Discover 5 marketing tasks you can automate to prepare your small business for a successful 2023 holiday sales season.
Automating your marketing tasks now results in more time and energy to focus on other things later. And, as owners of businesses both large and small know, those “other things” are in full throttle during the holiday season.
We’ve rounded up five tasks you can automate now so you’ll have a less stressful and more lucrative holiday sales season this year.
1. Leverage Email Automation
Email marketing consistently produces one of the highest ROIs across marketing channels. So, automating your emails into “drip campaigns” makes sense. Boost sales by peppering your emails with instant purchasing options. You can also use audience segmentation to connect with subscribers through personalized, value-based emails they’ll want to forward to family and friends. According to recent research from Hubspot, subscriber segmentation was the most effective strategy for email marketing campaigns. Though, message personalization and email automation campaigns ranked second and third on the results list. These campaigns take time to strategize and develop. Drip campaigns with the highest returns offer a carefully-crafted, personalized email experience. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of strategizing this automated flow well in advance of the holiday season.
2. Use a Post-Scheduling Tool for Social
We get it—sometimes you just want to post to your social manually. But do yourself (and your team) a favor for the 2023 holiday season: plug into post scheduling! Depending on which social platforms you use, you may already have access to a free scheduling tool. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are just a few of the channels that have this built-in option.
If you want to go beyond the platform-specific tools and invest in software that pre-schedules posts across multiple channels, there are some additional options to explore. Hootsuite, Supra Social Media Publisher, CoSchedule, Buffer, Agorapulse, and Zoho Social are just some of the schedulers that get rave reviews from SMB owners.
3. Write and Schedule Holiday Blogs in Advance
Planning and executing seasonal content in advance allows you and your team plenty of time to research, brainstorm, create and tweak effective, high-quality content that grabs and holds your audience’s attention ahead of your competition. Now is the time to be writing blogs and pre-load them into your website so they’ll publish at staggered times during the holidays. It may mean front-loading your workload now, but it will save you the infamous last-minute scramble to create and share valuable content with your followers when November hits.
You can also set up automated emails that trigger after certain customer behaviors. For instance, create emails that trigger when customers abandon their cart. Or set up loyalty emails that send customers a special discount when they reach a certain dollar amount of purchases from your store.
4. Prioritize Prompt Responses
Quick communication is a priority for today’s consumers, especially during the holidays when everyone is busier than usual. According to B2B influencer and “The Time to Win” author Jay Baer, “49% of customers are less likely to spend money when a brand takes longer to respond than they expect they should. Show your customers that you care about their holiday purchases and any questions they have while shopping by striving for speedy responses.
Two practical ways to do this are chatbots and business texting. If your website doesn’t already have a chatbot feature, update it with this tool now so customers aren’t left hanging with unanswered questions during the holiday shopping season. Connect with Technology Therapy Group’s web design team if your site is in need of this update.
Texting with customers via tools like Kenect* and Simple Texting* is another effective way to address their concerns and questions on their time. You can set up auto-responses to common questions that customers have so they can find the information and products they’re looking for more easily. These are also fantastic ways to let customers know that a human staff member will contact them soon to address any questions or concerns they relay outside of business hours.
5. Keep Customers Informed with Inventory Notifications
Product availability is a top priority for holiday shoppers. According to recent data from Salesforce, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs. Offer your customers the convenience of “low inventory” and “back-in-stock” notifications for products that they’re interested in. You can set up these alerts by downloading plug-ins or apps within platforms such as Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce. Though, if you need guidance setting up this feature for your business’s website, don’t hesitate to reach out to a pro at Technology Therapy® Group.
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