‘Tis the season to be jolly--and to take your business to the next level. The fourth quarter (October-December) provides an amazing opportunity for growth, particularly for e-commerce businesses.
How I first discovered the magic of Q4
The very first time I optimized an AdWords account was back in October of 2005 for my family’s business. Truth be told, I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, the gods of Q4 smiled upon me and our account went from averaging 1 sale a week to 50 sales a day. That level of growth could only happen in Q4.
From there, I began a career in digital marketing. The concept of Perfect Search originated while I was responsible for e-commerce strategy at FansEdge. In October of 2007 we restructured our AdWords account from 800,000 keywords in one account to 5 million keywords across 10 accounts. We considered this new account structure to be perfect (hence the name).
The results were tremendous. FansEdge doubled its run rate from 25 million to 50 million immediately with the new account. Did I mention that we launched this new account structure in Q4? It’s no coincidence that we saw such incredible growth during a time when conversion rates are at their highest.
4 lessons I’ve learned about Q4
Q4 has always been an exciting time for our clients because changes to an account can have a larger impact than during other times of the year. However, Q4 also has unique challenges of its own.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about the most wonderful time of the year--ahem, Q4--over the years.
1) Timing is everything.
While Q4 brings opportunities to maximize revenue, it also is important to understand what level of product can be delivered.
If you spend too much of a budget in October, you may miss out on the most efficient time to buy traffic. This usually falls between Thanksgiving and around December 15th.
Think carefully about pacing and how you can best take advantage of all of Q4.
2) Different years can have different trends.
Thanks to the fact that Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November instead of a specific date, the amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can vary by a whole week.
Be sure to keep track of when exactly Thanksgiving falls and adjust your strategy accordingly. Plus, keep this in mind when you evaluate performance and look at year-over-year data.
Learn more about how to maximize profit during the height of the holiday season here.
3) It’s the best time to test.
Thanks to higher conversion rates, there’s always an emphasis on driving revenue during Q4. But don’t forget about testing!
For the same reason, it’s also the best time to test new channels and strategies. Your likelihood of running a successful test is at its peak during these months. So take the plunge and try advertising on a new channel or testing new creative.
4) Advertise with clarity.
When going through Q4, it’s likely that you’ll update messaging more frequently than other periods of the year. There’s nothing wrong with that--but here’s one argument for consistency.
One strategy we have found to be successful is to clearly communicate that a product will be delivered by Christmas. Making this crystal clear in your messaging can offer shoppers certainty and increase conversion rates.
Overall, Q4 is a great time to achieve exponential growth and establish strategies to learn and test the most. Maybe that’s not what the song is about, but it really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Any questions about Q4? Tweet us at @PerfectSearch.