An effective marketing campaign will engage new or potential customers, boost your sales, and build and strengthen relationships with your existing customers.
Your customers are primed and ready to start spending, so make sure you are not missing out on the action. Although we’re already just into November, there will be plenty of customers out there; some will already have done most of their shopping and will be looking for last minute bits; at the other end of the spectrum, (like me), some won’t even have thought about Christmas shopping yet, so will be looking avidly over the next few weeks.
Planning your marketing strategy for the holiday season will ensure your business grows and puts you in a great place to start the New Year.
So how do you get started? It’s simple…
Define your SMART goals
I know, everyone talks about goal setting, but for this time of year, (or in fact any time of year), goals are what keeps your business growing, learning, and improving. These goals need to be specific for your Christmas campaign and SMART, (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely). LINK
For example, your main goal might be that you want more sales. Your SMART goal would be, ‘To increase my sales and profits between now and the end of 2021 by 20%, compared to the same time last year.’
This is specific, it’s definitely achievable, it’s relevant as it’s Christmas and people typically spend more money, and it’s timely, for the same reason – it’s a holiday time when people are spending more.
Once you have your goals in place, so you know what you’re aiming for, now you can think about the marketing – HOW are you going to achieve those goals?
Here are a few ideas that could help ramp up your sales this year…
Customise your packaging
Having customised packaging is important for your brand and creates a great ‘unboxing’ or ‘unopening’ experience for your customers…and it’s all about the customer experience! If you have unique packaging with the name of your business, it adds a bit of class and feels more luxurious to your customers.
Following on from customising your packaging, you could produce a special Christmas edition of your product, and your packaging could reflect this.
Create an online catalogue
Christmas is the perfect time to revise and refresh your marketing materials. With the many great, free resources available these days, creating a digital or online catalogue is relatively easy to do. Canva is one tool you can use to help you do this…and they have some very professional templates.
I remember my children browsing through the Argos catalogue and putting circles around the things they’d like for Christmas or birthday. But with printed catalogues almost outdated, digital is still very much what people want. Good photos of your products are necessary for this and can show off your products in a very professional way. With digital catalogue you can also make each image a link to the relevant product page on your website or online shop. This makes buying and browsing so easy for your customers.
You can market your catalogue on your website from a tab, in a blog, in your email list and on social media, as well as on your Google My Business page, which will give you the best chance of getting those sales.
What’s this? You see it all the time, but probably don’t realise it. Whenever you go onto Amazon to look for something. If, for example I go onto Amazon and look for Organic Shampoo. When I click on a product I’m interested in, there’s always something else that pops up. Underneath the item I’m looking at, it will say ‘Consider a similar item’ and point me to something similar. They always have a section too, that says ‘Frequently bought together’… and for the purpose of this example, it shows me conditioner and a body wash from the same brand.
This is remarketing – giving other ideas around the same theme…and even the same product from a different organic shampoo company.
Collaboration is about teaming up with another small business that would complement your business. For example, if you sell luxury coffee, you could team up with a small business that makes coffee mugs or insulated mugs. You then both promote each other’s business. If you sell coffee, you could say that with an insulated mug, people can now enjoy the luxury of a good coffee on the go. You get the idea!
Once you have a collaboration, this can carry over from Christmas into the New Year and include other holidays. It could be the start of a beautiful relationship!
Have a cut-off date
Bear in mind, that there are many postage deadlines in the lead up to Christmas, so if you offer postage on your items, ensure that you have a cut-off date to ensure that your customers get your products before the big day. If a customer lives near you, you could let them collect up to Christmas Eve, but if you must post locally, it will take longer. If you ship worldwide, that cut-off date will be sooner. Just keep this in mind and don’t make promises you can’t keep as that is very damaging to your business.
You could also consider offering free shipping – people are willing to pay a bit more for a product if they get free shipping, so it’s well worth thinking about.
Your opening hours
Don’t forget to update your website, social media, and Google My Business page to show your opening hours over the Christmas period, so you don’t disappoint any potential customers.
Have a stock of your products
This is really obvious but ensure that your most popular products are in stock. You don’t want to run out and have to turn people away or have to email to say that you don’t have a product they’ve ordered on your website or online shop.
Use your email list
If you have a list of email subscribers via your blog or website, use this to advertise your products too. You don’t have to be pushy and salesy, as I know a lot of us don’t like to do that, but you can point your subscribers to your promotional campaign or exclusive offers.
As they subscribe to your regular email, you could even offer them a special discount code.
Don’t forget to ensure that your email marketing for November and December uses festive imagery to ensure you are getting your readers into the spirit of things!
What does your product do for your audience?
This is the age-old, sell the solution, not the product. The most successful products will always focus on the customer – and showing how that product benefits the life of the potential user. What problems does it solve?
