PPC Chat Streamcap – Getting Ready for Holiday 2012

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Getting Ready for Holiday 2012.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Have you begun speaking with your clients about holiday strategy and promotions? If not, when will you?

  • Yes, we’ve been preparing for the holidays with our customers for quite some time. – BloomReach Inc. (@bloomreachinc)
  • From an inhouse perspective, we kicked off holiday planning in July, though now going into “weekly mode”. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • YES! Speaking with clients about promotions they want to run, LPs that need to be created, image ads that will need to be made. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • No ecomm clients anymore, but in the past I’d start planning right around now. Uptick in queries starts around Oct! – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Not yet but will be working on it shortly! – Kristina Costa (@KhughesCosta)
  • Talked of a strategy, but being B2B we have to promote earlier to providers to buy and stock up to seller to customers. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • In fact, clients are creating holiday promotions because they are sick of me talking to them about it…I kid, but seriously. – Matt Umbro

Q2: As a PPC account manager, what would you ideally like from your clients in order to prepare for the holiday season? Why?

  • Them not to change their mind . For quite obvious reasons. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Flexibility & cooperation. Hated being locked into a promo schedule/design, let me help! I already have data on what works. – Aaron Levy
  • Don’t plan a promotion and tell me the day before it goes live. I’d also like all image ads sent to me at least 2 weeks before they need to go live…in order to make sure Google reviews them – Matt Umbro
  • To not pull the plug so soon after initial numbers do not show a lift. These things take a little time. – Brian Gaspar
  • The promotion to actually be reflected on the LPs. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Shipping dates are also key when planning Holiday eComm advertising. – Chris Kostecki

Q3: How should clients emphasize holiday sales and promotions on site (in order to improve conversion rate)?

  • Yes, especially if teased in the ads. While a promo in ad will win the click, reinforcing thru the conv path will get the sale! On landing page & “attached” to products (product description) or badge on product image. Cart is debatable (breakage). – Chris Kostecki
  • If you use a promo code in an ad, make sure it is reiterated on the LP and site. – Matt Umbro
  • On the home page, on the product pages & on the cart/final checkout page. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Site-wide if possible. – Robert Brady
  • Sale should be reinforced by the ad with banners/messaging all the way to checkout. Send to a holiday landing page if possible. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
    • Just putting codes in ads = no dice! – Aaron Levy 
  • If in the cart, do you really want to give away the promo…lead them to the cart yes, but holding their hand all the way thru? – Chris Kostecki
    • I hear what you’re saying, but yes, I like to include the promo in the cart. Make it as easy to convert as possible. – Matt Umbro
    • I usually do give them the promo code again on the checkout page, but it depends on the niche/client. – Jesse Semchuck
      • If in the cart, they are already well on their way. Spend more time getting more people in the cart. I’d rather get more vol in cart, with some abandonment, but getting more to shop w/o promo. – Chris Kostecki 
        • Higher margin sales are always better. Many of my clients are local and this strategy doesn’t really apply. – Jesse Semchuck
        • I suppose, but specially for smaller ecomm store I think they would like customer to use code rather than leave. – Matt Umbro
  • ALWAYS use strong expiration date language. Ending soon, limited time, offer expires in”¦ show the end date in the messaging. – Jesse Semchuck
  • I would also use messaging such as “Limited Time Offer” or “Promo Ends at such a date." – Matt Umbro
  • Every promo hurts the bottom line, should be used to draw in, but not given away as a default. Also needs to be coupled with post-sale marketing (remarketing, email, social) with no promo to increase cust value. – Chris Kostecki
    • Agreed, but if you promised it in an ad you’ve got to deliver. – Robert Brady
      • Absolutely, but on them to opt in, not opt out. – Chris Kostecki
    • Yep. Client pushed back when I asked to do Xmas promo. Reasoning was he thought we could still get the sales w/out promo. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • I’ve had good success using the language “A savings of $19!” rather than using % off. People relate to $$. – Jesse Semchuck

Q4: How will remarketing play into your holiday strategy?

  • Remarket abandon carts with promo is win/win. Oh yes…remarketing will be used, interested to test new GA capabilities. – Chris Kostecki
  • Redesign display ads to be themed for the holiday. Jingle bells & Santa sale tags ftw. – Jesse Semchuck
  • Great for pushing last minute deals that the client tells you about the day before. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • Make sure to push your remarketing ads live before the holiday so they aren’t stuck under review. – Matt Umbro
  • Use Re-marketing during holiday to bring back previous purchases, not just to find new ones. – Aaron Levy
    • Exactly, it’s more about the 30 days after the holiday than the holiday itself. – Jesse Semchuck
  • Generally I don’t like using retargeting for holiday (expiring soon) ads. I might change the overall theme of ads but retargeting seems to work better when given 30 days to marinate. Holiday timelines don’t really allow for that. – Jesse Semchuck
    • Remarketing is especially important during the holidays because of the amount of comparison shopping. Keep your brand…and great promos…in front of potential customers. – Matt Umbro

Q5: How will you recycle last year’s holiday campaigns in order to prepare for holiday 2012?

  • Change “2011” to “2012” in ad copy. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
    • As the saying goes”¦ If it ain’t broke, don’t delete and recreate the campaign. – Jesse Semchuck
    • Good point. & along with that, update copy on websites if you haven’t already. – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
  • I will select “Enabled” from drop down. – Chris Kostecki
  • If applicable, copy ads and then replace with new promos and dates. – Matt Umbro
  • See what worked last year but also recently into incorporating a similar approach to this year. Also make sure LP reflects copy. – Brian Gaspar
  • May be obvious, but make sure Destination URLs are correct, when re-enabling campaigns from last year. – Paul Kragthorpe

Q6: How far in advance to you write your holiday ads?

  • 2 months. – Chris Kostecki
  • If I have the promos I’ll write them now and resume when necessary. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends on when you know the logistics of the promotion? Couple weeks to a couple days beforehand. – Brian Gaspar
  • At least a few weeks in advance for client review and Google approvals. – Jesse Semchuck


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• BloomReach Inc. (@bloomreachinc)
• Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
• Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
• Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
• Kristina Costa (@KhughesCosta)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)

StreamCaptain of PPC Reporting for Duty

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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