The holidays are right around the corner, but it’s not too late to pull together a successful holiday promotion. After all, November is peak holiday shopping season for most people. In PWC’s Holiday Outlook report, 74% of consumers surveyed said they’re waiting for the best deals before they start shopping, which they expect to see in November. What’s more, 41% said they’re waiting until the weekend of Thanksgiving to do the bulk of their buying.
A fun, enticing holiday promotion can help you capitalize on customer interest and maximize sales before the end of the year. If you’re looking for high-impact, low-stress promotions to execute quickly, here are five ideas:
You’ve probably already been sending promo emails to your customers lately, but November is the perfect time to upgrade your offers—and increase your email frequency. According to PWC’s report, 65% of respondents said price is the top factor influencing their holiday spending this year, followed by convenience and speed of delivery.
Consider what you’ve already offered customers recently, then brainstorm ways to sweeten the deal. Depending on your recent promos and seasonal goals, you may want to:
- Give customers the biggest discount code of the season—and hype up its novelty
- Share a limited time offer for free shipping
- Introduce an early bird offer where the first 20 or 50 customers to buy a certain product or service get a gift card to spend more
- Feature a special holiday product or service
- Announce that for a limited time, customers will get a free gift with certain purchases
- Update customers on relevant holiday news, like the fact that you’re extending your hours or offering free gift wrapping for in-store purchases
- Create a special holiday offer to join your business’s loyalty or rewards program
Once you come up with an exciting offer, focus on crafting compelling copy and plugging in cool visuals to take your emails up a notch.
2. The value push: Giving campaign
A holiday giving campaign is a great opportunity to give back, build up social media buzz, and engage with your customers in a more meaningful way. According to research from Harris Poll and Google Cloud, 82% of shoppers want a brand’s values to align with their own—and they spend their money on brands that are a match.
A giving campaign is one way to show current and prospective customers what your business values, whether it’s environmental sustainability, education, mental health, or something else. Start by choosing a nonprofit organization you care about, then review your finances to figure out how much you can afford to donate.
From there, work backward to determine how you want to structure the campaign—matching customer donations up to a certain amount, for example—and how long you want it to last (from one day to several weeks long). One option is to position the campaign around Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and donate a certain percentage of every customer’s purchase.
You can entice customers to give back by highlighting your chosen organization’s work and explaining how customers’ contributions will make a difference. Make sure you promote your giving campaign on your business’s website, in store, on social media, and via email to generate the most possible traction.
3. The fun resource: Holiday gift guide
As a business owner, you can make it easier for people to get through their seasonal shopping lists by creating fun, tailored holiday gift guides. Gift guides are a valuable tool for overwhelmed consumers to narrow down their gift options—and an excellent excuse to showcase your business’s offerings.
The most effective gift guides are visual, accessible, and specific. Depending on your customer base, you can create one comprehensive gift guide or produce several smaller ones, each tailored to a different customer persona or gift need. Think: “Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers” or “Gifts Under $50.”
In addition to highlighting your own products or services, you may also want to feature items from other businesses that you think your customers might be interested in. You could even partner with a complementary business in a different industry or niche to distribute gift guides that showcase each other’s offerings.
When it comes to promoting your gift guides, aim for a wide reach. you can:
- Make graphics out of your gift guides to post on social media
- Link to your gift guide on your website’s landing page and in the navigation bar
- Share your gift guide via email with a special discount
- Offer social media influencers a unique promo in exchange for sharing your gift guide
- Create social media and Google ads to showcase your gift guide
4. The helpful how-to: Video, infographic, or blog post
Providing valuable holiday advice—via a how-to video, blog post, or infographic—can help bring new people to your business and foster trust amongst your current customers. That trust goes a long way: 88% of respondents in PWC’s report said when a company secures their trust, that company also earns a recommendation to a friend or family member.
This season, consider creating content that shares solutions to common holiday conundrums or highlights your business’s expertise in a helpful way. For example, if you sell kitchen gadgets, you could share a cooking tutorial that demonstrates how to use various gadgets as you whip up a fun seasonal recipe. Or if you run a mechanic shop, you could write a blog post breaking down the steps to maintaining your car during severe winter weather.
The options are endless. As with every promotion, make sure you share your videos or blog posts on social media, in emails, and on your website.
5. The exciting opportunity: Contest giveaway
People love freebies, especially during the holidays when budgets can be tight. That’s why a contest giveaway is always a hit. You get to thank customers for their business, generate more brand awareness, and highlight one of your business’s favorite products or services. The bonus: holding a holiday contest is fun, and gives you a chance to connect with your customers in a new way.
Depending on how much time and energy you have to execute the giveaway, you can either pick one or two of your own offerings or partner with a complementary business or sponsor to increase the giveaway prize. From there, think about your customer demographics and determine the contest structure. Here are some go-to ideas:
- Post a photo: Ask customers to take a photo of themselves doing something related to your business or the holidays—like purchasing a mocha from your cafe or wearing a holiday sweater—then post them on social media with certain hashtags.
- Tag a friend: Ask customers to tag a friend in a comment on social media for a chance to win two prizes.
- Subscribe to the email newsletter: Ask customers to subscribe to your business’s email newsletter for a chance to win.
- Make a purchase: Ask customers to buy a specific item from your business or spend a certain amount to get entered into the contest.
- Submit ideas: Ask customers to share their own ideas for naming a product or designing a new logo.
In all your contest announcements, don’t forget to include details about the prize, contest instructions and requirements, and any other information about when or how to enter.
If you need financial support to execute a last-minute holiday promotion or replenish your cash flow after dropping money on marketing, Funding Circle can help. Our business term loans and lines of credit give you the flexible, fast financing you need to finish the holiday season on a high note.
Learn more about our term loans or check out our business lines of credit.