I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas: The Ultimate Holiday Campaign
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Depending on what line of business you’re in, the winter holidays can be completely awesome, or really terrible. Just walk into your local fireplace store on November 1, and ask the guy behind the counter if he’s excited for the holidays. Odds are, he’ll say, “Absolutely.” There are a lot of businesses that actually have an incredibly high dependence on the holiday season - coffee, tea, toys and a number of other multi-billion dollar industries have disproportionately high sales during this time of year.
Maybe your business does sell more in the holiday seasons, and maybe your business doesn’t; that’s the wonderful thing about running a holiday campaign. By tapping into your customers’ hidden needs, we can go around your customers’ conventional feelings about what they should be buying in the holiday season.
Full disclosure, this article will be taking you through a lot of Keap® Campaign Builder as a basis for this campaign! Of course, the campaign can be built without a CRM software, but less will be automated and it will be trickier to build and maintain.
Re-using this campaign and your customer's birthday
You can, and should, re-use this campaign about five or six times per year with only a few changes. Every time you re-use it you’ll be saving your company dozens of hours of work. The whole idea behind doing a solid holiday campaign is so that you can clone it, to save yourself about 60 hours of busy work over the course of a year - one and a half work weeks!
We recommend simply making a copy of your holiday campaign during July 4th, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Memorial Day, and on your clients’ birthdays.
Yes, you read that right: your clients’ birthdays. As long as you go about gathering your clients’ birthdays around the time of their first purchase, you can launch a birthday campaign to them, year after year. The trick to doing a birthday campaign is kicking off the campaign with a no-strings-attached free gift. That way, you won’t come off looking too “sales-y” in the eyes of your customers. Also, remember that making a copy of one of your existing campaigns only takes a few seconds.
Advanced prep is key
A holiday campaign will need to be ready-to-go by Thanksgiving, so it means that you’ll need to prepare it between September 25 and November 20th. This article will break the 8-12 hours of total work needed to be done into weekly tasks to prevent you from getting overwhelmed. We’ve also included a checklist, so you can make sure that you’ve done everything you need to do at the right time.
The key to pulling off a successful campaign is NOT to do it all at once; spending a day or two straight on a campaign can be rather gruelling. It’s far easier to break it up into 8 or 9 short working sessions. It prevents burnout and gives you time to check in with your sales and marketing automation vendor’s tech team in case you run into any technical issues.
Chatter is high, and your customer's attention level is low
You need to understand that your customers are being bombarded with sales and marketing especially in November, and that any holiday campaign needs to contain four things to be truly successful:
- It’s got to have a spectacular offer - a 10%-off sale just isn’t going to cut it.
- It should have 9 to 12 touchpoints, per customer, because your customers and leads are likely to ignore 50% of those touch-points.
- Your campaign should be shared using a combination of “earned” and “unearned” media. This means that it’s all good to share it using social media and word-of-mouth, but it’s very risky, from a business perspective, to not put some highly targeted (and easily assessable) ad spending behind your campaign, for a short period of time.
- There should be an online and offline component. Remember, there is still a small percentage of your customers, perhaps as many as 5%, who are not using the Internet.
WEEK ONE: Basic Campaign Builder set-up and delegation
Before we get into writing all your fancy copy, let's take a few minutes to set up the actual mechanics of your campaign. Just follow these steps:
- Open up your app and log in. Navigate your way to Campaign Builder. In the Infusionsoft by Keap® app, this can be found by clicking on the Infusionsoft logo in the top left hand corner, as shown below.
- Clicking here will open up a menu. Under Marketing there will be an option called Campaign Builder. Click on this to open up the following:
- Now click the green button that reads Create my own Campaign.
- Campaign Builder will open and will show you this window. Title your campaign Holiday Campaign 1. You will also need to select a category. The category section is designed to help you easier locate and store all of your campaigns. If you have other seasonal offers running, add them into the same category for easy access. If you are creating one for the first time, we suggest a name such as Seasonal Offer Campaigns.
- Once hitting 'Save' this window will close and you’ll be in the Campaign Builder itself. On the left you will see a tool bar with two sections. The sequences and the goals. Think of goals and sequences as complimentary items. Goals are needed to start sequences. The beginning of your campaign has to be how your lead’s information has been obtained. This is different for everyone, so depends on your personal preference or how you currently obtain leads.
- Once you’ve dragged the relevant goal or goals into your campaign window on how you will be obtaining the leads information you’ll need to set it/them up. To do this, click inside the goal and you’ll be taken through to varying options to make sure the goal is ready. Once you’ve finished editing, slide from draft to ready in the top right hand corner. You can then click out of the goal to be brought back into the main Campaign Builder window. Your goal will have gone from grey to green, signalling it is ready to be published. Don’t forget, this is just the stage to initially obtain a new leads email.
