This time of year, it can be a challenge to capture consumers’ attention, given the number of holiday sales and promotions they’re bombarded with. Take notes from a few of these unique Christmas promotion ideas to come up with your own way to boost sales for the holiday season.
1. Run a Holiday-Focused Email Campaign.
At the end of the day, email marketing is still the highest converting channel for an e-commerce site. An email drip campaign with the theme “10 Deals of Christmas” was a strategy we often used for clients which turned out to be the highest converting campaign to date. To go into more granular details, you would have separate automated drip campaigns depending on what they have purchased in the past. This can be achieved through tools such as Zapier, or Hubspot.
2. Offer a Gift with Purchase
Here is an example: Blu Skin Care, LLC offered free weight bands and 1-pound free weights with purchases of $100 or more. They also offered a 20% discount on all purchases for the holidays. It has worked very well for the company. In 2016, they experienced a 15% increase in sales during this time, and the promotion went from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
Everyone loves a bonus.
3. Get Featured in Gift Guides
One of my favorite Christmas promotions is to get products included in Christmas gift guides.
Let me take the Cat Ball® cat bed for example, a modern pet bed design with a unique hexagonal shape and two openings. Christmas gift guides work well because their product is really photogenic, and they can provide entertaining images for bloggers and magazines. They got published in some top gift guides, including a “weird gift guide” in the Huffington Post. Gifts guides could help customers choose suitable products for family and friends.
4. Pay Attention to Holiday Keywords
One of the things that we pay attention to during the holiday season is keyword research. Some business owners will target the same exact keywords each and every holiday season. As a result, they wonder why their sales are down. While every business will always have their main, core keywords, it’s critical to take advantage of seasonal searches.
One of the best ways to do this is by utilizing Google Trends to figure out new keywords that can really jump start holiday campaigns. If you’re able to associate core keywords with trending terms, you will likely be able to capture some new website traffic.
Each holiday season, we notice a great amount of search queries dealing with winter storms, blizzards, ice storms, power outages, and disaster recovery. With that seasonal knowledge, we’re able to mold marketing campaigns around it.
5. Host a 12 Days Giveaway
Proko had their first “12 Days of Proko” event last year and it helped carry sales through January. The promotion allowed some of our free users to try out samples of the premium drawing courses that they offer on their site (along with getting other fun goodies). It also increased daily traffic to their site because users wanted to see what they would offer each day of the promotion.
They promoted the 12 Days of Proko event across all of Stan’s social media accounts and his newsletter. You can look through the promo images they made for it on their Instagram.
Traffic increased on average by about 20-30%. Some days they saw our visitor amount double for the day.
Sales spiked dramatically on the days where they offered sales and were low during the rest of the event (most likely caused by people waiting and seeing if there would be more sales on another day). After the event, sales picked up from where our average was and remained steady going into January and beyond.
6. Take a Stand to Stand Out
In Christmas 2011, my marketing and PR agency brought tongue-in-cheek humor across subtly to customers of a little-known small business with almost no budget allocated to the endeavor. Not only was this idea successful, it was downright fun.
The small shopping-comparison-website-meets-social-network brand JoeShopping.com asked us to come up with a way to promote their site for the 2011 holiday season on a shoestring budget. What made them different than Amazon or others like it? Absolutely nothing. There wasn’t anything special about it really. So, like all good advertising folks, we’ve decided to exploit everyone’s favorite holiday and scare the bejeezus out of all shoppers by reminding them that if the world did, in fact, end in December 2012, the year 2011 would be the last Christmas on Earth.
At its core, the campaign was designed to inspire customers to spend what could be their last days doing the things on their bucket list (i.e., climbing a mountain, starting a band). There was even a section devoted to choosing products based on your expected destination after the Rapture: Heaven or Hell.
Constantly scan the news and see if there is any way you can hook yourself into a developing story and how doing so will benefit the public. This way, you take interest in something that has already garnered headlines. If you take a stand with the story or issue you can become a first mover, and then you easily become a shaker.
7. Match Your Promotions to Your Content & Social Strategy
Often businesses have several things going on at the same time during the holidays: they’ve got whatever promotions they’re doing, and then they have their social media campaigns and blog calendar. Often these things aren’t aligned.
If you create a calendar of promotions, you can tie them all together. For example, if you’re planning a mega Black Friday sale, you could write a blog post on how to stay stress-free on the big shopping day, and you could post sneak peeks of whatever you’re marking down on Instagram. By aligning your marketing efforts across the board, you’ll have better results for your holiday promotions.
8. Update Your Ad Copy
However, you choose to position your products or services this holiday season, be sure to dust off your ad copy and create ads that are fresh, compelling, and topical. Smart advertisers will revisit their ad copy before launching their campaigns for the holidays.
Yes, rewriting ad copy takes time. It takes even longer to do it well. However, by writing unique ad copy to launch your holiday sales, you’re putting yourself ahead of many advertisers who don’t have the time or inclination to do so. Even if you don’t specifically mention holiday promotions in your ad copy, including seasonal messaging tells your prospects that whatever you are offering is current, providing further incentive to click on your ads.
9. Don’t Run out of Popular Item
Every holiday season, there are certain items that seem to disappear off the shelves in minutes. Keep a close eye on your running stock totals by using a POS that has an integrated inventory management system. With Lightspeed, you can set up automated reminders to reorder stock once it dips below a certain point, and generate purchase orders on the spot. Start a free trial today and see how Lightspeed can help you stay on top of the holiday hustle.
10. Ask for Referrals and Give an Incentive
Run a 12 Days of Christmas campaign with a goal of increasing their email list and subscribers. Each day, subscribers receive an email asking them to refer a friend and offering an incentive for each friend they referred that signed up.
The campaign successfully would bring on 600 new subscribers. The email unsubscribe rate remains low throughout the campaign, and six months later, 98% are still customers.