Polls Take a Toll: Fight Election Dip This November

By Sarah Etter

October 26, 2012

The term “election dip” might make you want to run to the kitchen, grab some chips and start snacking.

But not so fast. In reality, election dip is anything but delicious.

Every year, online shoppers bail on spending in order to focus on politics. That’s right: All of those donkeys and elephants will likely send conversions into a funk leading up to the November 6th election.

But instead of letting election dip hit your company in the wallet, you can take steps to mitigate these effects by playing up the polls to engage visitors. A few ways to do just that:

Look at your history.

You don’t have to dig up info on past presidents, but reviewing data from last year’s election day will put companies in a prime position to offer relevant deals. Looking at timing trends, for instance, is a great way to tailor your offers. If visitors tended to spend more in the morning during past years, try an Election Day Flash Sale for early birds. Likewise, if shoppers hit your site up after voting, a targeted Election Evening Flash Sale could be just the ticket to unlocking conversions.

Create your own polls.

Why not have your visitors vote on the deal they’d most like to get on Election Day? A crowdsourced voting campaign that allows consumers to choose the percentage they get off, or the products they’d like to see on sale, will keep visitors engaged and drive return traffic on November 6. We’d call that a win-win.

Show your red, white, and blue.

Play up the Election Day theme by offering products that are red, white, and blue or politically-themed at a discount. This can be especially effective in the days leading up to the election, and it’s a great way to leverage relevant, current merchandising.

Step your mobile and tablet game up.

We’re living in a multi-screen world, and that still holds true on November 6. Odds are, most shoppers will be on the sofa watching the results on television while browsing on their smartphones or tablets. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile and tablet users, there’s a good chance even more sales will swirl down the voting day drain.

Engage your community.

Just because most folks will be caught up in election madness doesn’t mean they can’t be engaged with your website, too. Use your website’s community features during the lead-up to election day to generate interest and repeat traffic. Blogs and message boards, for example, are a great way to let visitors know about your election day promotions, and remind them to vote.

The bottom line: A little bit of creativity and planning can go a long way toward ensuring that November 6 doesn’t take a toll on your conversions. Got any ideas for battling election day dip? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Sarah Etter is the former the senior editor at Monetate. Before joining Monetate, she was a writer for various online and print publications, and served as the associate editor of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter. Sarah also loves fiction writing and ice hockey... yes, ice hockey.

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