10 Apr 2017

5 Ways to Make your Online Store Stand Out

from Practical Ecommerce.com 

Why would a shopper buy from your online store? Do you offer unique products? Are your prices lower than Amazon and other competitors? Is your store more fun to shop in?
Certainly entrepreneurs typically think of those questions when they first launch their business. But, too frequently they evolve to business as usual. They should, instead, be asking the questions every six months or so.
Many ecommerce startups often believe their product concept is unique. As their business matures, they generally realise that there are competitors with similar products and they need to differentiate their products or services to become successful.
Tech mentors challenge them to articulate their value proposition in a so-called elevator statement — something you can tell someone in 10-15 seconds to entice them to continue the conversation or purchase the product or service.
In most cases, merchants are selling products that can be purchased elsewhere, often at lower prices. To grow a sustainable and profitable business, merchants should continually ask what they could do to differentiate their online store, products, and service.

5 Ways to Make Your Online Store Stand Out

Unless your company is a manufacturer, it’s unlikely that you sell products that are completely unique. Find other avenues to change the game so that your online store is easily differentiated from others.
Here are five ways to separate your business from your competitors.
Sell solutions, not just products. Retailers are embracing the concept of adding more value to the products they sell. There are many options to do this.
  • Bundle similar products. Sell accessories or related items with the primary products as a single, bundled product. You can discount the price to make the bundle more attractive, but discounting may not be necessary if you can demonstrate the value simply by researching and assembling the bundle.
  • Provide deep, rich content. Whether your business sells camping gear, coffee machines, bikes, or other specialty items, turn your online store into the place to go for information and instruction. Set up your online store to guide shoppers to the content that is applicable to their persona or market segment. Include videos, user generated content, expert generated content, and product reviews. Consider relevant social feeds. Create the go-to place to engage with other like-minded buyers.
  • Offer interactive chat. Make it easy for shoppers to ask questions and receive personalized, instantaneous answers.
Build a unique brand. Your brand is different than your unique value proposition. Your brand should carry forward your voice, culture, values, and, to some degree, positioning. You may have a serious brand, whimsical brand, intellectual brand, or something else — there is no right or wrong. Use your brand to help customers remember your company.
Content. Content is paramount. Online retailers must enrich their own product content. It is simply not good enough to serve up the standard product descriptions, images, and specifications provided by manufacturers and distributors. Write your own long and short descriptions. Bring your brand voice into the conversation. Add your own images and videos. Create compelling content for your category pages or vertical landing pages. Repurpose the content across other digital channels to differentiate your company and products.
Pricing and promotions. Pricing pressures in retail markets can make differentiating on price a scary thought. But, this can work in two directions. Consumers are willing to pay more for products if they have a superior experience. Charging list prices may be acceptable, especially if you carry unique products and utilize other tactics in this article. Conversely, if you choose to offer lower prices, make sure shoppers can see the value. A compromise approach is well-timed promotional offers at specific times in the buyer’s journey, to create a buying event at that point.
Customer service. This should be a no-brainer, but it can greatly benefit your business in certain markets. Be responsive to your customers and prospects — answer questions, keep them informed on order status, offer no-questions-asked refunds, provide pricing and product transparency. Quickly answer pre-sale and post-sale questions. Solicit feedback from customers and use that feedback for continuous improvements to your business.

Wrapping Up

Why should shoppers buy from your online store? It could be single reason or a combination of many. Whatever your answer, create it through experimentation and purpose. Write it down so others in your organisation know it, too.

28 Feb 2017

What is the difference between a domain name, web hosting, email hosting and a website?

A lot of confusion (understandably) exists about how domain, web hosting, and email hosting works and what the difference is between them. It's easy to think a domain name, web hosting, email hosting and a website are all the same. While they are closely connected, they are very different things.

What is a Domain Name

When you’re browsing the Internet, domain names are a convenient way for humans to remember sites and email addresses eg. www.companyname.com. Your domain name is the name of your site or your url (www.companyname.com) and can be purchased by going to a domain name registrar.When you register a domain, it gives you sole ownership, rights and use of the name for your site. No one else in the market has the access to the actual name of that particular domain (including the extension - .co.uk, .com etc) besides you. Domain names usually range from about £15 to £50/year depending on the extension. (eg. .co.uk, .com, .co etc)
The first step in the process of setting up a domain is registration.  This is done through ICANN-accredited registrars, who collectively maintain the shared registration system (SRS). Quite simply, the registrars will let us know whether “companyname.com” is available and, if so, register it in the business/your name.  If it turns out it is available, at this point all we’ve done is reserve the right to use the domain name as a public address. However, just because you have a domain does not mean that you are ready to serve your website to the world. To put up and operate a website, you will need a domain name, and a properly-configured web server (web hosting). A domain name is like your postal address; and, a domain name can be registered only with a domain registrar.

