Keeping the Q4 Express on Track All Year Long

December is a magical time of year — and honestly, my favorite season of the year. I always look forward to Q4 from both a business and personal perspective. Businesswise, we typically see 8% to 16% growth over Q3 revenues. On the personal side, Q4 signals the arrival of Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?

Q4 is typically also when we see our merchants kick their online promotions into high gear. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year’s specials, our clients are all looking for ways to juice their business along with their holiday cocktails. But why limit your business to Q4 holiday sales and promotions? This month, we offer up three ways to pump up sales volume beyond the traditional holiday season.

GIVE THE GIFT OF SINGLE-USE PROMOS

It’s common for merchants to offer specials to anyone who lands on their site. Many use a targeted approach as a way to build their customer base. That’s why we touch base with our merchants several times throughout the quarter, reminding them to have their promos in place. These friendly reminders help prevent everyone and everything from getting backed up the day before a big holiday with client requests. Targeting your promos has also proven to be helpful. Even payment processors provide offers like a single-use promo which allows customers to enter a promo code one time to take advantage of a special offer. If you need help targeting promos, there is affiliate software available that can help simplify the process.

PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAY HANGOVER

It never fails: After the “holiday high” comes the “New Year’s low.” Everyone feels it once the holidays pass. Many of us see the change in sales as they either hold flat or are slightly off from the peak December numbers. This is due to the holiday being over and consumers feeling a little stressed that they might have spent too much on gifts or on other fun stuff. To make sure your investment in Q4 converts, you need to have solid risk management in place and upfront. This will ensure the transactions don’t refund and charge back in the new year.

We encourage our merchants to take advantage of 3D Secure to provide extra validation on their transactions. We also suggest going above and beyond on consumer notifications. This simplifies the process of reaching out and canceling a membership. Because we know no one wants to lose a customer, we encourage merchants to set up retention offers to help keep new members activated after the holidays. One technique proven to be successful for us is incentivizing our call center reps to save sales and present new offers. We’ve also seen positive results from our self-serve support site when they present these retention offers at the time a consumer requests to cancel.

CELEBRATE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

You really can keep the holidays rolling all year long. There is literally a special recognition day for just about every single day of the year! According to the National Day Calendar, there are over 2,500 holidays listed. Some are silly but some allow us to reflect on cultures, animals, religion, professions and more. You could easily come up with promos for many of these “special days” that relate to any business.

If your company specializes in geography or is global, there are a host of special international holidays too. We’ve seen merchants around the world notice spikes in sales due to promotions they have tied to holidays and special occasions that are country- or region-specific.

So, get a jump on your promos for 2022. Look at the calendar of “special days” and start planning your promotions accordingly. The bottom line is, there are so many ways to keep and gain new customers all year long. All you need to do is be creative beyond the traditional holidays and time your promos well. Be smart, and you’ll be saying “Happy holidays” all year long!

Keeping the Q4 Express on Track All Year Long by Cathy Beardsley originally appeared in XBIZ

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