Holiday shoppers are low-hanging fruit—if you take the steps to capture their dollars. Here are four ways to attract more holiday shoppers to your business.
Plan your creative for the whole holiday season. Use template-style designs to create holiday-themed landing pages and emails that allow you to easily adjust promotional messaging, and allot additional space to address customer service issues like out of stock products, or shipping deadlines so you can focus your energy on providing the valuable customer service that makes customers refer you to others, and come back for more. Record a few short and simple “how to” videos that you can post on your website, on YouTube, and on Pinterest, that offer holiday- smart tips and techniques to generate traffic to your site. Remember that the holiday spending frenzy lasts even after the gifts have been opened and ornaments packed away . According to Jim Davidson, manager of marketing research for Bronto Software, major retailers in 2011 didn’t stop marketing holiday-related promotions until well after the New Year.
Take a cue from the top dogs. You may have limited marketing resources, but there’s nothing wrong with imitating the winning strategies of major retailers to promote your business. According to Davidson, retailers had success in 2011 by sending customers emails in the middle of the night before key shopping days, using a landing page to entice sign ups for “VIP only” holiday offers, and visually previewing merchandise with dates of sale promotions. Keep interest alive in social media channels with sweepstakes, special social media-only promotions, and fun holiday-themed events that encourage interaction. For example, crafters might invite social media followers to post images of their holiday décor and vote for favorites, offering a grand prize of a gift certificate to a major retailer to help ease holiday spending.
Give them a reason to buy. Holiday shopping season is not the time to hold back on promotions. Include premiums like free shipping on a minimum order amount, rush shipping at a discount, free gift wrapping, or a free stocking stuffer. Make sure all messages have a sense of urgency and relevancy to help cut through the barrage of holiday marketing messages.
Get creative with media coverage. Think creatively about what your business does and how you might spin your product or service into some holiday media coverage. For example, you might pitch your local news station on airing a segment that uses some aspect of products you sell or services you provide to help consumers save money or time on holiday spending or party hosting (or recovering from it)! As holidays draw near, think about how to tie your products into new habits that coincide with common New Year’s resolutions, like improved health, stress-reduction, and organization.
Stephanie Taylor Christensen is a former financial services marketer turned stay at home working mom, yoga instructor and freelance writer covering personal finance, small business,consumer issues, work-life balance and health/wellness topics for ForbesWoman, Minyanville , SheKnows , Mint , Intuit Small Business, Investopedia and several other online properties. She is also the founder of Wellness On Less and Om for Mom prenatal yoga. Stephanie wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie May.com (www.DebbieMay.com), an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.