What is Web Hosting

So far, all we’ve done is secured the domain name (www.companyname.com), now we need somewhere for our website to reside, this is web hosting. The web hosting or server is much like the space that you rent out to have your business in. Web hosting normally refers to the web server (a big computer) that stores lots of data files which make up your website. Without the hosting services, you won't have a place for your files to reside, so your domain would then become like a disconnected phone number in the phone directory, and your site files would have nowhere to stay.

Email Hosting

Email hosting enables a user to manage electronic messages via an email server. Put simply, if you own a domain name and want email service on that domain name, you would need to sign up for an email hosting service. Email hosting provides you with addresses and mailboxes connected to your domain name to receive and store/host emails on.  The typical hosted business email address is in the format of person@companyname.com.


Website Platform/Software

This is the software that helps you to build, edit and run a website. Your website is a collection of pages (web-pages) and data files that are located under your domain name. Your website platform or software helps serve your pages and data such as products, makes them attractive and available to browsers and includes certain functionality for your users for example ecommerce functionalities such as being able to purchase from your website and browse your products, product images etc.
Web software or platforms are usually licensed like most software such as anti-virus or microsoft & apple products for example.  
There are however platforms which are known as Open Source meaning you can download for free and use and modify yourself etc, however this requires technical and programming ability as you have to update and maintain this software yourself.




6 Dec 2016

Search Engine Optimisation - How to optimise your site


Your business can have the best products or services on the Web, but it doesn’t mean a thing if potential customers can’t find your site.

The best way to get your Web site noticed is by ranking high in the results when users ask search engines like Google to scan the Internet for your kind of offerings.

It’s one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding tasks you’ll face in maintaining a commercial Web site, and absolutely essential for success. 

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your Web site as easy to find as possible for search engines and, through them, your clients and customers.

For that to happen, your Web pages have to contain the keywords and phrases most likely to be used when a customer enters search requests in an engine, and your pages must be organized in way that’s most “friendly” to those high-tech seek-and-find services.

There are two dominant types of search engines:

Crawler-Based - Google, Yahoo and other top search engines operate automatically, coming up with their rankings by sending “spiders” out to “crawl” Web sites, analyze their contents and rank them according to how likely they are to have what users want. 

Human-Powered Directories - These depend on Web site owners or someone working on their behalf to manually enter their listings, or enough information for directory editors to look over the site and write their own reviews. If you don’t submit your site to these directories, it won’t show up when they’re searched. 

Some Cautions

Nobody, repeat, nobody can guarantee you top rankings – much less the top slots – on Google or other major search engines. Some providers claim to have “unique” relationships with them, or an “inside” source that will get your Web site to prime time. Don’t believe it. 

The simple truth is that you can’t “buy” your way to the top, because position is never sold. Some search engines merge pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion data with their regular results, but high rankings still aren’t a done deal.

One scam promises top placement, but gets your site only in lists of paid ads, not overall search results, where you need to be.

Take your time and look around for quality SEO software packages or specialists:

  • Check in with SEO discussion boards or online forums to see what current users are saying and draw on their advice. 
  • To gauge SEO specialists’ trustworthiness, ask for a money-back guarantee or some other refund if you’re not happy with their work – and get it in writing. 

Making it as easy as possible for search engines to find your website is the goal of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. But beware of certain provider claims.

SEO relies mostly on choosing exactly the right “keywords” to use throughout your website and putting them in the right places. Many services will handle it for a fee. This might be a good place to go with a pro instead of DIY, although there’s no end of online advice to help you work it out if you’re game. Just know that it’s a never-ending process.

If SEO isn’t managed properly, your website is doomed to fly under the radar of the big search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. But stay away from any SEO service that claims to have an insider relationship with them or any engines. And nobody can guarantee you top rankings. 

