5 steps to convert festive website traffic to new sales

Get visitors, then get sales

Christmas and new year have always been a busy time for shops, both online and offline. Throw in the growing popularity of Black Friday in the UK and you have a crucial period that stretches all the way from the end of November to the start of January.

Haven’t started an online shop yet?

If you’re getting plenty of visitors to your site, this guide will help you turn them into new customers – both in the run up to Christmas and beyond.

Note: If you aren’t getting the level of visitors you want to your site, try this guide to attracting customers with giveaways and this guide to ecommerce SEO.

1. Understand leads vs. customers

You probably know this already, but it’s important to understand the difference between prospects, leads and customers. Specifically, there are two conversions that can occur on your site.

A prospect becomes a lead and a lead becomes a customer.

A prospect is anyone who visits your website. Prospects may be on the site for just a few seconds, or they may click through every page and read every blog post because they’re interested in learning more about your product or service.

A prospect converts to a lead when they provide you with their contact information.

In most cases, a lead will provide you with their name and email address to join your mailing list, or they may fill out a contact form to receive more information.

Turning that prospect into a customer is the lifeblood of your business.

You’ll want to make sure you contact them right away — and keep in touch until they make a purchase.

Sometimes, depending on what you’re offering, you may be able to collect information such as their phone number, address, business name, or a special date like a birthday or anniversary. Of course, the more information the lead provides, the better you can segment and personalize your marketing messages.

A lead converts to a customer when they purchase your product or service.

One transaction is great, but your real goal is to create a loyal, repeat customer who comes back to purchase your products again and again. In fact, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.

One way to bolster customer loyalty is email marketing.

Editor’s note: Looking for an all-in-one tool for your website and email marketing efforts? GoDaddy Websites + Marketing makes it simple.

2. Drive email marketing subscriptions

Driving email marketing subscriptions is mission-critical if you want to convert website traffic.

Transactional emails have 800% more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 600% more revenue.

In short: Email campaigns drive revenue.

One way to convert prospects into leads on your website is by enticing visitors to subscribe to your email list. To drive email subscriptions, you could offer:

  • Free shipping
  • A discount
  • Entry into a contest
  • A sneak peek at new products
  • Exclusive email-only offers and promotions

Website popups, when used properly, can be an extremely effective way to grow your email list.

It turns out that pop-ups, no matter how annoying or interruptive you may think they are, actually work in driving email marketing subscriptions.

Just make sure that you gather people’s contact details in a way that complies with data protection law.

Once you’ve collected an email address, don’t forget to instantly greet your new email subscribers with an automated welcome email.

Welcome emails are powerful; averaging more than 70% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages. Welcome emails provide instant gratification, delivering a campaign instantaneously in your lead’s inbox.

As you design your welcome email campaign, keep in mind that the average prospect opens about 18% of the emails that they actually receive — so you need to be impactful and timely.

With that in mind, be sure to use a catchy subject line to differentiate yours from the other countless emails in the inbox.

Editor’s note: If you’re a GoDaddy Websites + Marketing customer, you’ll already have access to our email marketing tool. If you’re not, you can sign up for GoDaddy Email Marketing separately.

3. Spotlight your social media

With the average person spending 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media, you definitely want to make sure you convert your website traffic into social media followers.

Some would argue that your follower count is a vanity metric — that it means nothing in the grand scheme of things. On the contrary, followers do matter.

Followers equal trust. The more followers you have, the more customers trust your brand.

It all has to do with the psychological phenomenon of social proof.

The Social Proof Theory maintains that a person who does not know what to do in a certain situation will look to other people to imitate what they are doing. Therefore, if more people are following your social media pages, then more prospects and leads assume that you’re the right business for their needs.

In addition to social proof, social media provides you with a way to interact and engage with your prospects, leads and customers.

At the core of social media for small businesses is the opportunity to connect with customers and grow your influence over their purchasing decisions.

Nearly three-quarters of business owners and marketers believe that social media marketing has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.

Through social media, you can:

  • Highlight new products or services
  • Invite customers to events
  • Promote sales or special offers
  • Answer questions about your products or services

On your website and in your email campaigns, you should include links to your social media channels.

Be sure to include your social links in either the header or footer of your website and always include your social links in the footer of your email marketing campaigns.

Don’t be afraid to be shameless here: You need those followers to buy from you now and in the new year.

