In June, I kicked off a series for how retail companies need to prep for Q4 (click here for the first edition and here for July‘s edition). Q4 is just weeks away, so make sure you’re diving into the initiatives below to get yourself in good shape to capitalize. (If you’re interested in a comprehensive look at Q4 prep, check out our recent 35min. webinar.)

Google Drafts and Experiments

An extremely useful and sometimes overlooked feature in AdWords, Drafts and Experiments is a great way to test changes you wish to make to a campaign.

Let’s say you have a campaign with max CPC bids and you want to see how it would perform with an automated CPA target, or you want to test an ad schedule with ads only running during certain hours of the day or days of the week. Simply go into the campaign and select “Draft” in the upper right-hand corner as shown above. This will duplicate the campaign. After making your changes, select apply, choose your percent traffic split, and watch the results come in in an easy-to-compare table!  Test as much as you can before Q4!

Bid Modifiers

Another extremely useful feature in AdWords is bid modifiers. There are several areas within an account where adjusting bid percentages can result in noticeable improvements. Look at Q4 last year and pull data for which states performed well, which HHI tiers were better than others, what device-level data looks like, and how ages, genders, and hour of the day performed. With all this data available, you can make informed decisions and adjust bid percentages accordingly so that you’re maximizing the good and pulling back on the bad.  When Q4 rolls around this year, you’ll be ready to go.

Social Segmentation

Similar to bid modifiers in Google, in Facebook it’s also wise to analyze data relating to devices, age, gender, region and platform. You may find that certain age groups or regions don’t perform well or that others stand out from the rest. While you can’t put in bid modifiers, you can break out the above demographics into more targeted ad sets to maximize the spend toward your top-performing customers. The one thing to watch out for is over-segmenting!  You don’t want to spread yourself too thin, data-wise, as Facebook optimizes best with bigger clusters of data.

Email Marketing

As you may imagine, email is HUGE during the holiday months. You have direct access to customers you know are interested in your products, and the goal is to convert as many of those people as possible. This is where messaging and list segmentation is of utmost importance. It’s paramount to ensure you’re segmenting lists so that you deliver the right messages to the right customers. Test things now! Try sending your lapsed users big offers now to get them back early. Also, evaluate the email messaging/deals used in Q4 last year.  What worked and what didn’t? People will be in buying mode, so make sure you’re checking on your competition to see what they are offering/messaging (get on their email list) during the holidays as well! (You know your customers will!)

 

These initiatives may all seem like they can wait a few days, but don’t let those days drag into weeks; put them in place ASAP to get insights now that you can leverage when the traffic and intent are high.

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Ryan Noonan
I've been in the digital marketing world since 2012. When I'm not building and optimizing marketing campaigns, I like to spend my time outdoors, playing music, reading, writing and hanging out with friends. I also have a dog named Cooper, who looks like the white Direwolf "Ghost" from Game of Thrones.