How SEO Works

Most crawler-based search engines have three key ingredients:

  • The spider or crawler that seeks out a Web page, reads it and follows links to other pages on the site. These powerful little tech-mites return every few weeks to look for changes and adjust results. 
  • An indexed archive where all content uncovered by the spiders is stored. Also known as the catalog, it contains a copy of every Web page found, and is updated as a Web site changes or grows – for example, when you add new products. 
  • Software that zips through the index database to “match” search requests and rank them by relevance. Because most crawler-based search engines use their own technology, search results vary between them. 

How Search Engines Rank Web Sites

Unlike a human archivist or librarian, Internet search engines don’t interact with users and ask for more details, or use judgment and past experience to rank Web pages.

Instead, they rely on mathematic formulas called “algorithms.” Despite what you may hear, nobody but the search engine owner knows exactly how their algorithm works.

But they do follow a universal practice known as the keyword location/frequency method. Search engines look over your Web site to see if the search keywords show up at the top your pages, in the headlines or the first few lines of text content.

They assume that any page relevant to a given search topic will mention those magic words right from the start. “Frequency” is how often keywords appear in relation to other words on a Web page. Those with higher frequency are given more relevance, and higher rankings.

SEO Best Practices

Boosting your Web site’s visibility is a very competitive game, and you should assume that rival sites are playing it. 

Here are some well-proven ways to optimize your Web site’s visibility:

Get the most from your URL
Be specific and creative with your domain name. Use one that uniquely identifies your company and your brand.

Create search-friendly page titles
Be sure to use relevant keywords first in your page titles, and keep them under 60 characters.

Don’t use “home page” in your title

Studies show it decreases your Google ranking.

In the case of an Easitill website we auto-populate the title for you based on the product description/name entered on the product record. Or in the case of Groups, Departments & Categories this is the title displayed.

To have the best title tag possible, make sure that you do your keyword research for the products that you want to rank best for and think about your Easitill Product Descriptions. Google’s free AdWords Keyword Tool can help with this research.

Highlight your keywords
Be sure the individual words and phrases are in the meta tag description of your site, which you build into the code with your design or site-builder software. The description should be no more than 200 characters long.

The Product Records on the Easitill system allow you to enter a meta keyword description about the product into a field called "meta description" and a few keywords selected which relate to the product separated by commas under the field "meta tags".

Focus on density
Use multiple key words in a coherent, creative and compelling way on your pages. Be sure your keyword “density” is never more than 5 percent for pages with a lot of text, or 10 percent for pages with little copy, or your rankings could nosedive. SEO Chat.com has a free keyword density tool. 

Emphasize your text links
The wording of the links on each of your Web pages is one of the most important requirements of SEO, and will significantly affect your search engine ranking. They should always include relevant keywords.

Keyword stemming
Including all the possible variations of your keywords is called “stemming.” For example, variations of the keyword “optimization” include “optimal,” “optimize” and “optimum.” UsingEnglish.com has a free tool to find similar or stem words.

Page linking
Be sure every page on your site is linked to the other pages. Search spiders follow these trails to rank your Web site.

The 3-Click Rule
Navigating around your site should be as easy as possible for your customers. The same goes for search engines. Be sure that every page on your new business Web site is at most only two or three clicks away from the home page.

Avoid “spamalot” syndrome
Search engines will drop your site if they think you’re “spamming” – and using any of these things:

·         Meta refresh tags
·         Invisible text
·         Irrelevant keywords in the title and meta tags
·         Excessive repetition of keywords
·         Identical or nearly identical pages
·         Submitting to an inappropriate directory category
·         Link farms


Who and What to Avoid
Google’s Webmaster Help Center is a rich source of information not only for optimizing your new business Web site, but to learn the SEO practices and providers to avoid. Be sure to include it in your research. The Web isn’t just crawling with search spiders, but also with scam artists. 

SEO Maintenance

The Web never stops buzzing with change, so search engine optimization has to be continually tended to keep up. Simply put, it can always be done better.

Here are some excellent sources of help:
Yoast - SEO Basics

2 Jun 2016

Link Building

So you have a brand new website? Now it’s time to sit back and relax, right?


