How to Win the 2021 Holiday Season by Fostering Engagement With Your Campaigns

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Connect with your audiences and make the most out of your holiday season marketing campaigns.

It’s that time of year again — time to start thinking about your holiday marketing campaigns.

For retail marketers, the holiday season is an opportunity to increase engagement and drive an increase in sales. It’s expected that the average American will spend around $1,800 on gifts this year.

To make the most out of your holiday season marketing campaigns, you’ll want to understand who your customers are and identify how to relate your content to their needs. This can be a challenging process but doesn’t have to be with the right strategy in place.

In this article, we’ll provide you with 6 tips to increase your campaign engagement this holiday season and then provide you with eight marketing platforms that will help make managing it all simple.

Looking for a sneak peek? Here’s a quick look at the tips we’ll cover:

  • Continue to grow your subscriber base
  • Improve targeting with real customer insights
  • Integrate personalization into each campaign
  • Make your content relatable to the customer
  • Find ways to improve your customer experience
  • Don’t forget to continue to nurture customers

6 Tips to Increase Campaign Engagement This Holiday Season

If you’re looking for new ways to increase engagement in your holiday marketing campaigns, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of six tips that are sure to help you improve your holiday marketing efforts this year and drive increased engagement.

Each of these tips will help you to improve your current digital marketing efforts and make the most out of your holiday marketing campaigns. From growing your subscriber base to creating personalized and relatable content — it all works together to drive higher engagement rates.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in and help you develop some new ways to increase engagement and make the most out of your holiday marketing.

1) Continue to Grow Your Subscriber Base

One effective way to increase engagement is to improve the overall number of subscribers you have. By sending a larger volume of messages, you have the ability to reach more people and increase engagement in the process.

It’s important to keep track of how your subscriber base looks. You want to continue to see it grow over time and for those subscribers to be active and engaged with your content. Without a growing subscriber base, you’ll likely find that you hit a wall when trying to increase engagement. Image courtesy of Klipfolio

This goes for any of the channels you’re using as part of your marketing strategy — whether that’s email, SMS, social media, or another channel.

If you don’t focus on building your subscriber list, you’ll eventually hit a plateau with your engagement metrics. The same audiences will continue to interact with your content, but you won’t be able to continue to see increased engagement over time.

There are many different ways you can start to build your subscriber base. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • Create unique content that customers want
  • Launch opt-in campaigns that encourage people to join your lists
  • Offer free content that is gated
  • Promote across various channels to capture already engaged users
  • Add simple subscribe forms to your website

Building a solid subscriber base is the foundation you need to have a successful marketing strategy. It will allow you to capture customer data firsthand, drive people back to your website, and integrate personalization into your content to build stronger relationships with your audiences.

The holiday season is a great time to grow your subscriber base. During the holiday season, many consumers are looking to purchase the perfect gift or find a way to save a few extra dollars here and there.

By offering relevant content such as gift guides and offering discounts for joining your list are great ways to attract new customers during this time.

Taking the time to grow your subscriber base during the holiday season will allow you not only to see higher engagement through the end of the year but will also improve your future campaigns as well.

2) Improve Targeting with Real Customer Insights

You’ve likely heard by now that the way we target audiences is going to change with recent security changes. With this change, you’ll need to start to rely more on the first-party data you collect to drive targeted campaigns.

First-party data is information you collect from your audiences based on their interactions across your owned spaces. This includes your website, app, social media channels, and more.

The more you know about your subscribers, the better you can target them. Understanding their interests, likes, dislikes, and purchasing behaviors can help you identify opportunities to improve your targeting efforts and increase the likelihood of engaging with your content. Image courtesy of Latana.

By capturing these insights, you can easily start to understand better who your customers are and what products they’re most likely to purchase. With this information, you can then begin to develop highly targeted campaigns that drive high engagement and bring customers back to your website to complete a purchase.

Using things like previous shopping and browsing behaviors to identify general demographics like age and location, you can start to build campaigns around real audience insights.

These highly targeted campaigns will get the right message in front of the right person at the right time.

This holiday season, you can use the customer data to deliver personalized content to each user. For example, if you know a specific audience segment has small children, you can share products they may be interested in purchasing as gifts from Santa.

3) Integrate Personalization into Each Campaign

In addition to using customer data to create more targeted campaigns, you can also use it to integrate personalization into each message.

Using personalization in your marketing campaigns can go a long way with your audiences. People are more likely to purchase from retailers that interact with them in a personalized manner and keep track of their previous purchasing habits to share relevant products. Image courtesy of Business2Community.

