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How to make the most of your holiday promotions


Almost every brand out there is offering a holiday promotion right now, and why wouldn’t you?! People are in the holiday buying spirit, so naturally brands want to capture some of that revenue. But, that’s not the only reason to share some holiday cheer.

There are three main reasons why any brand should run promotions:

1) Drive sales to increase revenue

Sales or promotions are a great way to get an influx of sales from your current customers. Previous customers are more likely to purchase from you again if they feel like they’re getting a great deal.

This also helps to build a stronger tie with your existing customer base, giving them a reason to come back time and time again.

2) Acquire new customers to increase your customer base

Promotions are also a great way to attract new customers. Shoppers who are enticed to purchase something with a sale or promotion have likely interacted with your brand somehow in the past; they may have considered making a purchase, but for some reason in the end decided not to.

Running a sale or promotion may be enough to push them over the edge from interested visitor to customer.

3) Create buzz to increase brand recognition

Sales and promotions can be used to create buzz and raise awareness around your brand. It gives you (and your customers) something to talk about. Use them to attach your brand to a cause or concept that will help increase that brand awareness.

Make sure to also leverage your current customer base and word-of-mouth promotion. When shoppers notice a great sale, they’re more likely to share it with their friends!

Now, how can you make holiday promotions THE most effective?

The most effective holiday promotions are not about driving sales or creating buzz. They’re focused on customer acquisition.

Why? It’s simple: Promotions focused on driving sales or creating buzz might lead to a larger immediate bump in your business, but acquiring new customers will set you up for better sales throughout the entire next year.

That’s why we recommend focusing your holiday promotions around new customer acquisition, even if it means sacrificing your margins and lowering your expectations for your total holiday sales revenue.

Make an irresistible offer that's specific to people who are new to your brand. Then, retarget audiences that have interacted with your brand on Facebook or Google ads in the past, but have yet to make a purchase.

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Cold traffic doesn't typically convert after watching one informative video, no matter how catchy it is.

However, if you retarget previous video viewers or content readers with a special offer, you’re sure to generate new customer purchases, because they’re already aware of your brand and how great it is!

Try segmenting your email list based on this behavior as well; the best eCommerce email marketing platforms have the ability to target names who have subscribed, and even interacted with your emails, but have not yet purchased. These are your lowest-hanging fruit.

Additionally, be sure to use Facebook’s 'lookalike' audience to target even more potential customers, and draw more traffic to your site with your holiday promotion. This will set you up for a higher level of revenue for the rest of the year as you nurture these new customers and bring them back to your site to purchase again and again.

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With this in mind, make sure you have a plan in place to bring these customers back.

One great strategy is to set up automated sequences post-purchase to teach these new customers about your brand, and educate them on how to make the most out of your product.

You might not be making great margins on these customers in this first purchase, but once they buy, the relationship is there and you have the opportunity to capture value from those customers over time.

If you don’t capture the sale, try to at least capture their email addresses. Utilizing an email capture pop-up with a special offer on your homepage (or other areas of high traffic) is a great way to acquire new names.

During the holiday season, you have the opportunity to capture a huge number of new customers (maybe as many as you’ve had during the entire rest of the year), and this will not only lead to an influx of cash, but also set you up for success for the entire next year.

How to run an effective holiday promotion

Now let’s get tactical. What do you need to do on your site and in your marketing efforts in order to run an effective holiday promotion?

Here's a simple and quick checklist to follow that covers all of the basics. This isn’t everything you can (or should) do, but these are the essentials:

1) Hero feature

Make sure to include a beautiful, attention-grabbing hero image on your homepage with text over it that announces the sale or promotion.

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2) Site-wide banner

Include a banner across the site to remind visitors of the promotion while they’re exploring your site (or to make them aware of it if they didn’t enter on the homepage). This is a great place to include the coupon code if they’ll need one at checkout.

3) Social posts

Talk about your sale or promotion on all of your social media channels. And be creative; include great copy, beautiful photography, or eye-catching gifs. Your audience is much more likely to take notice if your post stands out amongst all of the social noise.


4) Paid social ads

Promote your posts and run paid social ads, in addition to organic posts. In order to reach your full audience (and hopefully capture new customers), spending money to advertise your promotion is essential.

5) Email announcements

Email the promotion out to your newsletter list and existing customer base. It’s important to leverage this channel not only to gain sales, but also to leverage your customer bases’ referral power. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing channels, so consider creating incentives around sharing. 

To wrap it up...

When you're thinking about running a holiday promotion, make sure to consider your primary goal. Perhaps you need a short-term influx of sales. But if your primary goal is going to be new customer acquisition, throw making profit out the window (ok, not completely).

Your goal with new customer acquisition promotions is just that: to acquire new customers. You can then make money on these customers over the rest of their customer lifetime. So, make them an offer they can’t refuse to get them in the door, and utilize these effective strategies to keep them coming back for more!

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Guest post: Kenneth Ott

Written by Guest post: Kenneth Ott

Kenneth Ott is Co-Founder of Metacake, an ecommerce growth team helping some of the top brands in the world unlock revenue online. Learn more at

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