The Ultimate Guide to Generating Record-Setting Results in the Coming Holiday Season

Think it’s too early for 2015 holiday promo planning? Think again. We’re heading into the most profitable time of the year — so don’t keep Santa waiting.

Imagine your frustration. You open an email sent by one of your competitors. It contains the perfect seasonal offer, loaded with holiday spirit and stunning visuals of the season. With a whack to the forehead, you moan: Why didn’t I think of that?

So to help you get your brain in the right spirit for holiday promotional planning, here’s a quick outline — plus a resource you can download.

The “Big Three” Channels

The holidays are a great opportunity to do three things: serve existing customers, find new customers, and reinforce your image. Luckily, there are three separate marketing channels, each designed to accomplish one of those priorities.

  1. Plan email marketing campaigns for each of the major holidays, treating each as a unique opportunity to inspire existing customers with tempting offers. To maximize conversions, think strategically about each part of an effective email message: subject line, preheader, main header, content, and call to action. Design messages for the build-up to the holiday, the day(s) of the holiday, and the follow-up period.
  2. Brainstorm social media campaigns to deliver during each sub-season from November to New Year’s Day. This is the time to attract new customers — but a few impromptu tweets won’t cut it these days. Think of visuals you can use to tell your story. Sponsor a social media holiday contest to make your brand a rallying point for holiday cheer. Try platforms that are new to you, such as Snapchat, Vine, and Flickr. You may discover a channel that’s ideal for your business.
  3. Use content marketing to reinforce your brand. What’s the secret to great content marketing? Provide content that’s valuable enough to make people hang on to it AND find out more about your business. Communicate about other areas of life, shopping habits, and emotions that go with each holiday. Give your readers a look behind the scenes. Or offer a freebie such as tips on finding bargains while sticking to a spending budget.

The “Big Six” Holidays

Some brands in your market may treat the holidays like one long shopping season that lasts from mid-November through the early January. If so, that creates a great opportunity for a creative marketer like you to differentiate your brand while driving sales.

  1. Don’t think of Thanksgiving as the beginning of your Christmas selling season. Use email, social media, and content marketing to recognize the holiday and ease people into the winter season while picking up incremental sales.
  2. For retailers, a Black Friday strategy is a must, so don’t leave this day to chance. Other shopping days may be equally profitable, but there’s something symbolic about the tradition of shoppers starting their holiday buying the day after Thanksgiving.
  3. Cyber Monday is no longer exclusive to companies that focus on online markets. Brick-and-mortar businesses can tap into this growing trend by switching the emphasis to their online business. Come up with fresh ideas to generate sales or lure shoppers to your physical location.
  4. Aim for Super Saturday, December 19. Save something for a big push near the end of the Christmas shopping season. If you do it right, you can build enough momentum to keep sales going through the weekend.
  5. The desperate plea of procrastinators is, Give me anything, as long as it’s expensive! So do something nice for those whose shopping time has run out. Sell them something! And when it’s all over, take the time to sincerely wish your customers the best of the holiday season.
  6. By New Year’s Day, most people have had enough of Christmas shopping. Smart marketers shift the focus to the future. The holiday season ends with a party, often the biggest of the year. So make it a good one.

Other “Special Holidays”

Nature lovers may celebrate the winter solstice. Men’s groups may get into “Movember” by growing a mustache. Many celebrate their heritage during Hannukkah, December 6-14. They’ll love you for remembering them and helping them celebrate their important days.

Planning Guide

Want specific suggestions and inspirational ideas? Our GetResponse Ultimate Holiday Campaign Guide has all this, plus a handy calendar to help you get organized. To download your free copy, click HERE.

GetResponse is a worldwide leader in email marketing and online campaign management, with a suite of powerful solutions, scaled and customized for small and large companies. The platform includes responsive email design, landing pages, forms, autoresponders and advanced analytics — user-friendly tools designed to help you drive ROI.

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