Let’s go back to the coffee example. Your luxury coffee might be organic – why is this important to your audience? How does it enhance their life? You could say it energises and enriches your mind, keeping you focussed on the important things in life. If your product has a specific ingredient that you want to advertise, give the benefits of that ingredient and why it is so good. It could be that it’s a good choice for the planet because of the way it’s produced.
Again, you get the idea, any product has its selling point.
This is an amazing way to sell your products. Simply bundle some of them together. For example, buy luxury coffee and a festive mug together at a slightly cheaper price than if they were sold individually. The benefits of bundling items together are that customers see them as a bargain – a bundle increases the perceived value of an item. If you couple this with your bespoke packaging, your customers have superb gift ideas. If you also add free shipping to bundled items, this will make it even more attractive.
Create ideas with a gift guide
This is a simple idea that can help your sales. All you have to do is to create a guide of ideas using your products. It’s a collection of your products that will make good presents…and give ideas as to who they could be for and why.
For example, it could be ‘Gifts for men’ or ‘Gifts for the coffee lover,’ ‘Gifts for Mum or for your best friend.’ Then include the items you sell that are relevant to men, coffee lovers, friends etc. Create a landing page, which is easily done in Mailerlite for example, which displays your products in one place. You can them promote that landing page on your website, in your email, blog or on your social media sites.
It’s about suggesting who your products might be suitable for and marketing them as such.
Keep on top of your images
Log into your website and have a look at it from a customer’s perspective. They need to know that you’ve got a festive promotion, or a gift guide, or online catalogue. Make sure that there is something bold, front, and centre on your homepage to advertise the fact, with links to the relevant pages or products on your shop.
Change the images on your product pages to show your products with a more festive theme.
If you’re on social media, update your cover pages to advertise your festive products and ensure that you have some great images on Google My Business. You could update your profile picture to you in party mode or wearing a Santa hat – depending on what you do!
This is time consuming, but absolutely worth it for the sales you will generate.
Just as you update your imagery, also update your keywords to include what you’re doing this Christmas. Here’s a few suggestions…
- Christmas gifts
- Christmas gifts for men/coffee lover/best friend/Mum
- Buy Christmas decorations
- DIY Christmas decorations
- DIY Christmas decorations for kids
- Festive food
This does require some research to ensure you get the right keywords or hashtags for you and your business and products. Once you have them, use them on your posts, on your website, blog, and social media.
Offer gift cards
Whilst most of us like to look for that perfect gift for our loved one, there will be customers out there who just don’t know what they want to buy. This is the ideal person to sell a gift card to – they can spend what they like and the person they buy for can choose exactly what they’d like from your product range.
If you do offer a gift card, make sure there is a simple graphic on your homepage, or a link to a landing page, specifically dedicated to gift cards in your online shop or web page.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
These two days are your best friends when it comes to selling your products for Christmas. These two events are heavily advertised on TV, all over the internet and social media. If you don’t join in, you will lose out on some fabulous sales.
The other joy these days bring, is that it will really set your business up for Christmas sales. If someone has bought something from you at a reduced rate on Black Friday, they will know your business and may think of you when buying their last-minute Christmas gifts. But there are other things you can do to encourage this…
- Offer a special 10% off discount for the rest of the year, for anyone who buys from you on Black Friday or Cyber Monday
- Add in a little free gift
- Offer free postage
- Tell them that if they recommend you to friends and family, by sharing your post and one of their friends buys from you, they get a free gift, or 20% off their next purchase from you
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t the only days each year that your business can use to get seen and sell more. Here are a few more in November and December.
- Small business Saturday – 27th November
- St Nicholas Day – 6th December
- Free shipping day – 14th December
- Panic Saturday – 18th December
There are many others throughout the year too.
Don’t forget that elusive time of year – between Christmas and New Year. It always feels a bit like limbo land, but as a lot of the ‘January’ sales start on Boxing Day in the UK, it’s a great time to continue pushing for sales. People are happy, they’ve eaten and drunk too much, they have a bit of money in their pockets…and time on their hands to scroll through social media on their phones. If you have an ad on your page, or a post pinned to the top of your page, saying your sale starts now, you will be seen by your customers and followers.
You could do a ‘flash sale’ with a ‘Santa didn’t get me what I wanted’ type title! Have heavily discounted items that you want to move quickly.
If you still have Christmas themed products, heavily discount them selling for a ‘Buy now for next Christmas.’
Then in the New Year, you’re ready to launch your new range of products or services starting anew.
Don’t forget that the aim of a Christmas campaign is to have satisfied, happy customers, who will want to come back to buy from you again in the New Year. And make your brand stand out in the crowd, so people remember you and your business. I hope this has helped you plan your campaign.
Let me know how you get on with yours.