Personalization is another highly effective way to get your audiences engaged and increase conversion rates. The more relevant your content is to your customers’ needs, the more likely they are to do something with that content.

It’s been said that message personalization is the top tactic used by email marketers to increase engagement rates — and it’s a great way to reach your audiences during the holiday season.

This again goes back to sending the right message to the right person at the right time. The more data you can collect and inject into your marketing messages, the more relevant the content will be to that customer.

Sharing relevant gift guides based on the person’s age or relationship status will put the products they’re looking for in front of them and simplify the process to find the perfect gift.

Here are a few examples of how integrating personalization into your seasonal campaigns will give you a competitive edge this season:

  • It creates an actual reason to purchase a product
  • It allows you to create more content-driven strategies that put the customers first
  • It enhances the overall user experience and helps get people into the holiday mood
  • It lets your audiences know you care about how they are and build stronger relationships

The more personalized your campaigns are, the more likely they are to catch your users’ attention and encourage them to complete a purchase. During the holiday season, when people are increasing their typical spending, the more you can grab their attention, the better.

4) Make Your Content Relatable to the Customer

So at this point, you’re probably noticing a trend — relatable and relevant content takes the win.

It’s so important to make sure that the content you’re producing is what your audiences want. If you’re spending hours at a time to create a gift guide but then send it to the wrong audience, it won’t provide the results you were hoping for.

You might be wondering, how do I make my content relatable to my audiences? Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Communicate with your audiences the way they like to communicate
  • Educate, entertain and inspire through your content
  • Be personal
  • Use Imagery
  • Focus on topics your audiences care about

There are many ways you can engage your audiences in relatable content during the holiday season.

Share silly Christmas sweater pictures or stories about hanging up the holiday decorations and finding out none of the lights work. Finding ways to relate with your audiences and show them how your products can make their lives easier will help to increase engagement across the board.

Get creative with your content by adding images, videos, gifs, and other attention-grabbing elements. This will also allow you to leverage your content across various channels and increase engagement on each.

5) Find Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

Keeping your customer experience top of mind will allow you to create campaigns that meet your customers’ needs. By focusing on providing a quality customer experience, you’ll improve how your audiences see your brand and increase conversion opportunities.

Your customer experience can make or break your marketing campaigns. When done right, your customers will have a more positive perception of your brand and will return to your site over a competitor next time they need to make a purchase. Image courtesy of Lucidpress.

Having a good customer experience will improve your marketing campaigns in a number of different ways. These are just a few benefits you can expect to see when focusing on improving your customer experience:

  • Higher customer lifetime value
  • Reduced customer churn
  • Higher customer retention
  • Better customer engagement

When you consider that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, it’s something you can’t ignore.

Customer experience is something you should be considering every time you build a new marketing campaign — but especially during the holiday season. You’ll want to make sure the journey from one channel to the next is simple and relevant to the needs of each customer.

If you do it right, a good customer experience during the holiday season could result in repeat, loyal customers that frequent your site all year round.

6)Don’t Forget to Continue to Nurture Customers

Once you’ve connected with your customers, your work doesn’t stop there. You need to continue to nurture those customers to keep the relationship alive and well.

This is an important element in your marketing efforts because it’s much cheaper to retain and sell to existing customers than it is to attract new ones.

When it comes to reengaging leads, email nurturing ranks much higher than any other retargeting effort. That’s why it’s so important to integrate nurturing into your marketing campaigns, during the holiday and year-round. Image courtesy of Databox.

Nurturing can happen at a variety of different points with a customer. A new subscriber may be enrolled in a welcome campaign whereas someone who is a loyal fan may receive special loyalty messages.

These things are important to keep customers interested and engaged with your content based on their interests.

During the holiday season, you have a few things you can do to nurture your audiences.

If you’re attracting new audiences, creating holiday-themed welcome campaigns is a great opportunity. Another way you can nurture your customers during the holiday season could be by sending them relevant products that will help them check gifts off the list.

Don’t forget, once the holiday season is over, your work isn’t done. You’ll want to continue to nurture your customers throughout the year to keep them engaged and interested in your brand.

8 Digital Marketing Platforms to Help Drive Successful Holiday Campaigns

Having the right tools in place can make all the difference when it comes to managing your digital marketing campaigns. That’s why you’ll want to find a digital marketing platform that can help you to elevate your current efforts.

