How to Market Your Business For The Holidays
Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday all signal the beginning of the Holiday Season. Did you take advantage of the marketing opportunities this past week? If not, it's not too late to do something before the end of the year.
Show Your Appreciation
- Holiday cards: Send your loyal customers a personalized holiday card.If you are unable to do so, hand out cards instore, or send them out with online orders. It will leave a lasting impression.
- Be Kid-friendly: The Holidays can be very busy and stressful, so think of ways to hold the attention of the children of your customers. Provide a children’s space with toys and books to keep children occupied while parents shop or enjoy your services. Another simple idea is to occupy the children with a seasonal contest – e.g. coloring contest, create your own ornament, etc.
- Entertainment: Emphasize the holiday season with musicians or a DJ to get your customers in the festive spirit. If your business is not conducive to live entertainment, think about hosting an open house to thank loyal customers and attract new ones.
- Free Stuff: Show your appreciation with a ‘free gift with purchase’, like wrapping paper and ribbons for gift wrapping, or a complimentary yoga session with each 5 sessions purchased. If you have the resources, you can provide gifts branded with your logo.
- Free Services: Another way to stand out from your competitors is to provide free services for your customers – free child supervision, free gift wrapping, double loyalty points, etc.
- Black Friday: Did you offer a special promotion for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? If not, plan to do so next year. Promote early, and provide some ‘limited supply’ items at a very special price, to create some demand prior to the sale.
- Small Business Saturday: Are you aware of “Small Business Saturday”, which was started by American Express in 2010? If not, and you are a small business, you should get familiar with the promotion. It is meant to encourage consumers to “shop small” and “shop local”, to spotlight small businesses between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be sure to include special deals for this day only when planning your Black Friday promotions.
- Cyber Monday: Create a specific online promotion to offer on Cyber Monday for online sales. Be sure that your website is updated and that it is optimized for mobile devices.
- Cross Promote: If you are able to plan ahead, always think about how one promotion can tie in to the next. For example, as part of a Black Friday promotion, you could offer a coupon on purchases over a minimum amount, to be redeemed December 1 – 24 to drive Christmas sales.
- Partnerships: Do you know small business owners with complementary goods & services?If so, offer to hand out coupons for their business, and have them do the same for yours.
- Free publicity: Are there local holiday gift guides? If so, be sure to get your business listed. Do you know a local blogger that could include your goods & services in a “Top Holiday Gifts” post? Always think of creative ways to get out the name of your business.
- Decorations: Ensure that your business is as welcoming as possible during the holidays. Most people love seeing businesses and store windows decorated with appropriate seasonal themes.
- Charity: While the Holiday Season can be joyous for many people, it can also be a very stressful time for those less fortunate, and most consumers feel good about supporting businesses with charitable programs. Have you thought about aligning your business with a local charity? It gives you a chance to give back to your local community. Your involvement could include donating a portion of a sales, from a specific promotion, to a charity. You could also assist other charitable programs in your community by setting up a donation box, or organizing a toy drive with other surrounding businesses.
Growing your business through sales promotions should be a year-round effort. Think of the upcoming holidays and build a promotion around them – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.
After each promotion, be sure to measure the success – make note of what works and what doesn’t with your customer – and tweak your promotions for the following year.