In anticipation of this year’s holiday season, notably Cyber Monday, we’re rolling out a 5-part plan to guide your brand to an effective Q4 2020 marketing strategy.

Before you ramp up your marketing efforts for the holidays, listen to your audience. The more targeted your marketing, the more conversions you’ll see when it matters most. Get the most out of your emails and ads by ensuring that they are the most efficient and effective versions possible. You’ve probably already tested email send times (if you haven’t, do that), but by split testing- or A/B testing- key variables, you can hone in on what, how and when your customers are most engaged. The secret is to choose a single variable to test with any given email or ad, and to test each variable multiple times to ensure you’re getting an accurate response. Here are a few clutch variables to test:

You could test content for years, getting as granular as tone, voice, emoji usage, language, word order and more, but for Cyber Monday prep, we’ll focus on the big three: messaging, subject lines, length. First and foremost, you need to listen to your audience to determine what they care about. Is it the fact that your company is sustainable, or that your product is cheap? Establish your brand’s fundamental selling points and then create identical ads and emails with different focuses. Once you know what they care about, you can begin to dig into how they want this information. Take the information and either flush it out or condense it to test the length of emails and ad copy. Finally, test email subject lines (long vs short, product name vs. evocative, personalized vs not) to improve your open rate. 

Cut back design hours by determining which aesthetic and style resonates best with your audience. Try split testing Facebook ad designs with product shots, editorial photography and graphics to see which performs better. Klaviyo makes it super simple to A/B test two email campaigns, even allowing you to select a testing pool percentage and time frame so that the remainder of your list will receive the “winning” design. Within a design, choose a single variable to test, ie. hero image vs. headline, long form email design vs. short form, more photos vs less, style of photography, etc.

If you want clicks, and we all want clicks, you want to give your buttons some love. Are your subscribers more likely to click on a button or hyperlink in an email? How long should the copy be? What Calls-To-Action generate the most ad leads? Try testing different callouts to the same content, action words vs. passive, filled in box vs. outline.

This is a tricky one to test now when you should be holding your discount cards close to your chest until the holiday sales, but in general it helps to know that magic discount number that converts the best. You want to know how low you can go without losing clicks. Test identical ads and emails with a 10% discount and 15%. Not significant enough? Bump it up to 15% and 20% and so on. Test 24hr flash sales vs. long term, or select products vs sitewide.

Google and Facebook both have moved to a focus on conversion based bidding, which requires about 50 conversions a week to effectively work. Start by choosing to bid towards conversions you want, likely Purchases, but if this number is too low, try to go further from the purchase to widen the number of conversions. If you aren’t seeing 50 orders per week, per audience, try shifting your conversion to Adds to Cart or Product Views even further down the purchase funnel.