Holiday Marketing Ideas in the Nick of Time!
Is it that time already? Hard to believe the holiday season is upon us once again. No matter how hard you try, it’s difficult to ever be completely prepared for the holiday season. We know what the holidays mean for retailers, but retailers aren’t the only ones who can get in on the holiday shopping game. Whether you own a store, restaurant, are a service provider or even a B2B company, smart marketing can boost your holiday sales and cultivate long term customers
Whether you sell products to customers, offer services to other businesses, or run a nonprofit organization — there are plenty of last-minute marketing campaigns you can develop before the end of the year. Here are some of our top marketing ideas that will not only work now, but can give your brand the coverage you are looking for throughout the year.
- No matter what time of year it is, clients always like to feel appreciated. Send a special card or note to show your gratitude.
- Host B2B customers to a “thank you” dinner.
- Invite B2B prospects to a “getting to know you” party or networking event.
- If you already have an event planned, you can schedule a series of invitation and reminder mailings to help drive registration.
- Get personal. Send real holiday cards, not e-cards. They’re more likely to get noticed and can be personalized with their name.
- Send Thanksgiving or New Year’s cards. They’re also more likely to get noticed than cards sent during the Christmas season.
- Show your support for the community by sponsoring local events.
- Stand out by holding your holiday party before Thanksgiving, or after the New Year when customers are more business-minded and thinking ahead to 2017 budgets.
- Stand out by hosting a holiday breakfast or luncheon instead of a full-scale evening party.
- Cross-promote your business with cards, brochures and flyers in complementary businesses’ locations.
- Offer daily or weekly specials to offer exclusive discounts to customers during the holiday season. You can include a coupon in any mailing you send out for customers or clients to redeem. Coupons and discounts aren’t just for B2C type businesses, they work well for B2B too!
- Offer a special holiday discount on shipping to encourage customers to shop small.
- Remind customers of any upcoming shipping deadlines to make sure their gifts make it in time for the holidays.
- Hold a special sale for your best customers only, at a time when you’re normally closed.
- Send a special offer on gift certificates to loyal customers and encourage them to share it with a friend. This is a great way to generate revenue toward the end of the year, and introduce your business to new customers who will come back and shop with you in 2017.
- Choose a charity to get involved with, and get customers involved too. Offer a discount or free gift card for customers who volunteer a certain amount of time to the charity or donate a certain amount.
- Join other businesses to host a gift-giving tree. Find a local charity, put a tree in the business district or shopping area, post Christmas wishes on the tree, and have customers pick a wish and buy the desired gift.
- Exhibit at holiday shows. See if local crafts fairs or gift shows accept commercial vendors and, if so, rent a booth.
- Hold a Black Friday sale for your B2B business. (It doesn’t have to be on the real “Black Friday”—pick another Friday during the holiday season.)
- Small Business Saturday - Create a photo contest using social media to inspire people to come to your store on Small Business Saturday and take a photo of their favorite item for a chance to win it.
- Don’t forget about Cyber-Monday! Send our direct mailers about special online sales and follow-up with an email.
- Send a special offer on gift certificates to loyal customers and encourage them to share it with a friend. This is a great way to generate revenue toward the end of the year, and introduce your business to new customers who will come back and shop with you in 2016.
- Capture customers through their kids. Hold a kids’ contest like a make-your-own-ornament contest or holiday coloring contest. Give a big prize or just give everyone small prizes, like candy canes.
- Get listed in local holiday gift guides or create your own!
- Feed the crowd. Hand out free cookies or beverages to energize tired shoppers.
- Give it away. If your business is located in a mall or shopping area, station an employee outside to give away free samples of your product or service to passersby.
- Have Santa come to your business. If you’re in a shopping district, join with other businesses to hire a Santa. You can even set up a photo booth and have photos taken with Santa and ask for donations.
- Hold a “12 Days of...” sale, event or contest. Give away a different prize every day, offer a different discount every day or spotlight a different product every day.
- Give away useful items with each purchase, like good-quality tissue paper or ribbons for gift-wrapping. Put your business’s name on it and you’ve got a marketing tool, too.
- Sell gift cards for shoppers who can’t make up their minds. Be sure to keep them by the point-of-sale as a last minute impulse buy.
- Create personalized food gifts by printing your business logo on promotional items. Cups, pens, M&Ms, candy bars, cookies or candy wrappers the selection is endless.
- Give clients a sneak peek at what you have planned for 2017. Are you introducing new products? Have you grown your staff or expanded your services? Send out a mailing recapping 2016 and let people know what you have planned for the New Year.
- Print a personalized 2017 calendar to give out to your clients. A restaurant could include photos of popular dishes; a dog wash could showcase cute dog breeds, a landscaper could showcase flowers or bushes that are well suited for the area, you could list recipes or helpful hints specific to your industry…the options are endless!
Don’t miss out on the chance to connect with customers, supporters or new prospects during the holiday season. The holidays are the perfect time to build an emotional bond with your customers. The positive feelings of family, giving and gratitude are already at the forefront of the season and your marketing campaign can piggyback on those emotions. Make sure you personalize your campaign to your customers and get your staff involved. The bottom line, however, is to find as many creative was as possible to enhance your brand image while spreading some holiday cheer. Done right, it will come back to you in the form of sales, profits and new leads! Don’t know where to start? Contact us at Direct Marketing Solutions to help you get the ball rolling.