When the high street is awash with Christmas deals and January sales, many businesses follow suit without asking if it’s the right choice for them. Online marketing gives your business greater flexibility, so should you follow the crowd or march to your own tune?
One major advantage of presenting customers with a special offer in November to January is that, in the UK, we are primed to shop. As most of the country gears up for Christmas, we are actively looking for ways to spend money. Savvy businesses use this expectation to their advantage, planning their online marketing strategy so it works for them – and increasing sales in the run up to Christmas isn’t the only way to do this!
1. Spread your Workload
If Christmas is a busy time of year, target your special offers to make your work load lighter. Give customers a discount if they shop online, order early or buy a voucher to use your service in January or February.
2. Build a Following
Advent calendars mean that people welcome regular email, Twitter or Facebook updates throughout December – as long as they come with a special offer. By targeting your online marketing efforts to short deals and encouraging followers to share your messages, you can dramatically increase your following.
3. Start Early
We know Christmas gets earlier every year and soon we’ll all be buying Santa hats in August. However, online marketing needs to be ahead of the game, to account for longer delivery times thanks to the inevitable backlog at Royal Mail.
4. Make them Interesting
There’s a reason that you’ll rarely see a 2% discount on something. Special offers should be interesting, whether that’s a deep discount or a useful bonus item. One successful technique is to give a free gift or cash back. It makes people feel like they’re getting something for free, a particularly strong incentive if they’re buying gifts for others.
5. Choose your Holiday
Not everyone celebrates Christmas and not every product matches well with the holiday. Many products and services are a better match for New Year’s resolutions than Christmas Day. Particularly for businesses where customers take a long time to commit, such as home renovations. Starting an online marketing campaign at New Year can plant the seed of an idea that bears fruit at Easter.
6. Reward your Loyal Customers
Repeat business and word of mouth is key to any successful business. If your workload is about right for this time of year or your product doesn’t really lend itself to Christmas offers (sun cream, anyone?) then sending your existing customers an e-card wishing them a happy holiday and perhaps offering them a little freebie with their next order or a cup of coffee next time they pop in will put a smile on their faces.