Holiday season is upon us, to-dos are piling, stress ensuing, and often marketing is the last thing on our mind around this time. But it’s not too late to make an impression, and an impact with your customers that can help you see more sales both now and into next year. So, whether you’re already busily wading through holiday season orders or are hoping for more to come in, here are some marketing tips you can use in these couple weeks we have left to help get the word out about what you have to offer this holiday season!
Start the countdown
What is your last day to receive orders so that you can ensure delivery by Christmas? Figure out that date, know it, and start shouting about it! Update it on your site’s front page in a slide, button or text. Send a newsletter now, and another when there’s only 1 day left. Start doing little countdowns on social media, “only 5 days left to order for delivery by Dec 25th!” It’s information your customers will be looking for so don’t feel weird being upfront with it, or reminding people about it. It keeps your customers informed and gives them an incentive to act! Also make sure your shop policies are updated with your holiday shipping options and last dates to order for both standard and expedited delivery. And remember, what’s every last minute shopper’s best friend? E-gift cards! Spotlight ‘em if you got ‘em.
Pitch to blogs
As long as you’re still shipping, you can still be pitching! It’s not too late to get the word out to bloggers about your holiday season goodness. People are still on the hunt for gifts and seeking out blogs they like for recommendations and ideas, and gift guides are still being compiled and published by busy bloggers behind the scenes. Approach them about your work, point out specific gift or holiday perfect items they might be interested in, keep the emails short and friendly and hit send! For more details, check out this short podcast I recorded a couple years ago on how to pitch last minute for the holidays, or my e-book, The Pitch Kit!
Share your own holidaze
Right now’s a great time to be tweeting, pinning and generally talking about holiday stuff around your favorite spots to socialize online. Share what you’re personally up to for the holidays- cooking, decorating, celebrating, shopping, planning… Pepper in shop talk about your holiday items, things that’d make great gifts, a glimpse of the behind the scenes busyness, yes, but make sure your online communication isn’t all about business these days, even if that’s your main concern at the moment. Don’t forget to connect and continue to foster those relationships with content that’s personal, from the heart, sharing honestly even if it’s the most stressful time of the year for you and you feel overwhelmed, etc- share that! People connect to people.
Serve those customers well
Your customers may be stressed out, you may be stressed out, but that’s even more reason to handle your customer interactions right now with utmost attention and care. Communication and kindness are key to keeping customers happy this time of year (well, anytime!) and can help keep things running smoothly. Also be prepared now to give your holiday packages some extra attention: wrap your items up extra pretty, write out thank you notes with orders or include a cute little gift that can brighten your customer’s day. The better you serve them at this time of year especially, when awesome customer service can be hard to come by, the more likely they are to come back and shop with you again!
Incentivize, incentivize, incentivize
Counting down to your holiday ordering deadline is one way to get the customers who are thinking of buying to buy now, but what else can you do to incentivize people to shop? Have some extra or outdated inventory you could include as a gift with purchase, or mark down on sale? It’s a good time to send out a special discount or shipping offer to your newsletter subscribers or social media followers. Maybe you can include a discount off a future purchase with those thank yous you’re sending out with current orders? Or create some special gift packages that include multiple items together at a discount? Motivate those customers, they have lots of choices and there’s lots of last minute shoppers out there!
Send holiday cards
You may be used to sending out cards to friends and family every year, but do you also send them to past customers? It’s a great personal touch that goes a long way in helping you foster a personal relationship and stay on their minds. You can just send to particular stand out or memorable customers, repeat ones, or whoever you’ve worked with this whole year, it’s up to you, but consider it time well spent! And consider sending to anyone else you’ve worked with peripherally that made an impact on your biz in some way- social media or craft fair buddies, service providers (like a graphic designer or consultant), or any blog or magazine editors who’ve already featured you- they’re good fodder for a holiday hello, too! A hand-written note inside adds personality and can make them feel extra special. Totally running out of time? Send an e-card instead!
Depending on what you sell and how much marketing you’ve done up until now, this might be the busiest time of the year for your business (yay!), or it might be one of the slowest (boo). Either way, it can feel daunting, whether you’re overwhelmed with busyness or worried about the slow down. But don’t fret- give thanks for what you’ve got right now, whether it’s more time to focus on home and family, or a deluge of orders that’s going to pay for your family trip to Hawaii, if only you can make it through all of them. Know, either way, it’s all just temporary. Do what you can in these last couple weeks. And breeeaaathe.
Hope this helps you get the most out of these last days to market your shop before it’s (thankfully!) time to slow down and celebrate. Have any other last minute ideas before the calendar turns its page to the new year? (Already?!) Let us know in the comments below!