NOW is the time to launch your strategic digital marketing plan for the holiday season.

If you think it’s too early, consider this: most online holiday shoppers will start their shopping around Halloween.

In order to capture their attention, you want to make sure the first fold of your website is full of the information holiday shoppers need to know before they’ll decide to buy. (For those of you who aren’t sure what the “first fold” is, it’s the portion of your website people see before they scroll down or click on any links.)

If you want to maximize your holiday conversion rates, make sure your top fold includes…

  • Holiday-ready headlines and sales copy: In order to make your headline really speak to your visitors, make sure it addresses the need they’re trying to solve: choosing a gift for a friend or family member.
  • Be sure to explain exactly what kind of benefit they’ll get from your product or service — and then also mention the benefit the giver will receive from offering it as a present!
    An opt-in offer that speaks to the needs of holiday shoppers. For example, you could put together a “Holiday Buying Guide” that tells people more about your products and explains why they’d make great gifts.
  • Holiday specials and discounts: Make sure you offer some special deals on your products to entice your visitors to buy! How about an early-bird deal if your customers make a purchase before a certain date? Or a special discount for those panicky last-minute shoppers?
  • Your shipping information: If you’re able to offer free or discounted shipping, be sure to include some mention of it in the top fold of your site.
  • Provide an ironclad shipping guarantee and return policy so customers know their gifts will arrive in time. Put both at the top of your right- or left-hand sidebar so your customers won’t miss them.
  • Free gift-wrapping service: It’s another great way to give your customers an extra perk without much additional cost to you. For the cost of some paper and ribbon, you can make any humble package look like a fabulous holiday gift!
  • Urgency builders: Another thing you could include in your first fold is a little “countdown” box that tells your visitors exactly how many days are left to Christmas, or to the shipping deadline for gifts to arrive in time.

Try installing a Hover Ad with an urgent holiday message that lets them know right away exactly how long they’ve got to make a gift purchase.

You could also use the Hover Ad to advertise your holiday specials and encourage your visitors to sign up for more information or offer a special discount coupon to people who join your mailing list.

Now that you’ve got some quick and easy ideas to get your marketing plan underway, don’t let your competitors beat you to the punch.

Remember, it’s never too early to launch your strategic digital marketing plan for the holidays. Give yourself the gift of a boost in profits this season.

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Also published on Medium.