You have just paid a designer for a shiny new website so now you can take a break and expect the enquiries/sales to come flooding in. Unfortunately unless you are a targeting an incredibly niche market, this is rarely the case.
Imagine your website is a small shop on a back street off the main shopping high street and no one knows about it. How are you going to get people to your shop and get some footfall going? By telling people about it of course! Be it with marketing like sandwich boards or print ads in the local press or A boards pointing to your side street where your shop is, you are going to want to point people in your shop direction. Well think of your website in the same terms. You need to tell people about your website in order to succeed.
A new website competes with other sites that have been around for years, potentially decades but there are a few things that you can do to make sure you end up higher in the listings, make sure Google lists you in their index as soon as possible and you end up with a search engine friendly website…
General
Here are some general tips to help track your website and enable your site to be listed quicker in the main search engines.
- Install Google Analytics
- Add your website to Google Webmaster Tools
- Link Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools
- Create a robots.txt file and upload it to the root directory of your site (Easitill does this for you on "Go Live" but go to www.yourwebsite.co.uk/robots.txt to check if you have one).
- Create a sitemap.xml file submit this to Google Webmaster Tool (Easitill does this for you on "Go Live" but go to www.yourwebsite.co.uk/sitemap.xml to check if you have one).
Link building
Many of the leading search engines count the amount and quality of your inbound links as a major factor so here are some tips.
- Create a ‘related links’ page on your website so you can link to reputable sites and even more importantly they link back to you. (think suppliers, local business directories, partners, industry associations not competitors)
- Add a Google My Business page
- Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer, and add your main competitors websites, view their “Inbound Links” from “Only External” sources to see their related links. Contact any reputable companies and request the opportunity to exchange links.
- Over time, the search engines will crawl your site and add you to their listing but you may be able to speed this process up by manually entering the URL for your site at these popular search engines..
Don’t use any automated submission programs to submit your site to multiple search engines at one time. This can be considered as spam and you could be removed completely.
- Spend as much time as possible adding your new website to free business directories and use their features like reviews to make your profile really stand out. Here are some that I would recommend…
- Add your website link to your business cards, flyers, stationery, emails, forum signature and any social media platforms.

Summary
The above recommendations will give your new website a kick start to being found on the internet. It can be time-consuming trawling the internet looking for appropriate places to link back to your website but I can assure you that it’s well worth the effort. You should invest at least a couple of hours from when your website launches to make it a happy, healthy search engine friendly site ready to take on the competition. Good luck!

11 Dec 2015

E-commerce Case Study: Website A

In this case study we give an example of a site that has gone from just £4.5k takings in its first year and doubled its takings each year to now reach £264,017 in its 4th year of trading.


There are many e-commerce platforms that advertise the ability to have a functional ecommerce site up and running in essentially no time for very little money. There is a sense in which these claims are true. But in most cases, the site launched is unlikely to lead you to e-commerce success.

Having a successful e-commerce website takes time, money, or both.

Invest in your website if you want your e-commerce shop to succeed and apply the same rules as you would to opening a new physical store. You need a marketing strategy and budget, and to spend time, money and effort.

Adding e-commerce to an existing retail business probably won’t boost sales significantly overnight, but once it does start growing it will add to your business and help improve your offering to your existing or new customer base. Be patient and put in the time & effort and you should see results.

One of our Easitill customers in the pet and aquatic sector is a key example of good e-commerce growth. They initially opened the website with minimal effort, simply utilising the features available to them using in their existing Easitill EPoS system. The product data was predominantly already there in their existing system and so they got a website up and running with this. They saw little initial return (£4.5k takings in the first 6 months), but recognised that if they wanted results they needed to invest in the site further. They had ambition to achieve much greater sales results and understood that to achieve this the website needed investment from them in further time, money and effort including a marketing strategy and USP's to set them apart from their competition.

In order to protect their business we are going to quote examples from them anonymously and refer to them as Website A.

Weekly Sales - YoY
(Note the nose dive in week 6 is only due to a Google Adwords Campaign error and having to stop google advertising. The steep climb and inflated takings in week 8 is due to a competitive offer on a specific product thanks to a special deal with the supplier.)



Monthly Sales Chart - YoY


As you can see from the sales graphs with the ambition to achieve greater takings year on year and investment in resources and marketing & help from Easitill they have achieved what they set out to and increased their takings significantly.

We interviewed them to ask them what they believe has helped achieve this success and whether they would mind us sharing this with others starting out and they agreed. Here are the results.

