PPC Chat Streamcap – Ringing in the PPC Holidays Part 2 of 2

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) hosted part 2 of a Holiday PPCChat with the theme of “Ringing In The PPC Holidays.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What were some Black Friday/Cyber Monday trends you noticed, whether it be keyword bids, ad copy techniques, etc?

  • Honestly, nothing different. Major thing I noticed/tried is using BF/CM in copy – consumer recognition of these days is huge now. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Lots of messaging around “Cyber Monday Deal” or “Black Friday Sales.” Basically, getting that sense of urgency out there. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Actually seeing terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” used much more frequently in ad copy. – Lerna Terpanjian (@Lerna)
  • If anything, I felt like it started a little earlier than Friday. Seems like Thursday had some decent activity. – Mark Kenndy (@markkennedysem)
    • Agreed, clients also extended deals all weekend instead of just these 2 particular days. – Matt Umbro
      • We SAID we extended in our copy, but they were always planned for the whole week. – Aaron Levy
    • Definitely saw sales start earlier and end well after Cyber Monday. – Lerna Terpanjian
  • Cyber Monday– Conversion Rate doubled, even quadrupled in some cases. Huge lift especially after doing major KW expansions etc. – Emily Las (@emlas)
  • In Canada, more CDN shoppers/retailers are participating in Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Huge YOY traffic/revenue spikes. – Joseph McConellogue (@DigitalMrktr)
  • On a side note, I felt the BF/CM emails were more evident this year than any year I can remember. – Mark Kennedy
    • I definitely thought the push for BF/CM in general seemed more evident this year — emails included. – Claire Remmetter (@cremmetter)
  • Compared to Xmas, Thanksgiving day itself is quiet. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Cyber Monday has been starting Sunday night. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • The amount of deals emails I got that weekend was frightening.. Deterred me from shopping if anything. – Emily Las
  • I had a feature run on QVC the sunday in between that definitely played into the mix. Unfortunately being a brand I see my CVR’s drop thanks to all you retailers out there undercutting me. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
    • Do you run any special PPC campaigns during the time your QVC portion is live? – Mark Kennedy
      • Nothing specific, more meeting the demand…luckily they sold out early, so we became a good 2nd option. – Chris Kostecki
        • Gotcha, that’s smart. I may want to implement that for a future campaign. – Mark Kennedy

Q2: Last week Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner) wrote about Post Cyber Monday PPC plans. How are you assessing data/continuing holiday PPC to get more value (ie: revenue, etc) out of your holiday PPC efforts?

  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday is just starting point. Holiday finish line = Last day for ground shipping. – Emily Las
  • This sounds quite simple but I think understand typical YOY trends for a client / industry is essential for planning. – James Luty (@jamesluty)
  • Our digital team has been planning this season for quite a few weeks, for a multichannel approach (email,soc,search,merch). – Chris Kostecki
  • Not just around bank holidays and peak days etc. But yes, seasonal changes and external events need to be planned for! – James Luty
  • Drop discounts, offer free shipping instead with guaranteed to get there notes. Prey on the “Oh crap gotta shop!” moment. – Aaron Levy
  • Anyone seen success with messaging such as “Cyber Monday Deal Extended to 12/12”? Or is “Deal Ends 12/12” more prevalent after CM? – Matt Umbro
  • We change a lot of the promo codes and offers in the ads for the specials during and post-BF/CM. – Mark Kennedy
  • How many people believe profitability suffered because of non incremental sales happening at lower margins? – Richard Fergie
    • Honestly I think retailers are too terrified to test this. Great idea though! – Aaron Levy
  • Also with Facebook PPC– Holiday makes for huge ROI. Lots of sales off of clients’ current fans. New buyers too! – Emily Las
  • As far as ad messaging goes, were seeing better success w/ minimal changes to optimized ad copy. Highlighting selling props more. – Luke Alley
  • We saw a huge dip in CTR when pushing seasonal promos too hard. Slow and steady wins the race. – Mark Jensen (@Just_Markus)

Q3: How are you utilizing Facebook PPC this holiday season to boost brand awareness and/or revenue?

  • Facebook Holiday PPC= 5 different messages across custom audience segments. Literally pairing targets w/specific promos. – Emily Las
  • I’ve had amazing results with FB ads using 60% off today only, sales that end at midnight etc. play the ‘fast’ card. – Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)
  • Holiday PPC on FB– CPCs shot through the roof. More than doubled. Apparently this Facebook thing is catching on. – Emily Las
  • With FB do you guide people to company pages where there is a coupon? – Matt Umbro
  • Target consumers with products they’ll actually like via Facebook PPC. – Statdash (@statdash)
  • I found that when we directed traffic to our company page, we didn’t see an increase in organic or direct traffic in GA. – Jasmine Aye (@jazaye)

Q4: What’s your PPC high and low for holiday thus far? (Brag, whine– let it all out)

