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The Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Marketing

Keith Shields

Keith Shields

Partner at Designli
Keith Shields is a partner with Designli, a digital product studio that helps both entrepreneurs and startup-minded businesses launch problem-solving apps and web apps. Designli's proprietary SolutionLab process brings new customers from a simple concept to a fully defined, designed, and prototyped "project blueprint" that is entirely development ready - all within 30 days.
Keith Shields

So, you’ve waited a bit too long this year to plan out a carefully-crafted holiday marketing strategy for your startup. You’ve been busy, the day-to-day hustle and bustle has absorbed your attention, and time has gotten away from you. But there’s still time to pull off a successful holiday marketing campaign.

Here, we’ve collected six top tricks for whipping up a marketing plan to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. We’re zeroing in on high-impact strategies that are quick and easy for entrepreneurs to roll out. Use these recommendations to add some buzz to your company’s end-of-the-year sales.

Offer discount coupon codes

Discount coupon codes are a great way to incentivize people to visit your website. Limited-time offers create a sense of urgency and prompt shoppers to go ahead and complete their purchases. Publicize your discount code widely, getting it into as many hands as possible, if you’re starting at the eleventh hour.

Choose a doorbuster

Doorbusters draw customers in. Attract shoppers with a popular item and then encourage them to add more to their carts to meet a minimum free shipping requirement. Pick one signature item, collection or service, and highlight it via one or all of the channels mentioned above.

Don’t try to compete against the big guys on price though. Instead, focus on something that’s unique and likely to appeal to a large number of your target customers, while providing excellent customer service. Also be sure that you have enough stock on hand to meet demand.


Related: 4 Powerful Ways to Clear Through Holiday Marketing Clutter

Give a gift card with purchase

Giving a bonus gift card with a holiday purchase takes very little time and effort, but provides an excellent incentive. For added impact, send the gift card in a decorative gift card holder. If the original customer chooses to gift it to a friend, this is an easy way to turn one customer into two. Providing a small gift card with a $50 to $100 purchase can spur holiday sales with little extra effort on your part.

Highlight guaranteed delivery dates

You’re likely not the only procrastinator out there. By offering guaranteed delivery dates, you can connect with last-minute shoppers who need assurance that their delay won’t result in delivery after the big day. Don’t be shy to charge extra for shipping as Christmas Day draws closer, either. Advertising that you’re willing to hustle to get gifts out the door quickly can be a significant incentive for customers who’ve waited until the last minute to start their holiday buying.

Suggest gifts for indecisive shoppers

People are always looking for the perfect gift idea. Make it easier for shoppers by creating gift lists for various types of individuals. Whip up a set of holiday-themed graphics for your homepage and social media channels advertising lists for hard-to-buy-for friends or family members. Suggested gifts are likely to catch the eyes of holiday shoppers facing last-minute choice fatigue.


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Keep the marketing magic going beyond the holiday season

This last tip will work even if you’ve missed the holiday shopping season entirely. For those customers who did some unsolicited holiday shopping via your website, send out a discount code that’s good until the end of January to encourage a surge of post-holiday traffic for your business.

How to publicize your offers

You don’t need to spend time or money on resource-heavy advertising. Send out your offers to your current email list, advertise them on your homepage in exchange for an email newsletter signup, and post them to your social media channels. Also consider paid social media marketing, which can be set up quickly and begin running immediately. You may also be able to arrange a partner promotion with another e-commerce business that shares your target audience to increase your reach.

Even if you’ve fallen far behind schedule, there’s no need to panic. Planning and executing a successful holiday marketing campaign can come together quickly if you focus on these tried-and-true tactics.

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