Holiday marketing strategies: a complete checklist
Get your business ready for the holiday rush
On a scale of one to ten, how organized are you for the upcoming holiday rush?
Whether you’re a confident nine or an apprehensive five, the festive season is typically a busy time, both professionally and personally, for everyone. So, it’s essential to plan your holiday marketing strategies to get the most from this period of increased customer spending.
To help you tackle the upcoming holiday rush and make meaningful connections with your customers, here’s a list of twenty practical marketing ideas.
- Devise a detailed holiday plan. Doing a little prep and planning ahead of time allows you to skip much of the frenzy and feel more festive when the holiday season suddenly arrives
- Create a holiday budget. Keep it realistic and stick to it.
- Get inspired. Check out what other businesses do during the holidays by perusing Pinterest, looking at their Facebook advertisements, or engaging in a discussion board to gather learnings.
- Do some market research. What are your customers looking for this holiday season? How will you meet those demands?
- Prepare your inventory. The holiday rush will be upon you sooner than you think. Get your high-season inventory ordered, and in order.
- Plan your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. What sales are you running? When does each sale launch? How will you advertise the sales?
- Order your advertising materials. Now is the time to get Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale materials. Include marketing materials like banners, postcards, flyers, posters and foam boards - whatever it takes to reach your target audience.
- “Holidize” your store or website. If you have a brick and mortar, consider hosting an event, decorating your storefront, and playing holiday music. If you have a website, refresh your designs (while staying on-brand) to get customers into the holiday spirit.
- Participate in Small Business Saturday. Create a special offer, event or promotion to coincide with Small Business Saturday.
- Order your holiday cards in advance. Make sure you order enough for your customers and employees. It’s easy to underestimate your needs in this area.
- Order thank you cards or gifts like mugs, calendars or branded promotional items with your logo on them. The holiday period is an especially good time to thank your customers and employees and to strengthen your relationships for the upcoming year.
- Launch your Black Friday Sale. The day after Thanksgiving is a pivotal day to market to your customers with clear discount messaging that drives interest and understanding of the savings involved.
- Hang posters and banners. Announce your sale and attract potential customers passing by and existing customers browsing and considering their purchases.
- Record and analyze the results from your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Make notes of what worked and what didn’t to give you insights for the next holiday season.
- Send out holiday cards to your customers. Consider including holiday cards with all orders shipped in November and December.
- Thank your customers and employees. Send thank you cards or promotional items with your logo on them to remind your customers of your business. For more inspiration, see this article on gift ideas for employees and clients.
- Consider a refresh. Think about re-examining your design for the new year. This is an excellent time for some fresh thinking around your visual identity.
- Reflect on what to improve for next year. Order too much of something that didn’t fly off the shelves as you expected? Run out of staples like branded bags halfway through the holiday rush? Learn from it, move on and add it to your checklist for next year.
- Review shopper frequency during the rush. Were you quiet in the morning and flat out in the afternoon? Understanding typical instore footfall will help you organize effective staff schedules for next year.
- Prepare to hit the ground running in January. Whether it’s stocking up on inventory or creating a calendar with key dates like staff holidays and seasonal promotions, having a plan helps you start the New Year as you mean to go on and avoid feeling overwhelmed after your well-deserved break.
So, whether you’re thanking customers and clients, encouraging more visits to your store or experimenting with different marketing tactics, this year should inform what you do next year. When you’ve got time, make notes you can refer to later. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget vital details that will help you improve for the years ahead. And perhaps most importantly, allow you to enjoy a well-deserved break after a frantic festive season.
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