- You can now drag a sequence in next to the goal. Go back to the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen and drag and drop sequence into the main window. Place it on the right hand side of the goal. These two can be connected by dragging the arrow on the right hand side of the goal and connecting it to the sequence.
- Click on the Sequence and change the title to Campaign Kick-off Sequence. This is going to be the first step of the Holiday offer. Click into the sequence to set it up. Once inside, you will see a Start icon.
We advise putting a timer in as this is the first time you are marketing to the lead. Remember, the lead has only provided their email address so far to obtain the lead magnet you have offered (or whatever option you gave them to collect their information in the first place). For that reason, don’t bombard them with marketing emails straight away. It’s up to you how long you wait, but definitely don’t send your first marketing email at the same time your new lead receives their lead magnet via email. This doesn't make you look very good.
- Now you can drag in how you will be communicating with your new lead. We’ve started with an email, as we want the whole process to be automated and run by itself. As you can see below, the email has been re-titled so we know which one it is. To set up an email in a sequence, simply click on it and compose the email. Do bear in mind, composing of the email content will be done at a later stage when your are delegating off tasks. This process is simply to show you how to build the campaign structure.
- You will then repeat this process for however long you want the emails to run for. For us, we have chosen to run seven emails. To do this in Campaign Builder, drag the different emails, always placing them to the right of the email before. Click in to the email and compose it, and don't forget to re-title it so you know which email is which. Then join them up. So the emails don't all send at the same time, pop delay timer's in between!
- Now this sequence is complete, go back into your main campaign and drag the Goal: Product Purchased into your campaign. As with the other goals, click on it and pick your preferences. It will turn green when ready.
You don’t have to worry about someone receiving the second and third email in the previous sequence if they purchased from the first email. As with all campaigns, the sequences drive towards a goal. Once a goal is complete, so in this case the product is purchased, all sequences before that goal stop.
Your final campaign should look like this:
If you would like to, pop another sequence in after the product purchased and set up a thank you email. We recommend doing that!
To publish the campaign go to the top right and click Publish.
You will be shown a checklist of everything included in the campaign, and any uncompleted sections will be flagged.
Now that you have completed mapping out a campaign, you can focus your attention on finalizing the details of the campaign. Double click on a goal or sequence icon to configure the set-up of each remaining. Once open, you can use the tools customize each specific portion. If you require additional help use your available sources:
- Reference the User Guide provided by Keap®.
- Call Technical Support at 886-800-0004
- Chat online with Support Chat found on the Keap® website.
- Reach out to your Success Coach. For us here at EXELA, you can continue support with us by subscribing for as little as £25+VAT a month. Call now at 01242 375 000 to find out more.
Remember that the campaign you have created can be replicated for future seasonal campaigns. As such, utilize a naming convention/structure to help you keep track of the various campaigns over the years.
There is a bit of a task delegation to do before we get into actually creating your campaign copy. You’ll need to pick two people on your team to help you execute it:
- Pick the person on your team who will write the first draft of all marketing copy.
- Pick the person on your team who will lay out your offline campaign component, a post card, and then lay out the email templates and format the graphics for those emails. This person doesn’t need heavy Keap® experience, as learning the Keap® or Infusionsoft by Keap® email builder takes less than 30 minutes.
1. Choose your offer: without a really compelling offer, this whole campaign will sink. Here’s a few questions to help you come up with a great offer:
- What do we sell that no one else carries?
- Do we carry any products where we can cut out the middle-man and sell direct to our customers?
- Is there anything that we sell that we can effectively “comp” a service component on, or offer unbelievable payment terms on?
- Is there something rather popular that we sell that we can create scarcity around? (i.e. a limited supply of a certain product or service)
2. Choose your referral gift: This is for the second part of the campaign.
Remember, this gift is going from a current customer to a new or prospective customer. To determine an appropriate value for this gift, take your current new customer acquisition cost and multiply it by about 1.25. Here’s why - these are higher quality leads than the leads that typically come in over the internet. They have a greater trust in your company, because they were referred by a trusted friend.
3.Pick a customer segment: This is the part where you actually have to select which group from your customer database should be marketed to for your campaign.
You may at first think, “Let’s market to all of them,” and that may be appropriate in most cases. On the other hand, if you’re selling a high-value item (i.e. like sportutility vehicles), and you know that a given customer just purchased recently, you may want to opt that customer out of the campaign. If you’re copying our structure and campaign, it will be targeted to new leads, as the beginning of the campaign is new leads coming in through a landing page submission.
1. Create Campaign Tags: It only takes a few minutes to go into your sales and marketing automation software and create the four tags you’ll need to run this holiday campaign. Those 4 tags will be called “NoHoliday1”, “Holiday1Referral,” “Holiday1Referrer,” and “Holiday1Purchaser”. If you opt to add tags, don’t forget to set this up in the campaign too.
