Couldn’t make our Facebook advertising webinar to rock your holiday ROI? We’ll break down our best tips for structure for early season, mid season, and holiday crunch time to help you build your base of users — and then convert them. (If you finish the post and want more, the webinar’s available for free any time after 5 p.m. ET today.)

The basic idea is to have a structure in Q4 that supports an early-, mid-, and late-season strategy; build your audience now so you can retarget and convert them when they’re in holiday buying mode.

Breaking that into steps means you should:

-Use single-objective campaigns

-Isolate top performers

-Build scale

-Continuously optimize

Here’s a break down of how you should focus based on timeframe, with tips for success:

Early Season Strategy: Oct.-Thanksgiving


Top of Funnel

For pure acquisition, teeing up an interaction early in season will increase likelihood for a conversion later in season.

-When an audience is familiar with, and has a good experience with, a brand, they will say “yes” with greater frequency to direct response prompts.

-Give them a meaningful interaction, like a sneak peek at your full holiday collection, Black Friday/Cyber Monday previews, and gift guides.

Middle of Funnel

Use early Q4 for directional insights to guide profitable scale in-season.

-Take advantage of lower CPMs & CPCs – especially on mobile

-Test creative and copy and offer variations

-See which product lines will drive demand in-season

Bottom of Funnel

Lots of people BUY early! Capture them on Facebook via:

-Tailored copy and offers: Shop Early and Save!

-Website Custom Audiences of those reaching key holiday revenue-driving pages

-Building lookalikes from the previous year’s early purchasers

Mid-Season Strategy: Black Friday-Early Dec.

The remainder of your core testing should occur during this time:

-You should have good directional data from early season

-This is a great time to test landing page optimizations; users have more intent

Keeping up with Black Friday through the end of Cyber Week is a lot of work.

-Consolidate to Black Friday Weekend and Cyber Week

-Always stress value props – “Don’t wait in Black Friday lines!”

-Use historical data to determine % of holiday volume to expect by day.

-This will drive your budgeting strategy throughout the main season

-Two Mondays (12/7 and 12/14) will be big days – be prepped for them

-Audiences with the best likelihood to convert should be your core target.

-Lookalikes (start at 1%) should be highly segmented

-Retargeting/Remarketing (should also be segmented)

-High-intent channels (e.g. Affiliates)

Late Season Strategy: Mid December-Shipping Cutoff


Capitalize on the final push for holiday sales!

-Stress sense of urgency while reaffirming holiday delivery

-Use ‘It’s Officially Last Minute’ — a tried & true piece of messaging

-In final days, give a specific order cutoff time, e.g. “Order by 10pm PST on 12/22 for holiday delivery”

Pull out all the stops!

-If you can guarantee shipping, say it

-If you can subsidize shipping, say it

-Even in the last days, people still want a deal

-Put heavy focus on remarketing – don’t lose high-intent leads

-Don’t forget: lean on your core value props for the season

-“Skip the mall, delivered right to your/their doorstep” messaging

-Take what has worked early and mid, and re-apply for late season

That should be all you need to be well on your way to a successful holiday season on Facebook!

Have any other tips? Let us know in the comments!

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Brad O'Brien
Brad joined 3Q as Director of Social after spending several years on the brand side at Provide Commerce & FTD companies. Brad has a strong background in Social, SEO, e-commerce, landing page and test optimizations, analytics, as well as production and promotion of digital content. Originally from New Jersey, Brad went to college in Virginia at James Madison University and received a degree in Marketing. He has called San Diego home for the last seven years, and also works out of San Diego. Brad enjoys surfing, being outdoors, music festivals, traveling, cooking, and spending time with his dog Duke.