In this section, we’ll take a look at eight different digital marketing platforms that can help you achieve all of your goals. From making it simple to attract new subscribers to building complex automated workflows to keep customers engaged — it all helps drive increased engagement.

If you’re looking to make the most out of this holiday season, then you’ll definitely want to consider using one of these tools to help you manage all of your communications.

1) Listrak

The Listrak platform has everything you need to succeed in your digital marketing efforts. Whether you need a way to track and target customers based on their behaviors or want to create cross channel experiences — it can all be done here.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Unified 360° profile and customer insight tools to help you understand who your audiences are on a deeper level and use that data in your campaigns
  • Cross channel orchestration will allow you to improve the customer experience from one channel to the next
  • Growth Xcelerator Platform that will help you to continue to grow your subscriber base and drive higher campaign conversion rates
  • Predictive technology that will allow you to improve your personalization and targeting efforts to predict future behaviors

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“I’ve been very impressed with the speed of innovation and continual investment in the Listrak platform. The tool itself is powerful, and the people we work with go above and beyond to make us feel supported. Since working with Listrak, we’ve seen a 475% improvement in email revenue.” — Listrak Customer Testimonial

Pricing: The pricing for this platform is customized based on business needs, and you’ll need to speak with a representative to learn more.

2) Omnisend

Omnisend is another digital marketing tool that will allow you to manage multiple channels from one platform. It’s an all-in-one eCommerce marketing tool that makes it easy to create tailored experiences that drive customers back to your website.

With Omnisend you can have a better understanding of who your customers are and how they’re engaging with your content will allow you to build customized workflows. These workflows will move people through the process without the need for manual intervention.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Easily create shoppable campaigns that are easy to develop and provide your customers with the content they’re interested in
  • Automate campaigns to increase engagement and nurture your audiences based on their previous interactions and behaviors
  • Tap into customer data to create segments, understand your customer lifecycle stages, and find the analytics you need
  • Grow your subscriber list with the help of popups, landing pages, signup boxes, and more

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“Omnisend was paying for itself in the first 2 weeks of use. Now, we’re seeing a 40x return across all campaigns and automations.” — Omnisend Customer Testimonial

Pricing: Plan pricing is based on the number of contacts you have. The email plan starts at $16 per month, and the email & SMS plan starts at $59 per month. There is a free email plan available as well.

3) MailChimp

MailChimp is a digital marketing platform that will allow you to automate your marketing efforts and help you do more with your time and resources. From creating personalized customer journeys to identifying the best time to send messages to your audiences — this tool does it all.

Knowing when to send a message to your audience can make all the difference. With the help of the MailChimp platform, you can easily identify these moments and create automated experiences.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Audience management tools that will allow you to get to know who your customers are and use that data to improve personalization and targeting efforts
  • Create better content with easy to use design tools and flexible templates to help save you time and frustration
  • Automate your marketing efforts to create more customized experiences for each customer based on their needs
  • Analytics tools that are easy to use and understand to pinpoint which campaigns are working and which aren’t

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“Since using Mailchimp, I feel so much more confident in managing all our marketing. Like I got this.” — MailChimp Customer Testimonial

Pricing: There are multiple plan options including, the Free plan, the Essentials plan starting at $9 per month, the Standard plan starting at $14 per month, and the Premium plan starting at $299 per month.

4) Customer.io

Customer.io is an automated messaging platform designed to help marketers send data-driven emails, push notifications, and SMS messages. This platform has everything you need to improve engagement rates through segmentation, personalization, and more.

Easily create campaigns that are targeted to your audiences and provide them with a next step. Whether you’re creating triggered campaigns to increase sales through cross selling or to welcome new subscribers, Customer.io can help you achieve your goals.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • A segmentation engine that can help you to automatically segment subscribers based on their personal attributes, pages they’ve viewed, and more
  • Use customer data to create ad audiences and retarget users with the most relevant content based on their real-time interactions
  • Easily build and create messages and campaign workflows to create the optimal user experience
  • Create personalized messages with the help of Collections that integrate specific information about your business and tailor for each individual person

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“Customer.io makes it easy for Handy to create a personalized customer journey with detailed targeting and dynamic workflows, and our account manager is super responsive and goes out of her way to make sure we’re happy.” — Customer.io Customer Testimonial

Pricing: There are two plan options available, including the Basic plan starting at $150 per month and the Premium plan starting at $995 per month.

5) Hubspot

Hubspot’s Marketing Hub has everything you’ll need to connect with your audiences across various channels. From growing your subscriber base to driving higher conversions and sales — Hubspot can help you achieve your goals.