2. Write Email 1: The Teaser Email: This is the email that you’ll write in order to whet your leads’ appetite for your campaign. Aim for this email to be about 350-500 words in length. It should contain a call-to-action button (that says ‘TELL ME MORE’ or something similar on it) on the bottom that will deliver Email 2 immediately. For those that don't click the CTA in the first email, set a timer and send them Email 2 1-2 days later.
3. Write Email 2: The Campaign Announcement: This email will be a bit longer, and will formally announce the campaign. Shoot for 500-700 words here. The call-to-action button in this email should lead directly to your purchase order form, which we’ll set up, in full, in a few weeks. Your campaign opt-out belongs in this email. Use language like, “If you’re not really interested in hearing any more about this special offer, we completely understand. Just click and we will not send you any more information about”. Don’t use the phrase “click here” - it’s a spam alert phrase.
4. Set up “dummy” order form: Although you don’t need to customize your order form right now, simply create a new web-form for your product order, and call it Holiday Campaign Order Form. We’ll work on it in a few weeks.
1. Email 3: The Intensity Builder: If your customers didn’t respond to the second email, hopefully this one will push them over the edge. Send this about two days after Email 2. Copy should be a little more intense, but not overly pushy. If you’re unsure about how to “get into the customer,” Dan Kennedy’s book, “The Ultimate Sales Letter,” has an excellent chapter on this and it’s available for free if you have an Amazon Kindle.
2. Email 4: The First Reminder: At this point, your customer is now in what is called a “reclaim.” It means that they simply didn’t respond to the first two campaign messages. Something didn’t resonate with them. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that the tone of Email 4 and Email 5 focuses on a slightly different value proposition than the first two did. For these particular customers, you’ll need to take a different approach.
3. Email 5: The First Recycle Email: Remember, this email is going to someone who basically decided, “This campaign does not resonate with me. I haven’t opted out yet, but I’m getting pretty darn close.” It’s time to use a different tactic, or perhaps even change the offer. This new tactic will go for a total of three emails to finish the sequence. Be sure to change the value proposition to focus on the lead’s new needs, if you’ve changed the offer.
1. Email 6: Second Recycle Email: This is your second-to-last chance to get the lead interested in your revised campaign offer. Make the subject line time-sensitive using “action words.”
2. Email 7: Third Recycle Email: This is the last email you’ll send before you terminate the recycle campaign. If you’re thinking of using a “Last Chance”-type subject line, this would be the time to do it. With that said, don’t use words like “final” or “offer.” Perhaps try something like, “Fireplace deal ends at 6pm tonight: want in?”
1. Postcard Copy & Layout: At this point, you’ll want to write copy for your free gift postcard. Keep it short and sweet and, most importantly, be sure to include the name of the referrer in big letters, bigger than your company’s name. That’s the most important part! If the new lead doesn’t know who the gift is from, they won’t redeem it.
2. Postcard Webform: This is where the new lead redeems their free gift. Be sure to get their email opt-in on this form, as well as their name, phone number and post code.
1. Campaign Thank-You Email: This one’s easy. It’s just the email that thanks the lead for becoming a customer and placing their order—the ultimate goal of this campaign.
2. Finalize Campaign Order Form: Remember that if your campaign order form does not work properly and quickly, then no one can order from you. Test this repeatedly.
3. Check Postcard Functionality: Test-mail yourself a copy of that postcard for the campaign just to make sure it arrives in under 5 days.
4. Set Up Tag Functionality: Make sure all of your new tags have the proper functionality. The only way to check is simply to test them by doing a test-run of your campaign.
1. Publish Your Campaign: This is pretty straightforward, and you can do it with a single click of a button, once you log in to your campaign.
2. Add the right customers to your campaign: This is the final step in activating your campaign to make it go live. Once it launches, you can track every step of the campaign, and even check which customers have opted out in your Campaign Builder.
Re-using the campaign
First of all, you should be congratulating yourself on doing your first BIG campaign! Now you’ll want to pull up your calendar so that you can set aside time to tweak the copy so that you can use it for future campaigns. Here’s how to do it:
- Jot down the dates of the holidays that you’ll want to use a campaign for in the next 12 months.
- Go backwards from that date 7 days, 14 days, 21 days and 28 days. Jot down those new dates.
- Put a 90-minute time-block on the calendar for each of those days to revise the campaign copy (t-minus 14, t-minus 21 and t-minus 28), and then use the final day (t-minus 7) to test the copy.
Download the eBook version here
Enjoy what you read? We've also created an eBook to aid you in the Campaign builder side of what's read above. Sometimes having a book with clearer diagrams is needed, especially for the tech stuff!