It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the perfect consumer storm. People are eager to shop, excited about deals, and ready to jump start their holiday shopping. Considering Black Friday is the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, over the next several weeks, a battle will be waged. It’s the fight among competing brands to get their share of the Black Friday and holiday shopping season gold. But, simply being the brand with the biggest discount is no longer enough. You need to ensure you are top of mind for consumers by promoting your Black Friday and holiday deals across all of your available channels.
So, is there a potential black-hole in your Black Friday marketing strategy? Is your holiday strategy ho-ho-hum? Don’t rely on your customers knowing or assuming that you are having a Black Friday or holiday sale. Just as you dress up your store or your website for Black Friday and the upcoming holiday shopping season, you need to dress up your on hold marketing as well.
Here are the facts, plain and simple:
– 45% of consumers initiated a purchase over the phone in the last year (KissMetrics).
– 20% of callers make purchases based on information they heard through on hold messages (Source: Telemarketing Magazine).
So, if Oscars were given for marketing, then on hold messaging would “WIN” for delivering an outstanding performance in best supporting role. Break up the crowded marketing bottleneck, and be sure to include Black Friday or holiday promotions in your on hold advertisements. It requires just a little planning and preparation, but it can make all the difference in the world. If you haven’t taken the necessary steps yet, or aren’t quite sure what information to include on your on hold marketing content, then here’s a few ideas to include in your on hold ads to help get your black Friday and holiday sales strategy rolling.
1. Clear Out Excess Inventory
Do you have a bit of excessive inventory of a particular product? Excess inventory means lost money! Not only is it money that’s just sitting around, but it also requires extra space and storage. Remember, customers will be in the mind frame of saving. If you have products that are sitting on the shelves that need to be moved, offer a big discount and include time sensitive offers in your message to create a sense of urgency. This may just be your chance to turn wasted dollars into profits, and free up space for your high moving items.
2. Bundle Offers
`Tis the season they’re seeking savings! Sales can soar when companies bundle products together. For example: Highlights at Salon X are $75, a haircut is $40. If the customer purchases the highlights and haircut on separate visits, the total ticket will be $115. Your price-conscious customers may find it difficult to part with $115 on a single visit, although your strategically created bundle builds considerable value for the customers and offers these services for $100 including a free shampoo. This results in the customer recognizing a real savings of $15.
You may be thinking, “I would lose $15 per sale!” Look closely, though. What actually happens is that a client, who may usually receive only $75 highlights, may opt for the additional $40 haircut because of the perceived “free” shampoo or savings on the services. What would have been a $75 ticket builds into a $115 ticket, and there you have it.
Bundled services or products can provide you with a higher volume in a shorter time, and what that means for you is increased profit in less time with little effort. As long as the bundle Now that’s working smarter, not harder!
3. Encourage gift card purchases.
Eight out of 10 shoppers had gift cards on their holiday shopping lists last year. Why not get a piece of that business in 2015? Gift card sales continue to grow with sales reaching into the billions of dollars. Not only do gift card purchasers buy now but they are likely to cause additional sales when the gift card is redeemed. Gift cards are one market you can’t afford to ignore.
4. Give coupons to use on later dates.
Many restaurants offer gift cards that offer a free appetizer to the “giver” as well producing additional revenue in the future. Clothing retailer Kohls often gives away “Kohl’s cash” coupons to be redeemed at some point in the future (usually 1-2 weeks). Certainly you can think of some coupon offer with a future “use-by-date”, to build awareness of your business among new markets and customers, and increase your chances of up-sell and generate repeat customers.
5. Small Business Saturday
Held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday started out as an attempt to redirect consumer attention toward small business offerings during the post-Thanksgiving sales rush. And, it has met with a lot of success. Last year, 88 million people showed up to Shop on Small Business Saturday, and this year could be even bigger! If you a small business owner, include some marketing specials on your on-hold recording to help capitalize on the boost, as most customers in this time period are actively shopping for the holidays.
Across all channels or touchpoints, especially the telephone, it’s important to create a sense of urgency and specialty to your deals. Stand out from your competitors by highlighting what makes your store — and sale — different. Build anticipation by adding to the Black Friday countdown, and create excitement and eagerness.
So, remember the old adage: you’ll get out what you put in. The more effort you put into your Black Friday and holiday marketing strategy, the greater your season’s profits should be.
Have some great ideas on what has worked for you in the past? Please share in the comments below.