Christmas ... that wonderful shopping season when sales surge - and competition can be crushing. Your ability to attract attention and leave a lasting positive impression on your customers is essential to securing holiday sales in the present and for Christmas future. Try the following five Christmas marketing tips to connect with your customers so you can all enjoy a happy Yuletide celebration.
1. Send greeting cards
Coming from a seller to a buyer, few tokens express as much appreciation as a non-soliciting greeting card. Print high-quality, custom greeting cards and (if possible) take the time to handwrite a personalized message to each customer. You should also print matching envelopes and handwrite them. (If you have too many customers to customize each message, have your printing company print a more general - yet memorable - message inside for you)
When you send your greeting cards, don't try to pitch a sale. Your greeting cards are about branding and customer appreciation. The goal is to establish a relationship with your customer to build loyalty. If you want to include a free gift, such as a bottle of wine or a night out at a popular local restaurant for your customer and a guest, that is perfectly OK - but don't use your greeting cards to directly solicit a purchase.
2. Market early and often
Print and distribute full-color catalogs, postcards, posters, flyers, door hangers, brochures, table tents, booklets, inserts, and other marketing materials in a successive campaign that builds hype for an incredible offer on an amazing product or service. Start early - right around Halloween - and keep your customers in tune with your Christmas sale straight through to Christmas. You might want to launch two separate campaigns: - the first focusing on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and the other focusing on Christmas.
3. Hold an event
Christmas parties, caroling, holiday concerts, a visit from Santa: These are all great ideas that can attract large crowds. Before you plan (and spend on) your event, carefully consider whether it will bring in likely customers or not. Everyone wants to see Santa, but not everyone is going to purchase a chainsaw. For the lumberjacks in your audience, perhaps a winter man challenge whereby you challenge contestants to cut through logs, move heavy objects or cook the best chili would be more rewarding.
4. Conduct charity work
Networking is vital to business growth, and charity work helps you network yourself, boost PR for your company and ultimately give your time to further a worthy cause. Don't just send a check to the local pantry. Instead, organize or hit the streets for a food drive, help unpack boxes, volunteer to deliver food boxes, or do anything else the organization needs someone to do. You can always send a check as well - and both acts will likely earn some free press, especially in small-town newspapers.
5. Remember who you're marketing to
When it comes to Christmas marketing, you're wagering a battle against your competitors on multiple fronts. Not only do you have to market to the person who will use your product or service, you have to market to the person who will actually be purchasing the gift. This is where posters, rack cards and postcards come in handy: "Not sure what to buy your husband? Here's his wish list" would be an excellent promotion.