As we’re approaching the end of financial year, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for the weeks ahead.
In the age of COVID-19, EOFY plans and sales involve keeping an eye on fulfilling orders, taking into account delays with deliveries, and of course, making that final push before the books close on the tax year with a sale.
Shoppers are accustomed to the idea of EOFY Sales – it’s almost expected now for a business to hold a sale as soon as the calendar changes to June. It’s likely that your customers will be expecting a sale, and are waiting in anticipation. So, let’s make sure they’re not disappointed.
Consider incorporating the following tips into your marketing plan to make the most of this EOFY.
What are your goals?
Determining your goals for the end of financial year is a beneficial way for you to stay on track, or even determine if holding a promotional sale is worthwhile.
Ask yourself, what is the purpose of your business having a sale? Are you looking to clear excess stock or move out-of-season items on? Or are you just having one because it seems like the norm?
By running a sale or promotion for a limited period of time, you can raise brand awareness, drive conversions, and entice customers to buy more with the promise of a greater discount (retail stores do this particularly well).
The end goal for running a sale during this period can come in a variety of forms and outcomes. It’s just up to you to determine what means the most for your business at this particular time.
By preparing a sales structure for your business, you’re going to attract the right customer, at the right time.
Who is your target audience?
Do you want to end the year by attracting new customers, or rewarding your long-term ones?
Defining your target audience allows you to plan your marketing strategy. Will you utilise organic or paid social media campaigns? Or maybe a combination of both? Organic and boosted social media posts will reach your loyal customers, whereas paid campaigns will help attract new customers to your business.
You can reward those subscribed to your e-newsletter by providing them with a custom discount code, or say thank you to those who visit your website with a generic promotion on a banner.
Each of these options, once you’ve determined who you want to market to, allows your business to attract customers through targeted, relevant messages.
Sometimes, you have to consider that not holding the sale is equally as worthwhile. If your EOFY sale isn’t applicable to a large portion of your audience, it may end up costing you more than you make.
Again, be specific with your targeting – if you want to target a certain group of people, be direct and call them out. For example, consider a plug like, “Calling all tradies – workplace tools and equipment, now 20% off during our EOFY sale”.
What is your marketing schedule like? Should you refine it?
Defining your marketing schedule will allow you to determine factors such as how long your promotion should run for, how early, and how frequently you should be promoting it.
Do you want to send your newsletter subscribers a reminder every couple of days, promote your sale in your Instagram Stories every day or have a one-and-done approach to a Facebook post? These are important factors to consider if you have the time and resources to commit.
If an EOFY plan doesn’t work with your current schedule, or you feel like you can’t deliver during this time, put your efforts into formulating a plan to boost next financial year’s performance. You could use this time to refresh your website or social media plan, determine your goals moving forward or curate a new template for your e-newsletter.
Just because you might not be able to hold a sale, doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of this time.
Can you provide a stress-free transaction process for your customer?
While you may be thinking, “what does this have to do with my marketing plan?”, the delivery of products goes hand-in-hand with hosting a sale.
Customers don’t want to purchase a product online and then have to wait weeks for it to arrive. It tends to leave them with a bad taste in their mouth and reduces their likelihood of purchasing from you again.
Be transparent in your marketing collateral if you’re finding there are significant delays with your deliveries – let customers know what to expect before they’ve even purchased the product.
If you own a brick and mortar store, make sure your address is in a convenient and accessible location on your website, social media accounts, emails and Google.
Including your address on your social media accounts, having an interactive map on your website and keeping your Google My Business account up-to-date makes the experience just that much easier for a customer trying to find where your store is located.
With a bit of planning and a full-blown marketing strategy in place, there’s no reason why your business can’t take advantage of the large volume of consumers ready to spend at this time of year.