Online Marketing Checklist for the Christmas Break

Table of Contents

    Christmas break is that rare time of year when offices completely shut down for a week or so. But what happens when potential customers try to reach you over this period? Here’s a list of things to consider before shutting up shop for the holidays.

    Pay per click ads

    In order to save on unnecessary spending, and to minimise the amount of potential customers who try to contact you while your office is closed, remember to pause your Google AdWords during the Christmas break.

    Rather than spending time doing this for each ad one-by-one, you should download the AdWords Editor, which will allow you to easily pause all ads at once, and just as easily switch them back on when you return from Christmas break – but remember not to switch back on any Christmas-themed ads. Your SEO specialist should be able to do this on your behalf.

    Put the message out

    For those potential customers who do make it to your website and wish to enquire about your services, make sure they are aware you are closed for the holidays – don’t leave them thinking you are ignoring their contact. This should be done through a number of avenues and should include the following information:

    • The date your office closed
    • The reason for closure (e.g. Christmas break)
    • The date you will reopen
    • When you will get back to their enquiry.

    Website banner – put a note on your website to let people know you are closed, and more importantly, when normal service will resume. Ideally the banner should be visible on all landing pages, but if this isn’t possible then the homepage and ‘contact us’ page will suffice. If you’re ever unsure how to do this, speak to your local SEO professional.

    Auto reply to ‘contact us’ section – if you have a contact form on your website, chances are you may already have an autoreply set up to thank customers for their enquiry. Over the Christmas break you should edit this text to let customers know your office is closed and that you will be in touch on a specified date after the break.

    Employee out-of-office messages – in case potential customers manage to find individual employee email addresses online or via referral, make sure there is a unified message across all communication. Prepare a standard out-of-office message to be used by everyone in the office.

    Answering machine – record a similar note on your telephone answering machine and encourage callers to leave a message with their contact information.

    Special offers and festive landing pages

    If you’ve had some special online offers and seasonal landing pages added to your website in the run up to Christmas, make sure these are scheduled to be taken down on or before 25th December.

    Social media

    As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, social media is the future of customer service, so you need to inform your followers that your offices will be closed. However, you will still need to keep an eye on social media profiles in case there are any major complaints or catastrophes that crop up over the holidays. Organise a rota for select personnel to monitor your company’s social media profiles throughout the break, and make sure they are aware of the guidelines should they need to respond. If you would like to keep some content going throughout the holidays but don’t want to burden staff with posting over their break, then there are some free social media management tools, such as HootSuite or TweetDeck, that will allow you to schedule tweets – so line up some content and schedule it to go out roughly once a day or so.

    Servers and back-up

    In the unlikely event that something should happen to your physical office location during the break, make sure to back up all data before you leave and store the back-ups outside of the office. If you’re using a tape server remember to put in the year end tape before you leave. And don’t forget – it’s common practice to turn off the air conditioning in an office building over the break to save on energy costs, but remember that the room where your server is kept needs to remain at a stable, cool temperature to prevent over-heating.

    Current clients and customers

    While you’re worrying about getting the message across to potential leads, don’t forget to give your current customers a heads up that you will be shutting down over Christmas. If necessary, provide them with an emergency contact number and make sure whoever should be at the other end of the line is equipped to work remotely to solve any issues. And above all remember to thank them for their support over the past year.

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