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Are You Ready for the Holiday Sales Season?

Holiday sales season

The holiday sales season is one of hustle, bustle and profits – profits, at least, for those who are prepared to take advantage of willing wallets. Just because the holiday sales season is the busiest time of year for retailers doesn't guarantee any one retailer success. Savvy marketers know they have to invest time to plan their campaigns in advance in order to reap the most rewards from the most wonderful time of the year. The following lists several items you should have in place in order to be ready for the holiday sales season.

Plan your holiday sales goals

What are your holiday sales goals? Identifying what your goals are is the first step toward achieving them. Make goals that are quantifiable so you can track your success. You might have a goal of a certain percent increase over last year's business, or you might have a specific target sales figure, profit amount, or new customer acquisition. Or, your goals might encompass several of those items. If you have more than one goal, rank your goals by priority so you know where to focus your efforts later.

Plan to achieve your goals

Once you have identified your goals, you can plan the best ways to achieve them. Decide which marketing mediums you want to invest in, and research return rates and your market base. This will help you figure out how many postcards you need to send, who you need to send them to, which online venues to advertise in, and whether you should invest in television or radio ads, etc. Develop a time line for delivering your sales message and allow for market saturation and repetition. You might, for example, send a sales letter, followed by a postcard, followed by a catalog; and all the while pepper specific areas with posters or vinyl banners.

Lists, offers, designs, printing

Your research will help you identify who your target customer base is so you can develop mailing lists and identify markets to promote your products in. Create incentives that will resonate with your audience and allow you to compete with your competitors: discounts, buy-ones-get-ones, freebies, VIP passes and more. Next, design your marketing materials to command the attention of your target customer base, deliver your offer, highlight your benefits and motivate sales with a time-limited call to action. Finally, produce and print your marketing materials: posters, postcards, sales letters, letterhead, envelopes, flyers, banners, stickers, catalogs, booklets, commercials, online advertisements and more.

Deploy, track, measure

If you've done everything listed here, you should be ready to confidently roll out a winning holiday sales campaign. Make sure you have tracking mechanisms, such as coupons and coupon codes, so you can measure your return on investment from various marketing mediums. This will help you develop future campaigns that have predictable success rates – and benchmarks to beat. When you take the time to start early, you can not only be ready for the holiday sales season, you can profit so handsomely you'll be singing the virtues of the most wonderful time of the year.