Here in the U.S., the sales made in November and December represent the highest sales months for most brick and mortar retailers. Now online businesses are getting into the holiday shopping game, creating their own version of “Black Friday” with “Cyber Monday,” the first Monday following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. As an online business owner, you need to be creating your own holiday marketing plans.
When is the best time to plan for your holiday marketing specials? I would encourage you to begin in August or September so that you have these plans well-thought-out and ready to launch when the holiday season is upon us.
1. Hold a sale. Whether you send out coupons, hold a “buy one, get one free” opportunity, create special year-end packages, or simply slash prices, everyone is accustomed to participating in sales during the holiday season. Perhaps you create a new email list with a “Deal of the Day” promotion and offer these new list subscribers a special deal that is valid for only 24 hours. Whatever tactic you choose, make your sale memorable. When should you hold a holiday sale? This article gives you a number of ideas.
2. Tell your customers “thank you.” Perhaps you send them a little token of your appreciation via snail mail if you have their mailing address. Or, you send out an email or a snail mail card telling them how much you appreciate them. If you want to keep your token of thanks electronic, create a special PDF report to email to your customers and ezine and blog subscribers. Offer a complimentary Q&A call to all of your social networking peeps and answer any question they might have in your area of expertise. Make sure your customers know that you appreciate them, and be unique in your thanking efforts — don’t choose to send the same old lame holiday card.
3. Tap into year-end budgets and last-minute tax deductions. Do you market to companies that have budgeted funds that must be used prior to the end of the year? Many times these monies focus on staff or client gifts, employee training, or business development and planning for the new year. Moreover, these companies may be seeking some year-end tax deductions to reduce their tax burden for the year. What services or products do you offer to help them meet their budget and year-end goals?
4. Special PR opportunities. I’ve heard many in the media say that one of the slowest times of the year for newsworthy stories is during the holiday season. That leaves the media with no recourse other than to head out to the mall to cover the influx of holiday shoppers. Instead, take this opportunity to pitch your newsworthy story to your local media, or submit online press releases if your business is completely virtual. And, if you can tie in your story with the holiday season, all the better! Here’s an article to help you, How to Write a Press Release That Gets More Traction.
5. Ask for feedback. The end of the year is the ideal time to ask your customers and clients how you’re doing, and what else you can do to help them. Create a short survey to gain their input, and create some reward for participating. You’ll get some great ideas on what’s working and what’s missing, which will help you with your business plans for the upcoming year accordingly.
Don’t let this year’s holiday season pass you by without implementing some unique holiday marketing activity. Choose one or more of these holiday marketing strategies to boost your holiday revenues and give you a strong start in the new year.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.