When you are a small business trying to be relevant or stay relevant, you can’t afford to miss out on any opportunities. Not putting together a marketing strategy for this holiday season could turn out to be a huge mistake. What other time of the year can you send your best paying client or customer a fruitcake to say “thank for your business” and get away with it? We understand that it’s the “fourth quarter” of the fiscal year and all your great ideas maybe be all used up. For that reason, we have put together a top 10 list of holiday marketing ideas that are sure to jingle those bells on your store doors or spice up the day for your clients.
The holidays are about given, not receiving, and that point is well taken. However, have you ever heard the phrase “givers gain.”? You need to incorporate that same mindset for your holiday strategies and ideas this year.
1. Postal cards: Still an oldie but goodie. With all the ways you can tell a valuable client thank you through the internet with ecards and such, the preferred and most meaningful way still is to send a handwritten postcard. Don’t use a printer for any part of it. Even hand write the addresses on the envelopes. This lets the client know that you took your time with this thank you card, because they mean that much to your business.
2. Food: Don’t actually send a fruitcake as playfully mentioned up above. Fruitcakes today are undesirable and have become the punchline in many of today’s funniest movies. Go with another traditional “fav.” Holiday cookies such as sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, and ginger snaps. Not many of your clients will be able to resist a well-made snickerdoodle cookie. This also shows the clients that even with the holiday in full swing, you have not forgotten about their relationship with your business.
3. Gift cards: Still very popular. Valued clients who receive these and still go crazy for them, and you can never go wrong mailing out gift cards. The gift cards can be gas cards, Visa cards, Starbucks or Caribou cards or even restaurant and department store gift cards. They are all still a mega hit that puts a smile on a client’s face. Now when they want a service like the one your business offers, they are much more likely to give you a call than anyone else. You know why? Because they believe that you care. Which you do.
4. Don’t be Ebenezer: You may not like some of the holidays, or maybe you do not even celebrate them in your home. However, most of your clients do. Try a little holiday décor inside your place of business. Clients love this. Also have some holiday carols playing over the speaker system, this lets them know that you are a festive person just like them. You now have one more thing in common. Also, if your décor is out of this world during this special holiday time? That alone can drive more traffic into your store. More traffic eventually equals more sales.
5. Don’t hog all the fun: Another way to win this holiday season and bring in more bodies to your business or get more people calling and emailing you about your services is to have holiday contest. However, don’t take it all on your own. Pair up with another similar business who is also looking to take advantage of this holiday season to drive traffic. A good example of pairing with a similar business. A copywriter from one side of the block, getting with a website creator from the other side of the block and offering clients who spend $99 in either stores, to get a basic website; equip with copywriting content of their liking already on it. That would be a mega deal that could go viral once it hit social media platforms.
6. Adopt a charity: Givers gain, right? Adopting and spending time and money with a charity can be very self-gratifying. However, if you mix in a little social media to what you have done which you are so committed to. You could take pictures and post it on your Facebook, Instagram, and your business Twitter accounts. Once potential clients see how selfless you are, they will know about your business, and they could be giving you a jingle asking for your services or your products. Especially if you now belong to the same charity as they do.
7. Hold a contest: Most clients and customers like to win. You could again pair with a similar business (to help make for a better variety of free prizes) and hold a drawing for free services or products to those who just stop into the store while shopping. This will drive store traffic, and you know we live in a copycat society. If someone sees a bunch of people standing in line to get into your store, he or she will want to know what’s going on over there, and they will come inside as well.
8. Sales thinking outside the box: Or should we say sale thinking outside the store. It might be very busy if your business is in a mall or strip mall so don’t bring out your entire inventory. However, customers are very focused and sometimes where blinders while shopping and need to see some products in their peripheral sometimes. They may have never gone inside your business otherwise had they not seen the products right there.
9. Social Media for the holidays: From your business’ Twitter account, send out a few holiday hashtags. For you new “Tweeters,” it is this little symbol that looks like this (#). Hashtags are a way for people to search for trending topics that interest them. Once they find your hashtag, it will bring them to an area of your business page that will allow them all to send in little comments. You can do a hashtag such as “#what’s the best pie for thanksgiving.” Something like that is sure to get you Twitter page jumping, and it will build customer aware of your business too.
10. Decide what your business will do ahead of time for each holiday: With so many holidays approaching fast, it’s best to come up with your game plan ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling like the mall shoppers are at the last minute of the holidays. Create a full list of each holiday for the whole year. Write down notes of the ideas and any themes you’d like to incorporate into each holiday. For example, on your spreadsheet, you can have a few holidays like Halloween and Christmas. For Halloween, you can write down that you want to do a spooky Halloween costume contest. For Christmas, you can write down that all your employees will have to dress as elves and hand out candy, and you can also have drawings for free services and products.
If you can get the whole year planned out ahead of time, you are that much ahead of the game of holiday marketing strategies. Also, no one has ever missed out on an opportunity when they’ve prepared for it a year in advance.