With July 4th just around the corner, marketers are not only thinking about their festivities this summer, but will also need to begin planning for the upcoming fall and winter holiday seasons. Marketing (especially online marketing) is all about advanced planning, and now is the perfect time to begin planning promotions around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and any other fall and winter holidays your potential customers may celebrate.

More money is spent around the holidays than any other time of year, so it’s extremely important to make sure your brand is top-of-mind with potential customers. Retargeting is an effective and very measurable way to increase your brand’s online presence during these high-traffic time periods. Retargeting with holiday and event-based promotions is also a great way to bring existing customers back to your site. This is especially true for ‘almost customers’ — folks who browsed your website and maybe even put some items in their shopping cart, but didn’t make a purchase. A holiday promotion or sale could give them the extra push they need to finally convert.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning retargeting campaigns around the holidays:

Prep, Prep, Prep

You often only have one chance per year to execute that perfect holiday party or family gathering. So what do successful event and party planners do? They plan ahead. You’ll want to do the same for your holiday retargeting efforts. Do you want to run a single day promotion, a weekend holiday sale, or an extended extravaganza? Focus on the type of campaign you’re interested in running and then begin the prep work. Prepare the creative and website changes well in advance, so you can start serving impressions at the optimal time. You may need to take extra time to create holiday-themed creative ads (red white and blue for the 4th!) that will drive traffic to a matching landing page or updated homepage.

‘Invite’ Friends First

Your friends are more likely to attend an event than a someone who barely knows you. When planning a guest list, you probably take into account those who will definitely attend. Retargeting for a holiday is no different. Who is more likely to purchase? It’s probably a customer who knows and loves your brand vs. a random person surfing the web. Reach out to your loyal customers who have purchased in the past and offer incentivizing deals to drive repeat sales. You can also create targeted messaging such as “specials for our loyal customers”. Also, retarget site visitors who may have frequented the website multiple times without purchasing or abandoned their shopping cart. Their intent data suggests they’re interested, so as we mentioned above, a holiday promotion might get them to finally bite.

Timing is Everything

With so many events and parties around the holidays, it’s hard to plan something that all of your friends will be able to attend. It’s no different with your potential customers. When planning a retargeting campaign around the holidays, it’s important to anticipate that your customers and potential buyers will be inundated with other promotions. You can optimize and protect your brand by excluding advertising to customers who have recently purchased in the past few days. You should also prepare your budgeting and adjust bids to aggressively reach your customers during key periods leading to the long awaited holiday. While most campaigns start ramping up within 24 hours, the approval process can drag on, so be prepared to accommodate for any approval snafus.

Now you’re equipped with a few basics to start preparing your retargeting campaign for the holidays. It’s not too late to set up a free trial and get some extra business this July 4th!