How to Drive Major Sales on Minor Holidays (Like Today's April Fools' Day)
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Do you know how that minor holiday we celebrate todayday -- April Fools’ Day -- began? Probably not; no one does.
And, if you do, you should contact the editorial staff over at Time. According to a post some years back by the magazine that stated, “Though many holidays have cloudy origins, the history of April Fools’ Day is particularly blurry, as there are several competing claims for the invention.”
So, April Fools’ Day’s beginning is somewhat of a mystery, but its prankster purpose is pretty clear. More than the opportunity to play jokes on your boss, it’s a chance for your company to surprise and delight customers. There is great power in leading with a laugh.
Bring back seasonal shoppers.
Each end-of-year holiday season, online shopping booms. If you own a company, you probably can attest to how many one-time buyers visit your website around the holidays. What if you could reach out to these shoppers and convince them to buy another time of year?
Remarketing is successful any time of year, so using the technique on minor holidays is a no-brainer. Rather than letting your seasonal shoppers forget all about you, you can create compelling content on smaller holidays that will turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers. Here are six ways how:
Drop a new product.
As your fellow brands in the first part of the year regroup from the holiday rush, you should be analyzing inventory and looking forward to upcoming events: Mother’s Day, Father's Day, wedding season, etc. -- because you can do something different. As your competitors look forward, you can steal the spotlight by releasing a here-and-now product.
Believe it or not, minor holidays are great times to release products. From a customer’s point of view, this is a time when buyers are ready for more. They’ve had the chance to feel good about the money they've put in the bank after regrouping from the holiday rush and they’re likely looking for a little pick-me-up.
Cleverly alter your presence.
Various holidays can help you improve your content, as well. Sound too good to be true? Check out arrrRentals, CarRentals.com’s April Fools’ landing page. As a viewer, it’s hard not to laugh as you navigate that content.
No detail has been overlooked. Every element of the page is curated to help you “discover your 'pirate' ship” (also known as your next car rental). Using trusted reviews from millions of pirates to top destinations, like Treasure Island and Atlantic Beach, CarRentals.com invites viewers to think ahead to vacation time.
Use your emailing list.
If you wait too long to touch base with your customers, they may forget about you. Don’t wait until major holidays and sales to reach out to your audience. Instead, deliver fresh content year-round that keeps your brand alive and enticing.
When you email, include a call-to-action that is specific to a minor holiday in your subject line; according to case studies, doing this can increase your email open rates by more than half.
Start a sale.
Every shopper loves a discount. Although your brand value should convince shoppers to pay top-dollar prices for your products, giving several discounts throughout the year makes customers happy and may possibly increase how much they purchase.
It’s easy to take things too far. Two years ago, Google added a mic-dropping feature to its emails in an attempt to delight users. Unfortunately, when an email was sent using this feature, responses were muted; the sender couldn’t see replies to his or her emails. As you might imagine, what had been designed to be a lighthearted marketing technique quickly created backlash and chaos for Google.
So, how do you avoid becoming the next marketing faux pas?
Run your idea by a group of your critical target customers. According to business consultant Chip Bell, you want to "Identify people in that target you know to be skeptical and critical. These people could be irate customers from previous encounters or friends who always take the glass-half-empty perspective."
After your tough test group has given you feedback, alter your idea with their critiques in mind. Then, run the second iteration past a more realistic sampling of your audience. The second time around, only minor changes should be required before the message is ready for your customer base.
Minor holidays, major results.
Holiday marketing can improve your sales performance. If you missed this April Fools’ Day sales opportunity, you’re regrettably too late, but don’t fret … Now is the perfect time to start preparing for the May holidays, which includes one less-celebrated, yet very important, observance: National Nurses Day.
That "holiday" may seem insignificant, but stick with me a second. Nurses are among America’s most trusted professionals. By celebrating and marketing on National Nurses Day, May 6, you can gain credibility by association and improve your sales on what’s thought to be a minor holiday.
In short: The right marketing plan can put any holiday on the map.