How to make a holiday shopping campaign for low budget accounts

As an announcer, the holiday season is always unusually long. It starts in August when I launch conversations with our customers about the upcoming holidays and what that means to them. The majority of my clients are small businesses with small budgets, making it a significant time of the year. We must not only pay attention to our expenses, but the revenues generated during this season are crucial. Many of the clients I work with will feel challenged if they do not earn enough during the holidays to help them through the slower months.

The unique constraints that small businesses face with advertising the holiday season, so it's so important to plan your schedule, know what you're measuring and consider your budget.


One of the challenges of managing a small account during the holiday season is planning. exactly what campaigns will you launch when. I approach the calendar in three main ways:

Using Historical Data

First, use all the data you have access to to identify what worked and what did not not working. We have a guest who is in the reception area and who is with us for three seasons of vacation. We have many data on what has worked in the past and we use it to identify the platforms we want to use, as well as similar campaigns that we wish to conduct each year. If you do not have data from last season, use what you need to guess.

A warning applies: you do not have to look only at the last click data, nor the ad spend generated during the campaign. level. It's important to look at the purchase path and assisted recipes to identify what you think you have achieved. If a specific campaign plays an important role early in the buying process, reducing it will affect overall revenue.

Another important element to keep in mind is any major change in your audience or offers during the year. . Ask yourself if you can really assume that what worked last year will probably work again if there have been major changes in the platform or the public. This also applies if a new competitor is in your space.

Reduce It

Chances are you do not have the budget to do everything you want to do. This is the reality with small accounts, there is not enough money to go around. The last thing you want is to find yourself with a poor holiday campaign because of a budget too spread out.

There are three things to keep in mind when you reduce your campaigns: budget, capacity, and creativity.

First, mark your ideal campaigns according to priority. For us, high priority campaigns have had the most impact on overall net income – a combination of direct and assisted income. Examine the costs of last season, consider the cost-per-click (CPC) increase and the typical length of the season for the company. Some of our customers only show vacation listings from November 11th to December 10th, others from mid-October to December. You also want to consider any extra budget you may need for Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday, assuming you participate. Give your campaigns their ideal budget next to their priority and critically examine what's wrong and what's not.

Second, examine the overall capacity of the firm. We have customers with two people, and while the demand exists, we know that once they reach their maximum capacity, they can no longer physically create or sell shares. Consider when assigning what you will do and what you will not do. Is there a time when this will happen for you during the season?

Finally, some of your most successful and ideal campaigns will require new creations for this year or even in the middle of the season. Some creatives can be reused from one year to the next, but you usually want something new to prevent ads from running out, because small businesses can have a small audience. If a high scoring campaign that you really want to lead requires a new creation, it is likely that something else will disappear, especially if creating this asset costs an extra budget.

Trace it

Once your plan is defined, create yourself and your team a GANNT chart with details about the execution. We have customers who integrate our digital marketing component into their largest GANNT charts, and while it's great to see where digital fits into the mix, we find it extremely useful to keep our own copy.

This is as important as for the smaller ones. clients, they will usually have a point of contact, a member of the team who will help them throughout their holiday campaign. I'm going to participate in the strategy discussions, but the implementation and running of the campaign is one-person. This can leave a lot of room for error, and a custom GANNT chart associated with Asana's detailing of starts / stops / finishes helps us run smoothly throughout the season.

To recap:

  • Use historical data to determine campaigns. you want to run
  • Examine the overall contribution to the business figure and not just the last click spent on an ad
  • Reduce it to fit your budget, your ability or your creativity
  • and attribute it to


When Evaluating Because of the success of your campaign, we stick to the indicators used the previous year to assess year-over-year growth, which is our most important key performance indicator during the holiday season. Although we are looking at ROAS, our main goal is to increase the overall revenue generated. An exception to this is that we will use ROAS as an indicator of success if a customer sold out of stock each season. If we help them sell faster while spending less on commercials, it's a success.

A note on the analysis is that it is so important to tag and name your campaigns correctly. Use UTM tags that line up not only on the platform and type of ad, but also on the holiday season. You give a big favor to the future by marking out your campaigns and naming them so as to facilitate future comparisons.

To recap:

  • Observe statistics from one exercise to the next
  • . growth / increase in income instead of campaign-level ROAS measures
  • Properly label and name campaigns to avoid headaches and facilitate reporting


Budgets are a topic burning nowadays. Stories about Google ads not meeting their budget rule twice a day to increase the number of CPCs, there is always food for thought.


One of the best ways not to spend all his efforts. your budget focuses on smaller audiences that you think will generate revenue. If you have a limited budget for the season, focus your spending on proven lists of remarketing and email. This is especially important during sales periods, when customers who know you and have worked with your business are more likely to buy. It's a great way to approach Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.

You can also use an audience of look-alikes of people who have purchased devices in recent years to refine your targeting for campaigns at the top of the funnel.

Check out your best days of performance [19659004] If you have historical data from last season, use them to determine the start time of your holiday sprint. If you are seasonal, when did the traffic come back last year? When did purchases increase? Are certain days or hours of the week more profitable? To optimize your budget, review all this information and determine when to start your holiday campaigns, whether you want to advertise seven days a week and where you should use bid adjustments to maximize your revenue.

Sample Seasonal Campaign The customer analysis is below. The holiday traffic arrived on their site this year earlier than expected. We were going to run ads starting November 12th, but with the increase in organics traffic in early October, we decided to launch an early booking campaign. early tip.

Use a script to help you manage

The last budget tip for the season is to avoid excessive spending in Google Ads by using a budget script. This advice comes from Take Some Risk's Duane Brown who recommends this script to limit excessive spending. The only drawback is that you have to remember to reactivate what will be paused the next day, through another script or rule.

Using a script to make sure your daily budgets are not out of control is helpful. to maximize results throughout the season and prevent Google Ads from losing budget control.

To recap:

  • Limit the big days of purchase to your most qualified audiences
  • Know what days and what hours you should load your budget for
  • Pay attention to seasonal traffic and adjust accordingly [19659020] Use a script to avoid excesses

Recap of the seasons

One of the best things you can do for your future is to take notes as you go. What worked, what did not work, the UTM tags you used, your GANNT diagrams and why you made the choices you made.

We always think we will remember what we did with our calendars, how we managed success and what budgets. we used and why, but instead of starting every season, keep notes so that you can refer to something when you plan your campaigns for 2020.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the I & # 39; guest author and not necessarily those of the author. Earth search engine. Associated authors are listed here .

About the Author

Amalia Fowler is Director of Marketing Services at Snaptech Marketing . She leads a team of strategists who develop holistic digital marketing strategies for clients. Passionate about testing, marketing psychology and digital strategy, Amalia frequently speaks at conferences and events in the industry. Apart from marketing, she is passionate about coffee, paddle board and Vancouver. You can follow her on Twitter @amaliaefowler for all things marketing.

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