Know who your audiences are and where they’re coming from. With Hubspot’s easy-to-use dashboards, you can easily keep track of all of your important data.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Continue to grow your subscriber base with customized landing pages and easy to build forms that encourage customers to convert
  • Automate your marketing efforts to continue to nurture leads, personalize messages at scale, and manage data in bulk
  • Understand who your customers are, track new leads, and then use that information to segment and nurture your customers
  • Tap into the analytics you need to determine if your campaigns are successful and understand how to improve future efforts

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“I really wanted to introduce HubSpot to Harley-Davidson because it helps us bring our customer experience to the forefront. It lets our sales and marketing teams work together to be able to provide the experience customers want.” — Hubspot Customer Testimonial

Pricing: There are four plan options including, the free plan, the Starter plan starting at $45 per month, the Professional plan starting at $800 per month, and the Enterprise plan starting at $3,200 per month.

6) AdRoll

AdRoll is a marketing platform that allows you to do everything from creating targeted ads to manage channels such as email and social media. With the help of this platform, you’ll be able to provide your customers with the best experience and continue to increase engagement over time.

With the correct customer data, you can create highly effective retargeting campaigns that increase engagement and drive customers back to your website. AdRoll can help you create and manage these targeted campaigns and more.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Win-back customers who left products in their cart with display ads and email marketing to drive an increase in sales
  • Use customer data to target them with the most relevant content through retargeting capabilities
  • Share relevant product recommendations based on previous shopper behavior to increase engagement and drive more sales
  • Grow your subscriber base and build customer loyalty to keep your customers coming back for more

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“Through retargeting and brand awareness campaigns, AdRoll has helped us capture the attention of a new generation of parents.” — AdRoll Customer Testimonial 

Pricing: There are a few plan options available with AdRoll including, the free Starter plan, the Growth plan starting at $19 per month, and the Enterprise plans that are customized based on your specific business needs.

7) Marketo

Marketo is a marketing automation platform that can help you elevate your digital marketing campaigns. With all the tools you need to create and manage campaigns to the analytics that tell you which campaigns performed best — Marketo can do it all.

Having the right insights can help you to improve your marketing efforts and quickly see how each campaign is performing. Marketo makes this simple with dashboards that compile all your most important data into one central location.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Identify and engage audiences through behavioral tracking, automated campaigns, and sophisticated customer journey flows
  • Connect with your audiences via email, integrate personalized data into each message, and see how campaigns are performing with in-depth reporting
  • Grow your subscriber base by attracting new audiences and then nurture them to keep them engaged and interested in your content
  • Have insight into how your campaigns are performing and create easy to understand dashboards based on your reporting needs

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“Marketo is a marketing platform that is flexible to each user’s needs. It can execute large campaigns quickly and has a workflow function that automates them. The support team is constructive and personal. We found Marketo easy to integrate with Insightpool Social Marketing Platform and GoodData.” — Marketo Customer Review

Pricing: The pricing for the Marketo platform is customized based on business needs, and you’ll need to speak with a representative to learn more.

8) ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a digital marketing platform that focuses on providing your customers with the best experience possible. This platform will provide you with the tools to do it all, from automating marketing efforts to managing your service and support.

Create highly targeted workflows that use real customer insights to drive them towards completing a purchase. With ActiveCampaign, you can easily create these customized experiences at scale to increase engagement.

Highlighted Capabilities:

  • Easily automate your marketing efforts to move customers through specific workflows and experiences based on their needs
  • Use customer insights to create highly targeted audience segments to improve your retargeting and advertising efforts
  • Continue to grow your subscriber base with sign-up forms that help you collect email addresses and learn more about your customers
  • Understand where your customers are coming from with attribution tracking to identify new areas of opportunity

Here’s What Their Customers Think:

“It’s really freed me up, mentally, knowing that information is collected as orders are coming in. With all the automations we’re using, the store runs by itself. I’m able to focus on other projects” — ActiveCampaign Customer Testimonial

Pricing: There are multiple plan options available for B2C, B2B, and Ecommerce businesses. Pricing is based on the number of contacts you have and ranges from $15 per month to $279 per month.

Are You Ready to Knock This Holiday Season Out of the Park?

So what do you think? Are you ready to knock this holiday season out of the park this year?

Taking a step back and looking at your holiday efforts holistically will allow you to identify new areas of opportunity and improvement. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference in the performance of your campaigns.

Integrating the tips we discussed in this article will help you to improve your efforts and see an increase in engagement this year.

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