Learn more about using data to shape your holiday marketing strategy by joining AdRoll and Springbot for a webinar called “Have Your Best Holiday Season Ever: How Data from Other SMBs Can Help” on October 6th at 2:00pm ET. Save your seat by registering here!

Every year, articles are published that tout impressive stats about holiday marketing, such as: “Holiday conversions were 5% higher than last year” or “Email accounted for 20% of holiday sales last year.” The data is interesting to read, but what can you actually do with this information?

Data needs insight to make it powerful and effective, and Springbot has both e-commerce data from last year’s holiday season and the insight to make it relevant for your store. Springbot, an e-commerce marketing platform, and AdRoll work year-round with small- to medium-sized retailers to drive more traffic, conversions, and overall revenue with their robust marketing automation and analytics platform. Because of this, they have an eagle’s eye view into what kinds of marketing efforts it takes to make the holidays a success.

Using data they collected from previous holiday seasons, Springbot is able to paint a picture of holiday consumer behavior and how marketers can leverage this information in their 2016 campaigns. Read on for seven tips on how data and insights can improve your holiday campaigns—all using data from Springbot’s 2016 Holiday Data Trend Analysis:

Key Buying Times

1. Capitalize on the buzz around Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The buzz around deals and promotions for these key holiday days means shoppers are in the mindset to make a purchase, and this translates into opportunities to increase your sales.  The weekend after Thanksgiving accounts for higher revenue than any other day during the holiday season. In 2015, Black Friday generated 5% of the total revenue from the holiday season (defined as November 1st to December 31st), while Cyber Monday generated 6% of the total revenue. Together, they make up a percentage of holiday sales you can’t afford to miss out on.

Springbot Protip: According to our analysis, we also discovered that Cyber Monday attracts 30% more new customers than Black Friday, so target your messaging to people who may not be familiar with your brand, not just to returning visitors. This means establishing awareness and clearly communicating your value propositions through your marketing campaigns.

AdRoll Protip: Make sure you’re ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and any other sales that you have planned during the holiday season. Having ads that are sale-specific will complement the push you’re already making, so make sure that your ads are set in advance of any sale so they can be properly uploaded and ready to run.

If you’re looking for an extra incentive to get consumers back to your site, use our dynamic ads to show personalized product recommendations.

2. The earlier you plan and run campaigns, the better

The end of the year is busy, and e-commerce marketers know this better than anyone. However, if you’re waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to start advertising for the holidays, you could be missing out on early bird shoppers. Holiday revenue generated before Black Friday accounts for 2.6x more than the revenue generated between Cyber Monday and December 25th. This means you’re potentially missing an opportunity to target those shoppers who want to get a head start on buying gifts.

Springbot Protip: The time before Black Friday and Cyber Monday is also when people heavily window-shop (and add items to their cart to calculate shipping costs), so launch abandoned cart emails in order to recapture their attention and lead them back to your site to complete their purchase.

AdRoll Protip: Springbot’s research also suggests that 40% of shoppers start their holiday shopping by Halloween, so the ideal time to launch holiday campaigns is mid-October. Don’t miss additional selling opportunities by waiting until the last minute. Increasing your retargeting budget during the holiday season also gives you more opportunity to generate additional sales and helps make up for the higher cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) during this time. We recommend increasing your retargeting budget 30—40% for the holiday season to get the most out of your campaigns.

3. Create campaigns that target last-minute shoppers

An e-commerce marketer’s work is never done, and the last days before Christmas are a testament to that. The 10 days leading up to December 25th account for 3% of holiday revenue, so you may find yourself catering to frantic, last-minute shoppers during the close of the winter holidays.

Springbot Protip: Prepare for expedited shipping costs and processes in advance so that your store is prepared to handle last-minute, panic-stricken shoppers. Clearly outline your expedited shipping processes and deadlines in your store’s policies so that everyone is on the same page.

AdRoll Protip: Use strong calls to action (CTAs) on your ads that catch the attention of last-minute shoppers and compel them to buy. CTAs like “Get it today” or “Free shipping” can drive additional clicks and purchases. Using special incentives like free shipping and special discounts can also drive those last-minute purchases to your site.

