AdWords.
Moreover, he sent out a coupon for a discount to his base via email.
Not all the tools worked, but Patrick earned $6,024.45 for the month – his best month for sales in the year and beat his best result of last year by 30%. Cool, right?
How to “make” the quarter in 10 days
Case study from Vitali Janko, who previously worked in marketing at Agnitum. Let’s give him the floor:
We sold products – Outpost Firewall and Outpost Internet Security – to protect computers from threats. They need constant updates to protect themselves from new misfortunes and, of course, these updates are paid. In the last 10 days of December, we did the following:
1. We developed a special application and invited people to buy it now and get lifetime updates.
2. We sent a letter to their own base, proposing that they buy before the end of the year to receive lifetime updates for the price of an single-year subscription.
Result: over 10 days of promotion, we sold more than we did in the previous 80 days of this quarter. We liked it, and we extended the offer to January. As a result, January became the best month for sales in the previous 10 years.
How to make 1000 additional sales from those who have already bought
Olga Lapshinova, a marketer from CoolUtils, offers her example:
“On New Year’s Eve and Christmas in 2012, CoolUtils conducted did this:
1. For those who bought one converter, we offered to buy another one for $9 at the usual price of $19.90. This is a good indicator. It is enough to not be a pity to give, and enough to make a profit. Something that’s not very necessary, but at the same time cheap, that can be useful in the future. However, what if …
2. We created a simple landing page with a choice of converters at the promotional price. Users from the mailing list moved to it after we sent them e-mails.
Result: we sold about 1000 copies. These were additional sales to existing clients, so the result was generally excellent. The following year, a similar sale did not result in any profit, so we decided not to repeat it.”
+ $ 500 for one day
Here’s my own example. I’m selling a product that colorizes folders on the computer, and it allows you to highlight frequently used folders and organize information. I asked my designers to draw a banner quickly, and showed it to users of a trial version of my program:
As a result, + $ 500 made its way to the cashier on Valentine’s Day.
Sell the most expensive version of the program for 80% more at ChristmasAnother example from CoolUtils
For current customers who bought a regular converter, they sent Christmas greetings in which they briefly offered the PRO version at a discount of 70%, as a gift. The bet was that people are accustomed to Christmas sales and will buy a beefed-up version of a familiar product because it is psychologically easier than buying a new product. Users immediately went to the purchase page. As a result, the number of sales of AMD versions increased by 80% that month. This was pleasant. What was more pleasant: the paid upgrades and paid customizations in the future. The cost of such a promotion is minimal, around $ 70. The PRO version starts at $129.
A little bonus from us
We gathered the most interesting and important holidays into one table:
Click here to download the Calendar of Promotions
Briefly, summing up
It is necessary to offer holiday promotions.
The components of a successful promotion are:
• an attractive promotional offer;
• a time limit;
• breadth of information dissemination;
• fun and easy communication.
P.S. And here are 10 more tips how to increase website conversion and how to sell more software.