Prior to starting Name Hero, I spent six years exclusively doing digital marketing.
Managing multi-million dollar ad budgets along with developing a patent-pending tracking and analytics platform, it’s safe to say I learned a thing or two about the best times to market to potential customers.
One thing every marketer must be aware of and that’s the hot and cold seasons of when people buy.
Look at the retailers
If you look at large retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, etc. you can look at their financials and easily see the holiday shopping season kicks off their “hot season.”
Starting in November, most retailers will blow up their ad budgets, and see sales rapidly increase all the way through the New Year.
In January, budgets drop back down, and many re-organize for the next “hot season.”
When is the hosting market hot?
I think many season web hosting veterans would agree with me when I say our “hot season” really gets going in the fall and lasts all the way through spring.
Personally I believe a lot of people are like me and don’t want to risk messing something up switching web hosts over the summer. Ever think something is going to be simple and turn into a couple day affair?
Summer is the “hot season” (pun intended) for vacation merchants, airlines, etc. but certainly not web hosting.
Plan your marketing / advertising accordingly
It takes a couple of years to get an understanding of your target audience and to correctly identify these “hot” and “cold” seasons.
Once you have a good understanding, you can then plan your marketing and advertising accordingly:
When buying is hot, double down your ad-budget, when buying is cold, ease up on your ad-budget.
Hint: Watch Your Acquisition Costs
Your cost per acquisition (or CPA) will tell you a lot about these seasons. This is the amount of money you have to spend until you get a paying customer.
When you see this number start to double, you can then begin to spot the trend of a cold season.
Personally, I’ve tried to fight these trends by doubling down, but it’s not smart practice. You end up paying a lot more for a customer of lesser quality / low brand loyalty.
We’ve been really fortunate here at Name Hero to have some pretty rapid growth. We’re already up 290% over last year and July already looks to be our best month ever!
This doesn’t seem to make good sense when we’re analyzing the hot and cold seasons but it’s something you see with Startups.
I’m sure well established brands like Host Gator and Blue Host aren’t seeing 290% up over last year!
What I learned spending $19,889.56 last month on ads
However, this still doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the “hot” and “cold” seasons of the industry. Last month we spent $19,889.56 on advertising.
What did I see? Double the acquisition costs, lower quality sign-ups from the advertising, and relentless bidding wars from other companies all trying to fight the trend.
Even though business is up overall, the trend still remains the same.
This is why so many “new” Entrepreneurs fizzle out in the beginning, they have no clue about their “hot” and “cold” seasons therefore they get inpatient and move to the next idea before evaluating and executing their marketing plan.
I’ve seen some of the “best” startups fail because they have some of the “dumbest” marketing 🙂
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.