4. New year, new campaigns

Some retailers wind down their promotions as soon as the radio stations stop playing Christmas music. After months of intense holiday marketing, it’s understandable that marketers wouldn’t want to think about holiday shoppers anymore.

The truth is that January is a prime time to capture sales from people who are looking to cash in their gift cards, return gifts in exchange for something they want more, and treat themselves to some after-the-holidays sales. Springbot noticed that, of the revenue generated during November, December, and January, 28% comes from the last month alone. Be sure to include January as part of your marketing strategy to scoop up post-holiday sales so you don’t miss a slice of that pie.

Springbot Protip: We also noticed that January has a 6% higher average order value (AOV) than December, so keep this in mind when planning promotions. Create New Year’s gift guides that entice shoppers to purchase related products at the same time, and use personalized product recommendations on your site and in retargeting and email campaigns to suggest complementary products to those that they have already purchased.

AdRoll Protip: CPMs drop significantly after the holiday season but people will continue to shop after the New Year. Have your post-holiday ads ready to go before you leave the office to take advantage of post-Christmas shopping, and keep your budget the same during this time period to make sure you get the most out of your January campaigns.

Marketing Channel Musts

5. Increase site traffic through new channels, like social, to take advantage of retargeting growth

High site traffic from holiday shoppers means more opportunity to retarget with holiday-specific messaging, so strategize ways to drive more traffic to your product pages during the earlier parts of the holidays.

Springbot Protip: Build targeted ads with specific messaging to capture the attention of holiday shoppers. Create messaging around different scenarios for early, last-minute, and bargain shoppers. Don’t forget about post-holiday shoppers too. Many people use January to buy things they didn’t receive as a gift, so appeal to those who want to treat themselves.

AdRoll Protip: Create a holistic retargeting strategy by incorporating Facebook and Instagram ads into your advertising mix. According to Springbot, nearly 20% of total time spent online in the US across both desktop and mobile is on social platforms so it’s important for your ads to show up where your potential customers are online.

To make the most of advertising on these channels, reuse your top-performing organic content and creative from Facebook. While artistic images perform well, don’t be afraid to use your best Facebook ads on Instagram. In general, any ads that are hitting your key performance  indicators (KPIs) on Facebook will also perform well on Instagram.

6. Run retargeting ads across the web and social for higher conversions, lower costs per click, and higher click-through rates.

When shoppers leave your site, you can continue to market to them on their favorite websites and also on social platforms. By running retargeting ads across the web, Facebook, and Instagram, you’ll cast a wider net that meets shoppers where they are and reminds them of your great products. In fact, Springbot’s research suggests adding social to your retargeting strategy can increase conversions up to 73%.

Springbot Protip: Monitor your campaigns closely to determine not only which ads are receiving the most clicks, but also which are actually leading to the most conversions. As you discover trends in your data, adjust your campaigns accordingly.

AdRoll Protip: Retargeting works best when you’re engaging your audience wherever they are after leaving your site without converting. During the holiday season when every advertiser is competing for sales, make sure you can engage with potential customers across web and social for the biggest opportunity to influence their purchasing behavior.

7. Increase conversions by interacting with shoppers across three or more marketing channels.

Today’s consumers aren’t exposed to your brand through one channel only—many are interacting with you across multiple channels before making a purchase. Stores whose customers are touched by three or more marketing channels outperform other stores by 11% each month, so keep your campaigns consistent and cohesive across every channel.

Springbot Protip: In everything you do this holiday season, aim to create an experience for your shoppers rather than just marketing to them. Plan your campaigns by considering the impression they create on your customers as they interact with you across email, social, your website, and through retargeting ads.

AdRoll Protip: Make sure your retargeting campaigns fit in with the rest of your marketing plans—being consistent and using the same ads and taglines in email, search, content, and retargeting builds continuity for your customers and increases brand awareness and overall sales.

Don’t be afraid of data—use it to your advantage this holiday season and allow it to shape your marketing strategy. With trends and benchmarks, you can take the guessing game out of the campaigns you run and the tactics you use. Think of them as a springboard that gives you a place to start testing with timing, messaging, channels, and more.

Learn more about using data to shape your holiday marketing strategy by joining AdRoll and Springbot for a webinar called “Have Your Best Holiday Season Ever: How Data from Other SMBs Can Help” on October 6th at 2:00pm ET. Save your seat by registering here!