The holidays are a magical time, and not just because of gumdrops and snowdrops and red cups at Starbucks. We, as marketers, love the holidays because people are in buying moods. Authors can take advantage of the mass shopping mentality to acquire new readers, maximize revenue, and sell more books.
The downside of holiday marketing? Everybody’s doing it. On your average Friday, you’re competing with a few brands and businesses for the attention of readers. On Black Friday, you’re competing with everyone from Apple to Zappos. Ads are more expensive and your readers’ inboxes are jammed with sale announcements.
The downside sounds pretty daunting, but trust us – holiday marketing is still worth it. The marketing chatter from Thanksgiving to Christmas just requires strategic thinking to stand out and get noticed by readers.
Dates matter when it comes to holiday marketing. We put together a holiday cheat sheet to help you plan the cadence of your advertising, no matter the tactics you choose.
When: November 27th, 2015
What: The day after Thanksgiving, focused on in-store deep discounts. Many ecommerce / online retailers take advantage of the Black Friday frenzy and run discount promotions.
Recommendations: If you’re planning something for Black Friday, make it a discount. ‘Black Friday’ and ‘% off’ are almost synonymous to consumers. Other tactics are likely to get lost in the noise (unless you’re REI).
When: November 30th, 2015
What: The Monday after Thanksgiving, focused on ecommerce / online discounts. The number of people shopping online on Cyber Monday is very high. Amazon typically sees a 300% increase in traffic to its website on Cyber Monday.
Recommendations: Cyber Monday is the perfect day to capture new readers as so many people are online. This is another discount-focused day, so we recommend planning a price drop or free day for November 30th.
When: December 16 – 23 (for Amazon, depending on location and shipping options)
What: The last day to place an order for Christmas delivery (for physical goods).
Recommendations: This is a great opportunity to promote your paperback / hardcover books. Use ‘books make great last-minute gifts’ messaging.
When: December 24th, 2015
What: The day before Christmas.
Recommendations: Here’s your opportunity to reach the procrastinator. One great thing about ebooks – no shipping time! Advertise your ebook as a last-minute gift or stocking stuffer for that one person you didn’t know was coming to Christmas.
When: December 26th, 2015
What: The day after Christmas.
Recommendations: We’ve seen a bump in eBook sales starting on December 26th through the New Year. Lots of people receive brand new eReaders for Christmas, and start playing with their new toys (and buying books to fill them up) the day after Christmas. Many people also receive gift cards to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple for Christmas and start redeeming them for merchandise and ebooks. Advertise your book as a great deal for new eReader owners!
New Year’s Day
When: January 1st, 2016
What: New Year’s Day
Recommendations: Online traffic picks up in the afternoon on New Year’s Day as people start to wake up and recover from the previous night’s festivities. This is peak New Year’s resolution season so try including that theme in your marketing message. For example: “Is reading more on your list of new year’s resolutions for 2016? Get started with this great series.”
We hope this list of key dates helps to make your book marketing even more effective this season. Now, go forth and sell more books!