  • High: Best week evar! Low: Having “Fa-la-la” rejected in Ad Copy. – Aaron Levy
  • High as definitely been being able to tell clients they are seeing such great results…everyone is happy. – Matt Umbro
  • Being able to listen to Christmas music as much as I’d like… While working on PPC. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • Conversions down across the board for 4 days around Thanksgiving. HATE that holiday 🙁 Makes for horrible reporting. – Jasmine Aye
    • Wow– that is unusual. I wonder if that has to do with PPC madness. maybe stealing away from organic. – Emily Las
      • I haven’t seen PPC stealing from organic yet. FB PPC is the last place I ever get great return. And it’s kind of expensive. – Jasmine Aye
        • FB Holiday return=HUGE. It’s a lot of work optimization-wise though. Use 3rd party tracking and you will see more $/visits! – Emily Las
  • Holiday High: Making it rain money // Low: Remembering the money is not mine. – Emily Las
  • Low = Seeing organic traffic at 0 for non ecomm clients on Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Ok, so that was SEO not PPC. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
  • Low- Google unable to fix product listing ad issue 🙁 High- Switching from Grooveshark to Spotify. – Mark Jensen
  • Having my client say “Sales are Exploding. You rock.” and having our 4 biggest days ever. – Lisa Sanner
  • Low, not being able to automate when ads start/stop showing (don’t have any 3rd party software). – Matt Umbro
  • Low: having to redo all my sitelinks for sales, and losing stats. high: the results they generated. – Eloi Casali
  • High – good results for clients. Low: lots of ad work in short amounts of time (bit worth it). – Mark Kennedy
  • Low = Call from @Realicity on Thanksgiving -“You got time to work on something?” Client had sale, but showed regular price in cart! – Paul Kragthorpe

Q5: Do you find your holiday landing pages (if you have them) to be driving much more significant revenue over regular landing pages?

  • Pretty much all I’ve ever seen/done is gift guides (not great) and santa hat/snowflakes on the logo (probably works?). – Aaron Levy
  • IMHO Holiday landing pages are code for clearance. – Matt Umbro
  • Gift Guide works but not for everyone. Noticing having a solid “Gifts Under $__” offering makes a huge difference. – Emily Las
  • Landing on product detail pages for special deals did gangbusters (conv rate). Landing on holiday gift guides, meh, not so much. – Lisa Sanner
  • Holiday landing pages do make for a nice sitelink, also, holiday deals make for good promotional text on PLAs. – Matt Umbro

Q6: What are the biggest differences between your PPC holiday strategy this year vs. last?

  • More ad enhancements to utilize. – Mark Kennedy
  • My AdWords communication strategy changed this yr– expect zero support, create ads in paused status 1-2 wks ahead! – Emily Las
    • LOVE that they reviewed them ahead of time this year! – Aaron Levy ++
  • Longer headlines make for much more appealing copy as they greater emphasize deals & promos. – Matt Umbro
  • Bid much more aggressively after the success of last yr (proven). Set up automated reports/dashboards, Used scheduled actions. – Lisa Sanner
  • Using topic and interest based campaigns for display ads. – Manoj Pandey (@_MAN0J)
  • The new product listing format influenced holiday strategy a bit this year, not so much w/ getting the feed setup, but raising bids. – Matt Umbro
  • @marinsoftware Reported a 34% decrease in CPC YoY for Thanksgiving wknd- they manage $1B+/yr – anyone here see CPC drop? – Emily Las

Q7: What promotions/ad copy will you be running directly after the holidays?

  • Will continue running promotional copy for after-holiday clearances. – Lerna Terpanjian
  • Anyone try running copy around “Easy Returns?” – Matt Umbro
    • “Easy Returns” is best for products targeting men- research shows men don’t like to return! – Emily Las
    • I don’t have ecommerce clients, but I would think ‘easy returns’ or ‘free shipping on returns’ could be good offers. – Claire Remmetter
  • Post Holiday is time for magical word/call-to-action = CLEARANCE. – Emily Las
  • New years resolution, “get what you really wanted,” gift card redemption, more fa-la-la-la. – Aaron Levy
  • Offers extended by seeing positive ROI. – Manoj Pandey
  • Free/Expedited shipping. Still have more deals and new promos, which I’m working on my other monitor as we tweet. – Lisa Sanner


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About the Streamcapologist

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe, Search Manager at WebRanking in Minneapolis, MN, #PPCChat Streamcap hunter & gatherer, rare SEO Blogger, Tweet maker @PaulKragthorpe, and Google+’er PaulKragthorpe.

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2 Responses to PPC Chat Streamcap – Ringing in the PPC Holidays Part 2 of 2

  1. Lisa Sanner says:

    Here’s working link for my post-CM blog.

    Great stuff once again #ppcchat’ters!

  2. […] paid search program. I find it interesting from an SEO an advertising perspective. One of their recent chats was all about using PPC for the […]

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