Holiday Marketing Tips from the Startup Princess

holiday marketing tips

This week starts the busiest buying season of the year. Are you ready to take advantage of it? Whether you have a retail brick-and-mortar business and/or if you have a strong online presence, you can make a big holiday splash and get eyes on your business! According to PR Newswire, over 89% of shoppers will do some sort of online holiday shopping this year!

If you think it’s too late to get in some holiday marketing, think again. Though it may be too late for print and traditional advertising buys don’t fret! Online and email marketing has made it easier than ever to quickly put marketing campaigns together.

Here Are My 3 Top Tips For Holiday Marketing:

  • 1.Tie in to already existing holiday promotions and seasons. Have a retail business? What is your Black Friday (11/29) promotion? Are you a small business? How are you tying into to Small Biz Saturday (11/30)? Can you do a special incentive to encourage Cyber Monday business on 12/2? It’s a good excuse to have a special sale and to incentivize customers to make their purchases early. Advertise the promotion on your site and through social media. It’s also not too late for Facebook, Google or other online advertising!
  • 2.Remember that if you want to tie in to existing milestone holidays, you don’t have to give a certain discount or percentage off. Also consider buy one get one half off or buy one get one free. You can also offer a bonus or free gift with purchase. Be creative and make it limited time on that day only. Limited time offers have higher conversion rate.
  • 3.Use every medium you can. Don’t put your holiday marketing eggs in one basket. Since the selling cycle is short, it needs to be BIG. Promote through social media, your website, other people’s sites, and take advantage of email marketing. (Hint: send an email now letting them know the promotion is coming and send an email again the day of the big sale.)

AWeber and I hosted a Twitter chat and asked people to share their favorite Holiday Marketing Tips and advice for not only making the most of the season, but when and how to plan for success this year and in the years to come.

If you want to see the full chat and the conversation that has continued on, use the hashtag #HolidayMarketingTips (and if you have a tip to share, do it!). Or check out the highlights.

Here are some of my favorites from November 13th:

  • Learn from your peers. Subscribe to other email newsletters to get some creative ideas. – @aweber
  • Come up with unique, not holiday related campaigns to stand out! – @kristengillette
  • Generate really really really good content! I’ve found visuals are best for last min info. – @mollygreathouse
  • In #marketing the line between cheesy and clever is really thin. Be clever when you tie in to holidays! – @startupprincess
  • We like sharing great content in addition to great deals. love sharing customer stories too!? – @PlateBoutique
  • Keep things simple for your customers during a very busy, hectic time! – @PlateBoutique
  • Have online promos ready for when snow hits and people are likely to be online. – @LeRegalla

Also remember, if this is a big buying time for you, figure out how to generate customer loyalty and repeat business in the coming months. Thank people for their business. Acknowledge that they have a lot of choices and you’re glad they chose you. Also, provide bounce back coupons to come back in January. While eyes are on your business, take a few extra measures to ensure that they keep their business with you in the future. If this conversation resonates with you, I talk about the four key pieces in a customer loyalty campaign on this podcast. (I also share other Holiday Marketing Tips!)

If you’re feeling “behind” on the holiday buying cycle, take heart. There are plenty of gifting and buying seasons throughout the year! Now is a great time to evaluate your 2013 marketing strategy and make plans for 2014. Many of the tips above can be applied to Valentine’s promotions, Mother’s and Father’s Day and Graduation! Create seasonal marketing strategies that make sense in your business.

My definition of marketing is:

Getting the right MESSAGES to the right MASSES through the right MEDIUMS so you can make MONEY.

Don’t just rely on free marketing tactics. Maximum exposure comes from investing in your business, just like you’re asking customers to invest in YOU.

Here’s to a prosperous and lucrative Holiday!

Bestselling author Michelle McCullough is a sought after business strategist and speaker. She created “Marketing Mastery” and “The Life Balance Myth” self-study programs for busy entrepreneurs. She’s the show host for Make It Happen Radio and is the Managing Director for Startup Princess, an international organization for women entrepreneurs, where they have over 250,000 followers on twitter and have been featured by Forbes as one of the top 10 resources for women entrepreneurs. As a mother of two kids, ages 5 and 3, she knows there’s no time to mess around. It’s time to Make It Happen.