How Brooks Sports Sleighs the Season

Mike Ali

Mike Ali

Decorations, awkward family photos, terrible sweaters, and lots of shopping.

In 2015, US consumers spent $2.74 billion on Black Friday and over $3 Billion on Cyber Monday alone, setting the record for the largest ecommerce sales day ever. Sure, you still have a few months to prepare, but with that much money flying around, what will you do to get your piece of the holiday pie?

Stephanie Hileman, ecommerce digital marketing specialist for Brooks Sports, recently spoke with us about how they use the holiday season to meet and surpass their annual revenue goals. Here are a few of the highlights from the conversation. Click each slide for an excerpt from the webinar.

Q: Tell us about your typical holiday kickoff.

Kickoff SlideStephanie:

Our July kickoff has a few different steps, but the driver is, of course, to be ahead of the game. We have a catalog that drops in November, so we have to secure all kinds of creative and promotion by the end of August, which lights a fire for us to get our act together sooner than later. Basically, the kickoff starts with our creative team presenting concepts to key stakeholders who provide feedback and land on the final version. The final creative is then presented to the directors who share the content with the rest of the team.

Q: How do you go about setting goals for the holiday season?

Goal Setting slideStephanie:

We have goals slotted for the year, and we divide them into 12 different periods. Each period has a goal which is weighted based on historical performance. For example, holiday goals (November and December) will be a bit more aggressive than those for September, one of our slower months. Worst-case scenario, you just want to be better year over year, so the metrics we look at are going to be open rate, click rate, and conversion rate for email.

But different channels have different goals. For example, with social, the goal may not always be to purchase because, especially around the holidays, we like to give consumers a break from the purchase messaging and throw in some helpful nuggets, such as healthy recipes or tips for staying in shape during the holidays. Those goals are more based on engagement metrics. It depends on the channel and knowing exactly what you’re trying to achieve.

Q: What type of content, deals, or automated messages do you think perform really well during the holidays?

What Works?Stephanie:

Our current browse abandonment messaging does really well year-round, and their timely relevance helps coax shoppers down the purchase funnel. With regards to the holidays, our gift guides give people who like to shop outfits a visual cue of exactly what they want to look for when they get to the Brooks website, and how it may look put together. We can also pull user-generated content, such as customer reviews and examples of our products on real people versus models, which is always really great. 

Q: What do you consider the most important technical factor for a successful holiday campaign?

Important FactorsStephanie:

Definitely mobile. The majority of our email opens, as well as 45% of the traffic to our site, comes from mobile. And email ranks as our number three source for mobile traffic so far this year. I think that email is transient, and it’s typically consumed on the go – so you want it to be as good of an experience on a mobile device as it can be to help get that person from point A to point B. Purchases are going to be made on the site, and if that first experience with email on a mobile device is poor, odds are they’re probably going to bail.

For more helpful tips from Stephanie and Brooks Sports, view the complete webinar.

And for more on how to prepare for the holiday season, check out Stellar Marketing Strategies for a Successful Holiday Season.


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