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Tiny Tim from the Muppets

Lead Generation’s Sad Holiday Season Won’t Last Forever

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The holidays aren’t a total joy for everyone.  The clearest example that always comes to my mind is Tiny Tim and his family sitting around their table and eating a boiled boot or whatever.  (This probably depends on which of the roughly 1.6 million adaptations of A Christmas Carol immediately pop into your head.)

Ok, so Tiny Tim and the Cratchits have love and a family and all that stuff at their table, but what about the food?  The green bean casserole?  The mashed potatoes?  The pumpkin pie?  (I would really like to spend 1,000 words putting my favorite holiday foods into question form, but I imagine you get the idea.)

THE YEAST ROLLS?  (Couldn’t resist.)

For us PPC’ers in the wonderful land of lead generation, I think the holiday season can feel as barren as Mr. and Mrs. Cratchits’ table before Scrooge has his big change of heart.  We can’t use Eric’s awesome gift keyword analysis.  We can’t use Amanda’s holiday guide to PLAs.  We can’t refer back to PPC Hero Series of yore to reflect on the passage of time while also improving our accounts.  All we have is our tiny little crutch and hand-me-down cap.

We do have the ability to use Sam’s post about benchmarking our accounts to adjust our accounts accordingly and align boss/client expectations.  “Expect a slow down around the holidays.”  “Boost your budgets beforehand.”  It feels a bit like crowding around a fire to warm our fingertips because our gloves are those weird weightlifter gloves that end at the first knuckle for some reason.  (Why can’t the Cratchits afford fingers on their gloves?  I’d imagine those are more expensive than the full-fingered versions.) It’s rough being lead gen during the holidays.

Pouring salt into my wounds, Google has been nice enough to pass along some tips for the holiday season.  They know it’s for eCommerce and that it doesn’t apply to lead generation, but are they any lessons that us poor lead generation folks could learn?

Consumers Continue to Shop after December 25th

Lead gen takeaway: A few more days of sadness.

Consumers Expect Free Shipping

This affords us a small amount of schadenfreude for those retailers that can’t offer free shipping.  But all of them that can offer free shipping must be so happy.  This is a wash at best.

Consumers Use Multiple Devices in their Buying Process

Now here’s something that we can use!  Even if conversion rates aren’t so hot on your non-desktop targeting, that could just be people early in your sales funnel.  We’ve talked about devices before, but it’s something.  Let us have this one thing!

Competition Will Be Even More Aggressive

When this message comes from Google, you definitely want to be wary. But for lead gen, we’ll just have to contend with the general landscape of whatever industry we’re in.  There aren’t going to be more keywords including “gift” popping up within our queries.

Overall, the holidays can be a sad time for lead generation because it feels like a party that we aren’t invited to.  We can see the party hats and the streamers through the window, but we’re out in the cold.

It’s not all bad, though.  Sure, the next six weeks may see some peaks and valleys as people focus on their loved ones and gift giving and spreading joy and all of that garbage.  And with the new online experience holiday shopping now extends even beyond Christmas and Boxing Day.  But it’s only just a couple of days.

Lead gen’ers, spend the next little while optimizing like regular and making your account as good as it can be.  This month’s series may not have been super applicable to your accounts, but just know that the first of the year is right around the corner.  You know what that means?

A return to work.

New yearly budgets.

New year’s resolutions.  (Do you know anyone who makes a new year’s resolution to do more holiday shopping in January?)

Your time is coming, lead gen.  Pick up what you can from the crazy holiday behavior of eCommerce, but just know that you won’t be the second fiddle (or little boy with crutch) for long.

About the Author

Sean Quadlin

Sean Quadlin spends his time optimizing, strategizing and pontificating as an Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing and a blogger at PPC Hero, focusing primarily on lead generation. He has a particular fondness for Microsoft Excel and the English language. He studied English at Northwestern University. When he's not at the office, you can find Sean watching a surprising breadth of both high- and low-brow television. Find him on twitter @SeanQuadlin or on his Google+.
  • http://twitter.com/jasonhahn Jason Hahn

    Great piece, Sean.

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com/ Sean Quadlin

      Thanks, Jason! I’m glad my myriad Tiny Tim references didn’t put you off.

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