Editor’s note: GoDaddy Websites + Marketing customers benefit from a range of social media integrations, making it easy to run your social campaigns. They also get access to social media image app Over, which lets you create quality images for your social posts.

4. Rely on retargeting your customers

A recent survey by Oracle found that if you can increase your customer retention rate by just 5%, you’ll see a potential increase of profits from 25 to 95% depending on your industry. That’s powerful! To convert your festive website traffic into sales and even repeat sales, you’ll want to consider retargeting.

Retargeting allows you to reconnect with festive visitors even if they don’t share their contact information with you.

At a very simple level, retargeting works like this:

  1. You add a line of code to your website that puts a cookie on a user who visits your site. Most often, the code comes from Google, Facebook, Twitter or other platforms that show ads to their users.
  2. The code creates a list of people who visit your website.
  3. You create an ad that will only show to the list of people who have visited your website.

Be sure to get people’s permission before you use their data for retargeting campaigns.

You can implement retargeting campaigns with different services including Facebook Ads and Google Ads. When you use Facebook Ads retargeting, you’re showing ads to Facebook Custom Audiences.

Be sure to use lots of different ad formats and keep it interesting.

Google’s retargeting ads show up on the Google Display Network, which is a group of over 2 million sites, apps and videos that reach more than 90 percent of the world’s internet users.

To build a successful retargeting campaign, you will want to follow these best practices:

  1. Segment your audience by behaviour, time and existing customers.
  2. Add a burn pixel to untag users who have made a purchase.
  3. Set a frequency cap, so your audience doesn’t suffer from ad fatigue.
  4. Rotate your ads to keep things interesting.
  5. Split test to see which ad version works best.

You can learn how to retarget website visitors with Google Ads in this guide.

5. Automate your follow-up emails

It’s one thing to drive email subscriptions, but to convert those subscribers into customers, you need to turn to email automation.

At its core, email automation enables marketers like you to send scheduled or action-triggered emails containing content and offers about your products and services.

When you use email automation, you can increase your email open rates and click-through rates without having to be at the computer continuously clicking “send.”

Since you’re trying to convert festive website traffic to drive sales now and beyond, your goal with these email campaigns is to drive clicks. The more clicks, the more potential sales you get.

Your automation will begin with the automated welcome email, but it can keep going with a drip marketing series.

A drip marketing series is a series of email campaigns that you pre-schedule. An example of a drip marketing series would be:

  • Automated welcome email (Day 0)
  • Introduction to the team (Day 4)
  • Highlight of products and services (Day 8)
  • Customer testimonials (Day 12)
  • Special offer to drive sales (Day 20)

This series can be spread over eight days or 80 days depending on the type of products and services you sell. Since you want to convert festive website traffic to customers now and in the new year, your series would most likely last for 20 to 30 days.

The beauty of a drip marketing series is that you can always change the campaigns, add new campaigns or delete campaigns.

What you do with your series will be dictated by the performance (namely metrics) you measure.

You also have the option to create action-triggered emails. When a subscriber clicks on a link in your email campaign, they can automatically be added to a new email list where they begin receiving a drip marketing series.

For example, let’s say you send an email about Adirondack chairs, and the subscriber clicks on one of the links. By clicking, they are demonstrating their interest in the product, and thus, should receive more emails informing and inspiring them to make a purchase.

Depending on what they do with those follow-up emails, they can receive other email campaigns to drive purchase behaviour.

Both drip marketing series and action-triggered emails are powerful tools to have in your marketing toolbox.

Putting it all together

Attracting visitors to your website is important during the festive season. Bonus points if you can get them to buy a product or service while they visit.

But the real aim is to foster customer loyalty and get them to buy again and again.

To drive those repeat sales, you’ll want to:

  • Know how to turn prospects into leads.
  • Convince more people to subscribe to your email marketing list.
  • Showcase your social media channels on your website and in your emails.
  • Use retargeting on platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
  • Rely on email marketing automation to sell while you focus on your business.

After the snow melts, the chestnuts have long since been roasted and prospects have visited your website, you’ll want to follow the above tips to convert your festive website traffic into new sales.

 

Bryan Caplan helps businesses elevate their digital marketing. The award-winning CEO of BJC Branding and professional speaker has provided digital marketing strategy to well over 1,000 businesses -- from startup to Fortune 500 -- since 2010. Bryan is a guest lecturer at the Suffolk University School of Business and a contributing columnist to several publications, including Constant Contact, BusinessTown and the Boston Business Journal. Invite Bryan to present at your next event.