·       Website A currently spend approximately £500 per month or approximately £16-18.00 per day on Google Adwords advertising in conjunction with Google Shopping. This started around £150-300 per month and has grown to the current expenditure gradually. They are currently looking at increasing this again to £35 per day.


Here is an example of Google Shopping Ads — using the search term “levis 541 jeans.”


·       The majority of the sales for Website A come from google shopping results driving traffic to them.
·       The second highest source of sales now comes from people visiting the website directly. This is due to the initial marketing efforts, consistent prices and offering now attracting repeat business.
·       Third most successful source of sales is organic traffic followed by email marketing.

·       They also have built up their brand advertising through some yellow pages style ads and directory listings.

·       They have some social media interaction with a following of approximately 1,500 people but this has proved marginal at driving sales directly. However it has proven a great way of keeping existing customers involved with the business and events and the brand as a whole. They keep their page updated at least weekly and not just with products, they engage customers in other ways too.
·       They have also done some local radio advertising by way of collaboration with their local radio station on a pet competition.

·       They paid Easitill to rework and redesign the site after the initial release to try to improve and simplify the site, as well as make their brand image consistent. They made it cleaner and easier to navigate and tried to make their group, department category structure easier for customers to use.

·       They believe their increase in sales is predominantly down to the following factors:
o   Google Adwords in conjunction with Google Shopping to drive sales
o   Their customer service i.e. a dedicated online order advice and phone line - open 7 days, care sheets, next working day delivery as standard, low delivery charges on all items that aren't free delivery, text alerts from the courier for shipping progress, FAQ section on website
o   free delivery offered over a range of items
o   the clean and easy navigation of the site
o   being an friendly family established business image

·       Advice they would give to others starting out retailing online is "Start small and build slowly. Keep adding gradually to your marketing, website and offering."

Website A also employs as many ecommerce best practices as possible and take key retailing lessons from running their bricks and mortar retail operation, such as the following:

  • · Upselling/cross-selling products by setting up associated products in Easitill
  • · Multiple pictures – products from different views etc.
  • · Compelling and high quality product imagery
  • · Clear contact details and dedicated phone line
  • · Next day delivery as standard
  • · Low rates and free delivery on items
  • · News and events content pages
  • · About us pages showing the company background and history – showing the company is “real” and established.
  • · Other content useful to customers such as pet care sheets
  • · Clear and detailed product information
  • · Brands assigned and featured within product information
  • · Clear and easy navigation – which they review when necessary
  • · Clear delivery and returns policies
  • · Clear payment logos and badges to reassure about online payments & methods
  • · Customer feedback
  • · Social media sharing widgets
  • · They have written descriptions and their website first and foremost to be for their customers rather than focusing just on Search engine optimisation.
  • · Product Information includes at least 30-50 words about each product including helpful data like product specification where relevant.
  • · Keep website regularly updated and “fresh” with new content. They review the website regularly and make changes when and where necessary.
  • · Email marketing
  • · Clear and friendly “no questions asked 14 day money back guarantee” Returns policy.
  • · Option to pay using PayPal to speed up checkout – no card details necessary just log in to PayPal
  • · Secure certificate badge to reassure people the site is secure and safe to use
  • · Key Selling Points in a Prominent Place – directly on landing page and in header and footer.
  • Good Customer Service
During the period of growth for Website A, Easitill have also done what they can within the license fee to assist and improve the product and keep up to date with the e-commerce industry standards. The website software has been added to and improved with regular updates. Conversion barriers have been removed in the checkout process where possible and streamlined in order to try and make checking out easier and we continue to explore this and other areas all the time. Any elements we learn on SEO and structure we try and add and improve wherever possible in new releases. We are trying to streamline customers e-commerce processes too. Upselling and cross-selling has continued to evolve with a new release now automatically associating offers as well as the option to upsell/cross-sell associated products by manual selection. Our content editor (CMS) has been reworked most recently to be easier for people to use with drag and drop capabilities.

In summary, for ecommerce success, continued investment must be made. An ecommerce store opening should be treated as if you were opening a physical store with the same rules of retail applying such as marketing & merchandising, investment, customer service, pricing, products, quality and more applying. The website must be tended to regularly.


