The festive season is the perfect time to get the attention of your customers. Customers are usually stressed, trying to finish off their work for the year before they go on holiday and thus they need a little bit of light relief.
Christmas is the ideal time to show customers the value of your company’s products/services and how these products/services can make their lives a little bit easier.
The earlier you start your festive season marketing, the better. Many people begin their Christmas shopping earlier in the year and November is therefore the ideal time to begin your festive season campaigns.
And don’t forget – not everyone is Christian and celebrates Christmas, so ensure your mailers talk about ‘the festive season’ rather than Christmas itself.
Here are 50 tips I’ve compiled to help you think a little out of the (gift) box this Christmas:
1. Add a festive design to your company’s logo (i.e. a little party hat, a Christmas tree etc.)
2. Add festive designs to your Twitter page, Facebook and Google+ pages.
3. Create a dedicated board on Pinterest for the festive season and get collaborators to help you pin awesome and relevant items.
4. Package your goods in festive wrapping paper and add a season’s greeting card or note.
5. Send out a season’s greetings card to all your customers or clients – make sure it’s personalised.
6. Direct this e-card to a dedicated season’s greetings page on your site.
7. Go big on social media and post colourful, fun images of your products or services.
8. Do something really special for your loyal customers who give you business or purchase frequently.
9. Publish press releases with regard to new products or even simply rehash old products in new ways.
10. Write blog posts around your services and why people need them over the festive season (if possible).
11. Give away something free (even if it’s a PDF guide that customers can download). If you go with the free PDF idea, make sure it’s something useful that people can read and refer to i.e. a holiday checklist or stencils for making tree decorations.
12. Create tangible Christmas cards and send these out to your most loyal customers who purchase frequently.
13. Create a one-of-a-kind festive product on zazzle.com and get people to support you and buy it.
14. Hold a competition and get your customers to be creative. Let them send in photos of themselves dressed up in festive clothing.
15. Show your support by raising money for a charity. Get your customers or clients to chip in and raise awareness.
16. Run festive specials and giveaways linked to a mailer campaign. Ensure all your mails are mobile-friendly as customers tend to use their phones to view their emails more during the festive period than any other time in the year.
17. Offer your customers a Christmas gift card for your online store. This is great for online shoppers who are a bit indecisive and don’t know what to buy. It’s also great to give to friends who live a distance away from you.
18. Create a fun, festive video to encourage people to shop.
19. Create free downloadable printables such as Christmas gift cards or gift tags that people can print, cut out and add to their gifts. Don’t forget to add your own branding in a simple and subtle way.
20. Create a small square banner displaying your top Christmas gifts and get bloggers to add this to their site to promote your store.
21. Offer free shipping or an added free service for a limited time only.
22. Get employees involved in the festive season. Get them to dress up, take fun photos and use this on your blog and social media platforms.
23. Take your marketing offline and host a festive event (which is hopefully discussed and shared via social media platforms).
24. Give a certain percentage of each sale to a charity and market this accordingly.
25. Follow up with customers who have added items to their baskets but who simply haven’t checked out yet.
26. Offer 2 for the price of one deals or any other ‘buy a few and get one free’ deals. People usually look for bulk gifts they can give to numerous people over Christmas time.
27. Consider partnering up with another company to provide value i.e. you may want to get your company featured on a group buying site over the festive season in order to raise awareness about who you are and what you do.
28. Hold a flash sale.
29. Thank your customers for their business over the past year in a straightforward email. No sales, no calls to action. Just thank them. They’ll appreciate you took the time.
30. Consider aligning your Adwords campaigns for this time of year. Consider what people are searching for and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
31. Capitalise on the period after the holidays when the sales start. Plan for those sales in advance.
32. Consider allowing your customers the opportunity to play secret santa with their buddies. Setup a system whereby they can input names and gifts will be allocated to each person accordingly (without them being able to see it).
33. Choose your most popular products of the year and market them like crazy via email.
34. Start an advent calendar countdown on your social media platforms. Think of creative ways to count down the days until Christmas. One can even make this into a competition whereby each day a piece of a puzzle is posted and Facebook fans have to collect each piece of the advent calendar in order to answer a question and win a prize on Christmas Day.
35. Create an automated ‘Thank you for shopping and Season’s Greetings’ email for everyone who makes a purchase. Add social media buttons on this email so they can share their purchase with others.
36. Put your best selling products on the front page of your site.
37. Ensure your return/exchange policy is clearly visible on your site and in all your marketing. You’ll find that people may want to return gifts that were purchased for them after Christmas.
38. Create a Facebook store app so people can do their gift shopping directly from Facebook itself.
39. Customise all your Facebook apps and design them with festive images.
40. Share local festive events happening in your area (as long as they are relevant to your business niche). Send out a mailer with the top festive events – people love to receive valuable emails like this.
41. Keep to festive season themes throughout all your blog posts. If you’re an ecommerce fashion store, write posts about Christmassy outfits ensuring you look festive. Think out of the box with the types of blog posts you write. Bottom line – make them fun, catchy and easy to read.
42. Bundle products together and sell them as gift sets. This requires you to know exactly what people buy and the related products they buy in order to group products together.
43. Create a gift guide to help shoppers. Make this a downloadable PDF guide that groups items into different themes i.e. Gifts for Grandma, Gifts for Moms, Gifts for under R/$/€ etc. You could also do this as a series of blog posts instead of downloadable PDFs.
44. Identify important dates and use them for marketing campaigns.
45. Add a price tag to your products on Pinterest.
46. Use promo codes to allow customers discounts for a limited time period. This really compels them to buy.
47. Share the past year’s accomplishments with your email subscribers. This works well especially if you’re a new company. People love hearing about other people and about the developments within your business.
48. Tell your customers what they can expect in the future – are you getting more products in for the New Year? What is your plan? Get them excited.
49. Allow customers to create a wishlist on your site and get them to share this with family and friends who could purchase gifts for them.
50. Offer new subscribers special deals that are exclusive to them.
Remember to be consistent in everything you do over the festive season and to have a plan from the onset. Now is the time to really push your sales so send mailers out more frequently, engage with customers but more importantly, express gratitude and thanks for your achievements over the past year.
Photo credit: Alan Cleaver