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We blinked and suddenly it’s that time of year again. Consumers have started holiday shopping, and are looking for holiday sales. In response, marketers need to be laser-focused on building out their holiday campaigns to capitalize on this increased demand.

It may not come as a surprise, but as demand for online ad space increases over the holidays, so does the cost of ad inventory. In fact, our 2017 data shows that the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) increased ~15% from October to December.

Smart planning can help you get ahead of the competition and use the increased holiday demand to grow your bottom line. More specifically, how can smart planning help you maximize sales during the most competitive time of the year? To answer this question, let’s consider a full-funnel strategy:

1. Engage New Shoppers

With consumers on the lookout for great deals and exciting gifts, the holidays are, without a doubt, a crucial time to invest in attracting new audiences to your site.

Many marketers hope to grow their holiday sales with new user acquisition kicking off in December. While that might seem logical, driving new audiences to your site prior to December is a smarter plan.

Firstly, over 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping in October or before. Secondly, our global data shows that CPMs, especially for new customer acquisition on the open web, jump a lot between October and December. By waiting to start in December, you miss out on the early bird shoppers and don’t get to take advantage of more cost-effective acquisition.

Hot Tip: Remember that your audience for Attract ads have never been to your site before. Ensure that your creative is engaging, easy to understand, and has a strong call to action for the best results.

2. Convert Existing Users

Although some new visitors will convert the very first time they visit your site, most users will abandon your site without converting. This is the perfect opportunity for marketers to re-engage these audiences through AdRoll Convert to turn them into lifetime customers.

You want to capitalize on the momentum you drive with your Attract campaigns by preventing your sales funnel from becoming a leaky bucket. Target users all the way from those who abandon the homepage to those who abandon the shopping cart.

Last year, the CPM for Convert strategies increased 12% from October to December. This once again illustrates the importance of building momentum early and maintaining this throughout the holiday period. Learnings from A/B test and promotions early in the holiday season can increase your efficiency later on when CPMs are higher.

With your full funnel holiday strategy in mind, consider AdRoll’s attribution dashboard to help you really tell the story of your holiday campaign. The Attribution Dashboard provides insight into your customer journey by illustrating and reporting paths to conversion, average time to conversion, cross-channel interaction, and much more, allowing you to build a strategy customized for your unique audience.

So don’t wait, take advantage of the lessons we’ve learned from 2017 and get started building, scaling and optimizing your holiday campaign to set your business up for success in the 2018 holiday season!