It’s that time: Holiday marketing planning season.
For so many businesses, the holiday season is the best time of year for sales. Whether you sell gift-perfect crafts or a business course, December is a time when people are opening their wallets and making purchases.
It’s important to run promotions to encourage your customers to spend at your business. And around the holidays, you can make your marketing really fun!
Don’t just send another email telling people to buy your products. Instead, try one of our eight ideas for eye-catching and engaging holiday marketing.
1. Throw a themed party
Chances are, your audience, customers, and prospects likely have a lot in common. They may want to meet each other — in person or on a live call.
So throw them a party. It could be coffee or champagne at your shop, an ugly sweater Zoom call, or a donation exchange.
No matter what, a live event gets people excited about the season and allows them to connect (which is particularly important in 2021).
There is literally no better way to grow a community than a get-together. To get that extra boost in sales, offer a discount alongside the event and encourage customers to discuss your products.
2. Create a bingo card
Cross-selling and upselling your customers is essential to make the most sales around the holidays. A bingo card can be just the thing to encourage customers to make that extra purchase.
Here’s how to get started:
1 – Create a bingo card with 9 squares (like a tic-tac-toe game).
2 – Add small, affordable upsell products or add-on services to each bingo square. You can make the center square free if you want, or add a particularly popular product!
3 – Then, offer a freebee or discount when someone makes a “bingo.” (They can draw a straight or diagonal line through the squares of products/services they’ve bought.)
You can create an eye-catching bingo card easily using Canva, and include it in your emails for a beautiful, fun, and engaging experience for your customers.
3. Offer gift card specials
One of the best holiday marketing tactics to make more sales is to offer gift cards. Almost everyone is looking for gifts for their family, friends, and even co-workers or clients — your business could have the perfect gift for them.
Keep in mind, gift cards aren’t just for brick and mortar businesses that sell t-shirts, toys, or food. Anyone can create a “giftable” product.
For example, if you offer a course for $500, sell just the first or most popular video for $25. It could be the perfect gift, and the chance to get a new customer.
Or, if you’re a consultant, offer an in-depth consultation or first meeting as a stand-alone product. Your current customers can buy it for a friend or person in their network. Again, you could end up with a new customer.
4. Cross-promote holiday specials
Cross-promotions are an extremely popular marketing tactic any time of year. Even large corporations use partnerships to drive more sales.
Here’s how to get started: Find a company that sells to the same audience as you, but a different product. Offer their customers a special discount and have them offer yours a discount.
Then — and here’s the best part — send a cross-promotion email to both of your subscriber lists. This opens up the opportunity for you to market to an entirely new group!
Check out this example of holiday marketing cross-promo between Starbucks and Uber Eats. I’m guessing they sold a lot of coffee and deliveries from these emails.
Cross-promotions can be as simple as a discount for anyone using a particular code. Or, you can pair it with the bingo holiday marketing idea (add products from both companies to the bingo card).
Bring it all together with a party for everyone! There’s no downside to getting everyone together for the holidays. And if you can associate it with your business, all the better.
5. Celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah
Not everyone knows about the traditions and celebrations surrounding Hanukkah. If you do, take the opportunity to educate your audience. Use the 8 days to encourage them to be charitable and learn more about the Jewish faith.
For example, the headphones company AfterShokz sent this email wishing a happy Hanukkah to everyone who celebrates and suggesting 8 ways to spread light this season.
Not every holiday marketing email should be intended for sales. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your customers as people with families and traditions.
Important note: Always remember to be culturally sensitive in all of your holiday marketing. If you don’t know the right way to say something, don’t say it at all.
6. Engage daily with an advent calendar
When I was a kid, our advent calendar simply revealed a picture each day (simpler times). But nowadays advent calendars reveal presents, food & wine, or even promotions each day.
To set up an advent calendar for your holiday marketing, you simply need to offer something new of value every day from December 1st until the 24th. Each day could contain a different discount percentage, a small giveaway, or promotions on particular products/services.
Be creative: You can collaborate with other companies to offer discounts on their products, too.
Mystery is the key to advent calendar’s success. Hopefully, your customers and prospects will keep coming back to your website every day to see what the new special is. (This is good for your SEO, too.)
7. Donate to charity
Donating to charity (on #GivingTuesday or any other time) is a fantastic way to show off your altruism and paint your brand in the right light during the holiday season. In addition to being a feel-good marketing tactic, donations are also likely to incentivize customers to spend more with your business over others.
There are a few of ways you can be creative with donations and also make more sales:
- Offer to donate a certain percentage of all sales on a specific day or week
- Match donations made to a charity you care about (or that’s related to your industry) on a specific day
- Offer $X to the charity you care about for every sale made on a specific day or week
- Donate your products or services to someone in need with every sale on a specific day
Donate, feel good, and tell everyone about it in your next holiday marketing email!
8. Run a holiday referral contest
Referrals can often be the absolute best way to get new customers. Use your biggest fans to show you off — and reward them.
If you already have a referral program — e.g. $20 when you refer someone who makes a purchase — you can double it for the holidays to $40. Offer 10% off for the new customer’s first purchase, too (or more if you can).
Better yet, turn holiday referrals into a contest. Whoever sends you the most customers, social followers, or even simply new leads, can win one of your more valuable products or services.
Have fun with this contest. You can make badges or countdown graphics in Canva, and send them in your emails promoting the contest.