The holidays will be here before you know it! It seems that time goes into warp drive at the beginning of October and doesn’t stop until January.
If you haven’t started planning your marketing yet, let’s get going! There are plenty of easy and free ways to liven up your products and services and get SEEN.
For starters, here’s a list of upcoming 2023 U.S. holidays:
Thanksgiving – 11/23
Black Friday – 11/24
Small Business Saturday – 11/26
Cyber Monday – 11/27
Giving Tuesday – 11/28
Super Saturday – 12/17
Hanukkah – 12/18-26
Christmas – 12/25
Kwanza – 12/26
And off we go!
1. Everyone Loves a Sale
The holiday season is the perfect time to offer a sale, particularly if you sell products. You could offer 10% off on Black Friday or bundle several products together at a great price. People love when you offer a complimentary set of items that are perfect for gift giving. Be sure to include what the regular price is and how much they save off of the bundle so they see the savings clearly.
Another approach is to add a free item when a certain amount is reached. For example, if you sell haircare products, offer a small shampoo and conditioner set when they purchase $40.
If you sell services, this is a great time to advertise “buy 3 sessions, and get 1 free”. If appropriate, put a time limit on when the sessions can be used. Time limits can help in 2 ways: they spur the person on to use the sessions in a reasonable time frame, and they allow you to keep an inventory of the sessions to be used. If you are super-organized, a friendly reminder email to clients as the expiration date approaches would be a nice touch.
2. Offer Free Shipping
I know shipping is expensive these days, so this may not be for everyone. But you could offer free shipping to the first 5 people who buy a certain amount on Black Friday. Incentives like these create urgency, and may spur on some quick decisions to buy. You could also offer free shipping for purchases over $50. There is a lot of room for creativity here while making sure you watch your bottom line.
Check out this article for a more in-depth read on free shipping.
3. Give ‘Em Holiday Tips
Everyone could use some interesting and innovative help to make their holiday season easier and more fun. Post ways to keep the kids entertained, such as easy crafts or a list of holiday movies. Maybe you’re into cooking and have some great recipes or wine pairings to share.
If you sell makeup or beauty items, this is the perfect time for you to be putting out short videos of how to accent your best features with makeup for a party or how to style your hair based on its length. And for massage therapists, post self-care tips about how to relax after the umpteenth party or provide a short meditation for them to follow before the in-laws come. 🙂
4. Partner with a Charity
Find a charity that speaks to you, and donate a portion of your sales to it. If you do a lot of sales locally, find a charity or cause that is local because chances are others may know about it. Make sure to advertise this on your social media, blog and email list.
I do this myself, offering that a portion of my sales goes to Small Miracles Cat & Dog Rescue, a local animal rescue. I’ve gotten so many positive comments on this from clients!
For more information about partnering with a charity, read on.
5. Connect and Engage
People want to buy from businesses that make them feel warm and fuzzy. Any way that you can connect with people in person, on social media or through email with warm, thoughtful messages will earn you 5 stars.
Being authentic and real has been my secret sauce for decades. Consumers these days are very savvy, and they can see through any hype or phoniness.
Bonus Tip for Social Media
Did you know Instagram has e-commerce features? Me neither. Click here to read about holiday shopping trends and social media marketing. While you’re there, grab your free Small Business Holiday Season Checklist to help you get organized.
As always, the goal here is to help others have a more enjoyable holiday by making it easy for them to buy from you. Tailor these ideas to your own business, and watch as the $$$s roll in!