1. Make Sure That Customers Can Find You
These days everyone carries a smartphone, and they’re using them to find everything. Don’t underestimate the power of mobile marketing! Create a presence on mobile friendly sites with basics like your logo and name, what you do, address, phone number, hours of business, and an image or downloadable product list, tip sheet or menu. If you haven’t already, create pages on Google+, Facebook and Pinterest and post often to attract customers.
Ideally have a website that looks great on mobile devices and displays quickly on a smartphone screen. Pull up your website on your phone or tablet, to determine whether it is ready for holiday marketing. It helps sometimes to obtain feedback from others as well. Ask key staff, friends and family to give you feedback on how it looks and if possible, make adjustments. If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, try to position key information on your pages so that it shows up front and center on the most popular phones.
2. Communicate with Current Customers
This is a simple holiday marketing task, because you can use what you already have in place… email! Use your email list to communicate with current customers about special savings, deals and inside information. Email is an easy, cost effective way to spread the word and bring in customers over the holidays. Don’t forget to give customers the ability to sign up for your emails when they visit in person or online.
If you don’t have an email marketing provider, MailChimp is a great option, and they have a free plan that will accommodate the needs of most small firms. If you have a display area or lobby, design and order displays (tents, brochures, banners, signs, business card sized magnets etc.) to showcase coupons and specials and to capture foot traffic. The goal of the displays is to remind new visitors as well as loyal fans and customers about current sales and promotions.
Don’t forget to connect with customers and their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to make sure that everyone is excited about your seasonal offerings. Couple email and social media campaigns with a direct mail campaign for extra impact. This can be an effective way to reach potential customers over the holidays and periodically throughout the year.
Companies like Vertical Response, Vista Print and others will mail postcards for a reasonable fee to any zip code specified. It will be easy to determine the cost of a moderate postcard campaign that will align with your social media efforts. This combination provides a one-two punch that has the potential to exceed your expectations. Make sure to align your email, social media and direct mail promotions with excellent landing pages, contests and free gifts that inspire your customers to take action.
3. Connect Regularly with Potential Customers
Consider running a holiday marketing deal on sites like Groupon and Living Social. Deal of the day sites like Groupon and Living Social work well for reaching a large audience in a short period, especially if don’t have a large email list or social media following. You can even run a daily deal on your own website that ties in with the deals you’re advertising on social media sites. Use automation tools like Hootsuite to advertise promotions periodically throughout the month. Be sure to create compelling headlines to accommodate your audience and message.
4. Use Your Creativity
If you want to attract customers this season, we suggest tapping into your creative side. Create a holiday atmosphere, get out into the community and hand out items that display your holiday offerings. Participate or sponsor holiday events. Place something on your website that will make it easy for customers to shop and save money. Help them stay organize so that they can enjoy the season.
For example, If you’re a restaurant, visualize those hungry shoppers who want a great meal along with great atmosphere that they can share with their family and friends. How can your establishment help them accomplish that? Some ideas to help them get into the holiday spirit might be to offer daily sales and discounts with holiday themes, you might create a special holiday menu that includes a holiday themed beverage like hot chocolate, tea or a coffee drink (or even a cocktail) in souvenir drinkware. The souvenir cup will remind customers of the great time they had at your restaurant and lead to repeat business.
5. Order any Promotional Items, Signs and Marketing Materials Early
If you need signs, banners, table tents and other custom items to advertise specials, or you want to have a free giveaway with your logo printed on it, now is the time to get those orders ready for submission so that you will have them in plenty of time for your event. This is the busiest time of year for carriers and manufacturers of custom goods. To avoid rush charges for production, extra charges for expedited shipment and the nail biting that comes along with last minute deliveries, submit orders as early as possible.
Make sure to communicate changes and train your staff on your plans so that they can pass on accurate information to your customers. Mention holiday hours, promotions, new/featured menu items, etc. on outgoing phone messages. Use technology, highlight ease of use, fun, relaxation and enjoyment this season to attract and keep customers.