November is here, and you know what that means: the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/winter holiday season is fast approaching! (But first…my birthday! It’s only ten days away, on the 15th 😉 Yippee!).
So, what are you going to do to market your business during this extra-special, extra-busy, extra-shopping season? Now is the time to nail down those details, and take advantage of the wintry holiday fever that always occurs around this time of year. The ideas here should get your brain to thinking…feel free to apply them to your marketing strategy, or be inspired and come up with your own!
- Special Sales: Forgo the usual product mark-downs, and create a special package of your best offerings just for the holidays. You can sell it at full price, or at a discounted price that’s less than what they would cost individually (for example, three $50 products could make up a discounted bundle at $139).
- Thankful Message: This one (you guessed it) is specifically for Thanksgiving; instead of your usual e-mail marketing message, you could send out a “list of things to be thankful for”. This can take on many different forms, such as “10 Reasons We’re Thankful for You, Our Customer”, or “Five Ways to Show Gratitude by Giving Back”.
- Trick out Your Website: Trick-or-treating may be over, but you can still show your customers some love by adding seasonal tricks and decor to your website. A little snow, or a snowball smack to their e-mail, makes it fun and invites more traffic and interaction on your site. [Don’t have the time or budget to do this on your own site? Give your subscribers recommendations on where to find free winter/holiday-related games and merriment like this snowball fight.]
- Give Samples as Gifts: Do you have a new offering that you’d like to get people to try? Package up your samples like Christmas gifts, and send them to your best customers/fans/supporters. Bonus points for making them feel special!
- Holiday Program/Punch Card: Create a special loyalty program just for the holidays. A punch card would work well for a brick-and-mortar business, or you could set up a digital rewards program, such as “buy $100 of merchandise in November and get a free shipping pass good through March of 2013” or “get a $10 voucher for each new customer you refer during the month of December”.
- Send X-mas/Holiday Cards or Gifts to Your Regular Customers or Clients: A nice snail-mail card is a great way to touch base with past clients, but if you want to take it even further, send them a useful freebie/gift like a desk calendar or a pen. I’ve even heard of such things as giving vintage wine or gift baskets to one’s top clients. Just send something that you think your followers will love, and that’s also within your budget.
Whatever you decide to do for your holiday marketing, make it fun and extra-special for your customers. Aim to provide value first, entertain and please second, and sell last. Delighted, joyful followers are much more likely to buy from you than followers who are tired of being “sold to” (especially given the onslaught of mass marketing that comes from large corporations and big-box retailers around the holidays). 🙂
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!