Guest Post: Improve Your Holiday Marketing
The Christmas creep in full swing, and while it may be annoying to hear "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" before Halloween has even passed, it is a great time to start thinking about how the holidays can benefit your business. Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or nothing at all, the holiday season is a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, strengthen relationships with current ones and reach out to people you haven't met yet.
1. Send Greetings
The traditional holiday postcard may sound a little hokey, but it is a powerful tool for business owners. Not only is a holiday card the perfect way to reconnect with former customers, it also cements relationships with current ones. The holiday card is the perfect touchstone to open up communication for further sales and build stronger relationships. Branch out further by contacting prospects who may never have been customers but expressed an interest in your business. Holiday cards can open a line of communication and establish a new relationship with these prospective clients.
2. Give Gifts
Every business has relationships that are pivotal to their success. Whether it is a major distributor or consistent customers, there are some clients that simply provide more support and business than others. Deepening the relationship you have with these clients is pivotal to future success.
Don't be a Grinch during the holiday season. Giving a gift basket or personalized gift to your best clients is not only a great way to keep your business in the forefront of these supporters' minds, it’s also a thoughtful way of showing appreciation. Make sure you conform to any company policies regarding gift giving and be sure to include a personal touch. While a generic gift basket will be appreciated, a gift basket that contains a product your client enjoys or monogrammed items will be remembered more fondly.
3. Spread Good Cheer
Don't stop at providing gifts to only your biggest clients; reach out to the occasional or new customer with discounts or benefits as well. The holiday season is a great opportunity to provide discounted goods and services for your clients. Businesses centered in the United States may want to take part in Cyber Monday to gain more marketing and sales.
If discounts aren't a possibility, reach out to clients with other benefits. Free gift wrapping, free shipping or bonus gifts with a purchase are a great way to encourage customers to purchase products without offering flat discounts. If you have a storefront, offering customers cider and cookies is a simple, low cost way to spread the holiday spirit. Whatever your budget for holiday discounts and benefits, find a way to show your customer appreciation during the holidays.
4. Deck the Halls
Decorations are an easy, fun way to create a cozy atmosphere that entices customers and drives sales. Holiday decorations are low cost and transform a business for the holidays. Don't underestimate the power of simple decorations.
A well decorated business increases visibility. People walking by your storefront may be so accustomed to the year round decor that they never look twice, but by decorating your business with a winter theme, you can draw attention back to your doors. Get them in the door with clean signs displaying current deals.
This also works with online retailers. Customizing your site with a holiday theme is sure to gain your customer’s notice.
5. Think Local
Even online businesses can benefit from supporting the local community. Fairs, tree lightings and choral concerts are all opportunities to educate the community about your business and aid local efforts. With the emergence of online business, many business owners forget that community driven sales and support are important for a growing business. Location gives customers an instant bond to your business and a vested interest in your success. Take advantage of that connection. Getting your business name into flyers and listed as a supporter will draw more attention and increase support.
6. Celebrate with Staff
The benefits of a happy and fulfilled work force are often overlooked, but savvy business owners know that satisfied employees lead to loyal, happy customers. Take time during the holiday season to show appreciation for all the hard work your staff does year round. Bonuses and gifts are always appreciated. Some businesses may want to consider throwing a holiday party for staff and their family to celebrate the season together. Regardless of what you choose, take the time to sincerely thank your employees for their great work.
7. Embrace the Holiday Spirit
In the spirit of the season, don't get too wrapped up in finding ways to increase business. Refocus instead on how you can help by donating time or products. Volunteering your time and effort can lead to big rewards in terms of personal satisfaction and experience.
The holiday season is the perfect time to roll out new initiatives and drive an increase in sales. The increase in consumer spending coupled with the gift-giving nature of the season lend well to expanding business efforts. Just remember to take the time to enjoy the season and show appreciation forthe staff members, clients and customers that have driven your business to success.
Author Bio: Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.