Looking to make the most of the holiday period and sell more? This article has some amazing tips on how to do this.
I love Christmas !!! I love everything about it from the gifts to the music and not to mention all of the delicious food.
Since moving to Edinburgh, I’ve always looked forward to Christmas as the best time get home, spend time with my family and reconnect with friends.
There is always a sense of grounding when I land in Dublin. I feel comfortable and I feel like I am home. It’s a feeling that cannot be replicated.
Now you might think that once I get home I a straight into relaxing and having fun. Oh no, when you grow up as the child of business owners, you are put straight to work (although my two sisters might question my work as I was certainly the weaker of the 3 of us!).
My mother is a florist and owned a flower shop. My two sisters seemed to have inherited the family gift for creating bouquets and flower arrangements. I was mainly used for the shopping and the coffee and cake run.
My mam closed her shop a few years ago and Christmas seems to have changed so much since then. September / October sees the start of the Christmas promotion and the second Halloween is over and the fireworks stop; we are inundated with Christmas gifts, songs, and movies.
For some people, this is too much but for business owners, we must (and I mean must) capitalise on the Christmas market. In fact, most small business MUST have a successful Christmas to ensure success for the rest of the year.
Here are my top tips on making this Christmas a successful one:
Step 1 : Choose the type of promotion(s) you will offer:
Aim for about 3 promotions that you will consistently implement over the Christmas period. I have listed some suggestions below.
Early bird specials – My sister always books her flights home for Christmas months before me. With a 3-year-old to pay for she likes to book her holidays from work and flights in advance. Paying for a child seat and all the added extras such as bags and priority check-in become expensive last minute. This is the same for Christmas shoppers looking to buy gifts for everyone. Many will want to buy their presents well in advance and to save money. You could create an offer to appeal to these clients. Don’t forget to clearly market your offer along with the start and end dates !
Make an amazing Gift Set – Put some of your best products together and present them beautifully. Consider who they’d make perfect gifts for and promote this. For example, pamper sets for your mam or Night Out Kits for your party loving friends (don’t forget to put some samples in these packs!). Services can also be made into a gift set… perhaps you will combine makeup with nails or workout sessions with meal plans?
Daily Specials – Could you offer a special gift every day for the month of December? Or even every day for a week during November or December? What’s special about these gifts? Imagine these promotions are like an advent calendar ! Do you remember running to open your advent calendar as a child cause you were so excited about the gift inside? That’s how we want your customers to feel every day as they check their e-mail or social media for offers. Follow companies who already offers these types of gifts for inspirations. Ps this can be offered for services too as you can buy them today and use them in the future.
3 for 2 – Boots have offered this type of promotions for years. Allow your customers to choose 3 or your best products for the price of two Check out the Boots page for a reminder of how they do this.
Free postage – Offer customers free postage. Perhaps you can have this on all Christmas items. This makes it easy for clients to budget what they are buying. They may have to spend a certain amount before they qualify for this so make it easy for them by recommending certain items (like your stocking fillers) to help them reach this amount. Check out Not on the High Street and how they promote their free postage on Christmas gifts.
Gift Guide – Perhaps you want to help people find the perfect Christmas present. You’ll need to know who your customers are and what they like about what you sell. This can be created fairly easily using Canva or Picmonkey for the graphics and using pdf to e-mail them to your customers in your newsletter. You can also create this so they can download it from your website.
VIP entry only – Do you have a segmented list of valued customers? If not, perhaps now is a good time to create one? Use your e-mail list, Facebook groups etc. to promote special offers to your VIP customers (or best buyers). This works really well with a product that sells quickly. For example, Starbucks now only offer their gingerbread latte to app users (and I regularly get e-mailed with special offers only available if I order and pay with my app). See how Nails Inc promote their VIP offers here.
Make it look amazing – free (or paid) gift wrapping service?
Send cards to your best customers- all sorts of seasonal cards. Christmas cards, Thanks for being amazing customers this year cards, New years cards…. what other cards can you think of to send at this time of year?
Run a competition – get your most popular Christmas present for free. To enter the competition just post a photo of you wearing / using / enjoying your products onto their Facebook page tagging you and the friend they want to give the present to.
Gift Certificates – I love gift certificates! I especially love spending them in the sales. Actively promote gift certificates and treat these customers like royalty (even if, like me, they shop during the sales).
Stocking filler promotion – have you smaller times that would make great stocking fillers? Create some packages or maybe offer these as a 3 for 2 (don’t forget to put some samples in these packs!)
Step 2: Promote your Offers
Now that you have an idea of the type of promotion(s) you will run, you want to tell your clients about it. 80 % of your time should be spent promoting this. Imagine you just got engaged…. what’s the first thing you would do? You’d tell everyone you know and they would tell people they know. It is the same with your Christmas / Holiday promotions…. tell everyone you know about them and ask them to tell people about them.
Approach your friends – Make a list of 100 people that you know (just do it – the average person knows 250 people) and tell them that you are so excited about your amazing Christmas promotions and you know that people are going to love them You’dappreciatee any support they can offer in telling their friends and families about these offers.
Ask for brand ambassadors – if you don’t feel comfortable approaching 100 people (you should!) then ask for 10 – 20 friends and family to share your social media posts about these offers. Don’t forget to say thank you to these people.
Take advantage of all events- Christmas is a busy time…… take advantage of black Friday and Cyber Monday and offer promotions for then too.
Contact your customers daily- use whatever you have available to you including your website, social media pages and accounts, social media groups, partnerships with other companies, e-mail mail marketing and networking groups etc.
Get a partner – Pair up with a similar business to offer a special offer to their audience and they can do the same to yours. Make sure your partner also has high standards and you have a similar target audience.
Think outside the box – Perhaps you can create a pop-up shop? This can be online or in person? Are there any big businesses who would be happy for you to set up a shop in their office? Are there any local Christmas Markets that you can attend? Use your contacts, connect with your online and face to face community to do this.
Set up a referral scheme – reward people who refer you to their friends and family.
Encourgae customers to spend more – if every customer spent just 10% more it would make a massive difference to your turnover. How can you encourage them to do this? Can you recommend items that might complement what they have already bought? How can you upsell?
Disclaimer …….Don’t be a weirdo – some people won’t want your offers no matter how amazing they are. That’s okay ! Treat these people with respect and make them so impressed by your humility that they recommend you to their friends.
Step 3: Measuring and encouraging success.
Decorate your business – Much like your home: you can decorate your website, your social media page and your e-mails to make them more Christmassy! Canna and Picmokey will help you do this for free.
Be Consistent in your marketing- Make sure that your offers look nice and it is easy for your customers to know that they are from you and are Christmas (Black Friday or Cyber Monday) related. Adjust your branding ever so slightly to create these promotions. for example, Starbucks use the RED CUP, Boots use the 3 for 2 STICKERS. What will you use?
Say thank you – Say thank you to your customers for taking advantage of your offer. This could be a card, present, samples, add them to your VIP list for future offers etc. Say thank you!
Follow up- Follow up !! If someone expresses an interest ….. follow up (most people don’t follow up because they don’t want to look like a weirdo! There’s a big difference between following up and not taking no for an answer! You know the difference!).
Repeat what worked, adjust what didn’t – you’ll probably want to repeat what worked year after year (think Boots and their 3 for 2 offer) and you’ll definitely want to adjust what didn’t work!
There it is, a step by step process to creating amazing Christmas Promotions.
I can’t wait to hear all about your success.
Ps – Just do it !! Take action. Don’t talk about it. Do it !!
ps. you deserve an authentically amazing business and life.