The holidays are such an exciting and hectic time for businesses. The to do list is long, the inventory goes up, the hours get longer, and overtime is non-negotiable.
Being an entrepreneur and already managing a million things means tasks fall through the cracks, and sometimes, that even means important things like holiday sales planning.
With the holiday season being one of the most lucrative times of the year, it’s something that deserves extra attention and preparation.
Here, I’ll share the very best marketing tips to ease the stress and boost holiday sales.
1. Create a Promotional Calendar
The best way to get started is to map out a promotional calendar. Start with an empty calendar of the last three months of the year and review all the holidays that you want to participate in.
Here’s a list of the 2018 holidays:
- Oct. 8: Columbus Day
- Oct. 31: Halloween
- Nov. 11: Veterans Day
- Nov. 22: Thanksgiving
- Nov. 23: Black Friday
- Nov. 24: Small Business Saturday
- Nov. 26: Cyber Monday
- Nov. 27: Giving Tuesday
- Dec. 2-11: Hanukkah
- Dec. 14: Free Shipping Day
- Dec. 22: Super Saturday
- Dec. 24: Christmas Eve
- Dec. 25: Christmas Day
- Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve
- Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
From here, work backwards to identify when promotional graphics need to be created, when email copy needs to be written, when those emails need to go out, etc.
Starting now and mapping important dates on a calendar can go a long way in helping you prepare, allowing you to take full advantage of the increased consumer spending habits of the holiday season.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Over Promote
Email subscribers will have more tolerance for email during the holidays. If you typically send three emails per month, you can comfortable increase it to four or five per month if you’re sending high quality content. As a rule, reserve the big announcements and sales for email and post everything (big and small) on social media.
Stand out from the crowd with emails and subject lines that convert. During the holidays, urgency is a great way to boost sales and encourage shoppers to act now. Some great ways to implement buying urgency is with:
- early bird pricing
- sale previews
- one-day sales
Update Your Website for Holiday Shoppers
3. Provide Shipping Dates: Make it easy for customers to know they’re guaranteed a gift in time. When do orders need to be placed to arrive before big holidays? Let your customers know with clear communication.
4. Showcase Gift Guides: Consumers want to find the perfect gift, but they want to find it quick. Again, make it easy by highlighting gifts by category, price, recipient, etc. Make sure gift guide is shoppable with links to purchase.
5. Offer Extra VIP Discounts: Everyone is looking for a good sale. Black Friday competitions have spiraled into month long battles so deep discounts are expected. Benefit from the high activity by collecting email addresses in exchange for a promo code. With care, you’ll be able to nurture this VIP group into loyal customers.
6. Move Your Address and Hours to a Prime Location: Make sure your local shoppers can easily find you and confirm your open for business. Mobile searches for “where to buy” grew over 85% in the past two years, according to Google. Consumers are shopping with intent and creating lists before they head out shopping rather than simply browsing.
7. Offer Electronic Gift Cards: Last-minute shoppers will like the option to send or print a gift certificate at the 11th hour.
Go Beyond the Discount
Competition is tight during December. Shoppers know and expect big sales, but sometimes its the little conveniences that ultimately close the deal. Here’s some good options to add to your holiday marketing plan:
8. Free Shipping: During the peak of the season offer free shipping – it might convince them to order online rather than going to the store. Later in the season, send an email about overnight shipping.
9. Gift Wrapping: It may not always apply, but when offered it could make the sale. The holidays are a busy time; shopping is a task all its own, so lighten the load and offer to ship packages with gift wrapping and/or personal messages.
10. Cheer: Everyone, including your customers, is being bombarded with sales. Give them a breath of fresh air with a thoughtful card- via email or post mail. Try a heartful thank you at Thanksgiving, or New Year’s.
As you prep your holiday marketing, remember to enjoy the festive season and be present for your customers. A cheerful and trustworthy team can make all the difference. Have questions? Just drop a comment and I’ll be glad to reply.