Last year, the holiday season was said to be worth $3.19 Trillion overall – from Halloween to New Year’s Day.  Of that, predicted spend for gifts purchased in the United States alone was $830 Billion (2016).  This year, Deloitte predicts the holiday shopping trend will grow to over $1 Trillion throughout the US!  That’s a significant increase year over a year for a season we all know and love.

For many retail-based businesses, an average of 80% of revenue comes during the holiday season.  And online shoppers are crazy about those four last-minute weeks between Black Friday and Christmas, driving over 50% of all sales.  92% of Cyber Monday shoppers said their shopping experience is driven entirely by their ability to quickly find the best deals and online discounts.

While these numbers are fun to crunch each year, what will always ring true is the ability for your small business to stay ahead of the game and at the forefront of everyone’s minds.  There’s no better way to recapture those website-clickers than with a remarketing campaign.

Remarketing ads are your best friend during this busy time of year!  Remarketing ads take anyone that has visited your website and shows them a specific advertisement (set by you) until they actually buy the product.  So, if someone researches “best gift ever” and lands on your website only to click away to some place else, that experience won’t leave them behind.  By visiting your website, your website starts tracking the visitor. Wherever they go online (Facebook, a blog post, etc.) they see your remarketing advertisements.

Remarketing tags can also be included in your email marketing strategy.  That way, anyone that opens an email sent by you over the holidays will be automatically added into your remarketing advertising campaign similar to website visitors. It is up to you to get in the loop and be seen while they continue to do their gift-giving research online!

The Crazy Thing About Crazy Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, & Cyber Monday Shoppers Is…

The 2016 holiday shopping season showed a 240% increase in revenue from “just browsing” and abandoned cart emails.  Email marketing continues to prove itself as the most beneficial online marketing tactic for the busy Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday weekend.

240% higher revenue from holiday email marketing campaigns

Over the Black Friday weekend, 180% more abandoned cart emails were went as compared to the average 4-day period throughout the rest of the year (2016).  These emails had a 17% higher conversion rate than your typical email promotion.

During the holiday season, the portion of revenue attributed to email marketing is nearly double the amount invested in email marketing throughout the rest of the year.  Pay-per-click advertising shows the second largest investment with a 25% increase, and SEO efforts show a 12.5% increase (Ometria, 2016).

Your search optimization strategy and email marketing campaigns are key to capturing shoppers over this important shopping weekend.  Email marketing converts 25.1% of Black Friday shoppers and 20% of Cyber Monday shoppers (2015).  However, most shoppers are on the hunt.  You know what that means!!!  That means, shoppers are searching for the best deals, literally.  21.5% of online shoppers find deals through organic search terms on sites like Google or Bing.

2x higher investment in email during the holidays

What About After Cyber Monday?

The question is, how do we capture these late bloomers?  More emails?  More social media?  Sure.  That works, but shoppers have already been there and done that.  At this point, you’re going to want to target shoppers specifically for last minute promotions and shopping deals by having an aggressive remarketing campaign.

Why Should I Have A Remarketing Strategy?

Great question! I’m so glad you asked…

Let’s define remarketing:

Remarketing is a clever way to connect with visitors to your website who may not have made an immediate purchase or enquiry. It allows you to position targeted ads in front of a defined audience that had previously visited your website – as they browse elsewhere around the internet.


Defined audiences is kind of vague, isn’t it? Well, what that means is you can say, “I want to market this item to everyone that has previously bought this similar item.”  Likewise, you can create a campaign for everyone that’s clicked through to view certain items without actually making the commitment.

I know you’ve seen the ads yourself.  I see them all the time because I have insane commitment issues when it comes to spending money.  So, if you’re like me you click and click and click again.  Those pair of shoes look great.  But, but, but… For those shoppers with commitment issues, we thrive on those “Remember Me?” campaigns.  Every time I browse a Facebook post, a blog post, a YouTube video, that little roll down bar appears and goes, “Hey, remember these shoes?”  Remarketing campaigns are brilliant and when done correctly, prove to have a much higher conversion rate than initial click-through campaigns.

Capture and captivate your audience with a variety of up-selling advertisements.  Be creative!

How Do I Start?

There are a variety of tools and websites to help you build a remarketing campaign, and thankfully (I think) they’re even easier to comprehend than your average Twitter Card or Facebook Lead Card.  I mean, who created those things?  It’s my job and even I can admit, that’s not user-friendly business!

Google has their own remarketing capability, although not the most popular or the highest in conversion rates.

Facebook has their own remarketing capability with the Facebook pixel.

AdRoll is a popular option with large advertisers.

However, my personal favorite is Perfect Audience.  I find Perfect Audience easiest to use and their customer service is usually spot on!  You can even setup your Facebook retargeting and Twitter retargeting campaigns directly in Perfect Audience.  This is great because you don’t want to clutter your website with a million tracking pixels (code that allows your visitors to be tracked and then marketed to through ads like this).

When you sign up at AdRoll or Perfect Audience, they’ll give you a fairly comprehensive walk through. However, Google and Facebook fail to accurately explain themselves so if you’d like to setup a remarketing campaign on Facebook click here.  If you’d like to setup a Google remarketing campaign click here.

This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated/republished for the 2017 season.