24 Nov 2015

Last-minute Black Friday & Cyber Monday Marketing Tips

As two of the most important days for holiday shopping approach, ecommerce marketers who've left planning late could be feeling the pressure to increase sales. Marketing planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday should have started months ago. But there is still hope for marketing dawdlers, thanks to the following tips that could save your holiday marketing!
Adobe has released its 2015 Digital Index Online Holiday Shopping Prediction for this year’s Christmas shopping season, defined as the entire months of November and December. 
According to this report, the UK will have the largest peak online shopping day in Europe with a total projected spend of £474 million on Black Friday (27 November). On this day, the average online spend per person will be £8.06.

The data analysis – based on more than one trillion visits to 4,500 retail websites over the last seven years - predicts that UK consumers will spend £17.7 billion online this Christmas, a 7% increase over the previous year.

More than half (57%) of Christmas shopping is predicted to be online, according to a separate survey of 400 UK consumers. Low prices and good deals remain the biggest driver to shop online, with over two thirds (67%) of consumers ranking this among their top two motivators. 
Although some shoppers have already made their initial holiday purchases, Christmas sales — which may account for 19 percent of total U.S. retail sales this year, excluding gas, groceries, and travel — will start in earnest on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
Marketing planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday should have started months ago, but there is still hope for marketing dawdlers …
Online retailers that have waited to focus on marketing for these days may still have hope if they are willing to send email fearlessly, offer smart discounts, be active on social media sites, speak directly to top customers, and spend money on advertising.

1. Send Email Fearlessly

On Sept. 3, 2015, Practical Ecommerce advised merchants to “Plan Cyber Monday 2015 Email Now.” The article recommended to have offers prepared, build a list specifically for Cyber Monday, and plan segmented, targeted messages.
Now that there is no time left, the plan is to blast them.
According to published reports, nearly half of shoppers will learn about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals from email. Armed with a couple of freshly minted Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount offers (see tip 2., below), plan to start emailing immediately.
Back in 2013, A Better Lemonade Stand founder Richard Lazazzera suggested an email schedule that went something like this.
  • Monday before Thanksgiving. Send an anticipation email, letting folks know that your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale is coming. If you have time, have a landing page ready.
  • Thanksgiving Day. Reveal your Black Friday or Cyber Monday offer and remind folks that the sale will start soon.
  • Black Friday. Use strong calls to action to get sales immediately.
  • Cyber Monday. Similar to your Black Friday ad, get sales right now.
  • Tuesday after Cyber Monday. Send a sale extension offer, earning a few more hours or days of sales.

2. Offer Smart Discounts

The best Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers are planned. Do not make crazy offers. Instead, offer smart discounts. Find overstock items, things you would likely close out in January, and offer those closeout prices now.
Or make a general offer, like £10 off of any £50 purchase. If your shopper spent exactly £50, you’d be giving a 20 percent discount, but don’t be surprised if the average order value is as much as £80, making the discount percentage much less.
If you sell gift cards, another option is to offer a free gift card with purchase, such as a free £25 gift card with every £100 purchase.
And free shipping is mandatory.

3. Be Active on Social Media

If you’d planned ahead, you could spend Thanksgiving Day eating turkey, spending time with family and friends, or watching football. Instead, you need to be tweeting, pinning, and posting actively.
You have two goals for your last minute social media marketing.
First, without completely annoying your followers and social media friends, post about your offers. Use a schedule similar to the one described above for email.
Second, respond to customer posts. It is that simple.

4. Send a Message to Top Customers

The folks at Springbot, an ecommerce marketing platform, suggest that you “take a cue from individuals who send special holiday greetings to their friends and family and do the same for your customers.”
Select your top customers. This might be 10 folks for a very small business. A mid-sized ecommerce retailer might have 1,000 or 2,000.
For each of these customers, send a special shopping invitation with a special offer. Keep two things in mind.
First, the special offer really needs to be special. It should be better than the offer you are sharing with the masses via email and social media.
Second, personalize this message. Rather than just sending another email, consider sending a card or handwritten note via mail. If you start scribbling now, you’ll still have time.
… “take a cue from individuals who send special holiday greetings to their friends and family and do the same for your customers.”

5. Buy Ads, Especially on Facebook

If you can afford it, buy online ads. Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are going to be looking for sales and offers. In many cases, they will search for those deals on search engines or on social media.
You want your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads to show up when they search.
Black Friday Starts in...
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Christmas is in...
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