It might still feel too early to be talking about Christmas but, if you have any events, special promotions, or customer gifts to arrange, now is the prime time to do it!
Your Christmas print calendar will help you to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines – and to get ahead of your competitors to draw in the winter crowds.
You may think that there’s very little to do to prepare for your Christmas printing – but think again! If you have any of these coming up, it’s best to keep reading…
- Awards events
- Christmas parties (internal or for customers)
- Christmas promotions
- Special launch or product focus events
- Late night opening
- Customer gift packages
- Christmas cards
Let’s take a more detailed look at the types of print you may need for this season…
If you’re hosting your own local awards dinner, there is a LOT of print to consider and coordinate. You’ll need signage to direct people to the venue and parking; printed invitations to send to awards nominees; roller banners and flyers to pop up in a small promotional corner at the event; nomination forms; table talkers for your sponsors; printed programs for the evening… really, there is a lot to think about!
Even if you’re only attending an awards night, it’s worth thinking about the networking opportunities they provide. Make sure you have plenty of snazzy business cards available in your pocket and enquire about sponsoring a flyer in the goodie bag to show off your latest products.
If you’re running an event for staff, it’s time to make up some posters. Large A1 posters will definitely catch the eye of anyone walking past, while smaller flyers can be distributed in the canteen or social areas so that people don’t miss the message.
You might want to have a bit of fun on the night, too, and print up some certificates to celebrate the best team members. If you’re hosting a dinner, it’s nice to print out some table cards, or at least a large poster with a table seating plan on it.
If you’re holding an open house for your customers to drop by, make sure to let them know! Send out fancy invites, or play it cool with a postcard. You can use some pop-up banners for some cheap seasonal advertising that’s not too in-your-face for a social event, too.
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There are so many ways to draw customers into your shop around Christmas. It’s the time of year when everyone is primed to be in buying mode, always on the lookout for the best present for the mother-in-law, or an unusual gift for the hard-to-buy-for teenage nephew.
You can print vouchers to hand out at the till with a purchase, to encourage repeat custom. Maybe you want to print some flyers to hand out on the street near your shop. You could even create some loyalty cards and run a ‘double stamp December’ offer. If you’re feeling positive for the new year, why not combine your promotions for a January sale, too? Perhaps you can give away A7 cards that include an exclusive January discount.
Product Focus Events
This is the perfect time of year to launch a new product. Everyone’s looking for the Next Big Thing that nobody will already have under their Christmas tree.
Host an open day, hand out product samples, and invite the local press down (charm them with a smart press pack). Your new product will be flying off the shelves in no time!
Late Night Opening
A favourite of shops (but less so of their tired, Christmas-Songed-Out staff!), the Late Night Opening has become a regular occurrence in town centres across the nation. Councils will usually be at the head of the operation, coordinating with local retailers to ensure shops stay open late a couple of nights a week. This helps to draw footfall into your shop – and you can make the most of it by offering extras.
For example, why not host a Ladies Night at your clothing store, including free mini manicures and a glass of bubbly? People can’t resist getting something for nothing, and it’ll put them into an even more responsive buying mood!
Promote your late night opening activities with flyers, postcards, and even adverts in the local printed press. Remember to include some posters in your stores, and see if the café around the corner is willing to put one up, too.
Customer Gift Packages
It’s the time of year when you show people how much they mean to you. Without your customers, your business would go down the pan! Send them a little something to let them know you’re proud to be their supplier.
It’s also a great way to add in some sneaky long-term marketing. If you include something like a customised wall calendar, you can print your logo and information on each page, so they’ll remember you every day of the next year to come!
Your staff like to be thanked for their hard work, so what better way to show them than with holiday greetings cards? Print your own Christmas cards to include a design that reflects your brand, as well as imparts a sense of gratitude and warmth of greeting to the recipient. (If you want to ensure you include everyone in your thanks, keep your message neutral with a slogan such as ‘Holiday Greetings’).
Depending on how many staff you have, you can have the message printed inside for you – or, if you want the personal touch, leave it blank and fill it in yourself.
Christmas cards are also a great way to keep in touch with customers – and to let them know about what 2018 has in-store. You could send pre-printed messages, or include a card as part of a direct mail campaign that includes vouchers or flyers with an offer that they can cash in for the New Year.
A Final Reminder
Remember to book in time with your graphic designer well ahead of December – they’ll be too busy to fit you in at late notice! You’ll also need to ensure you allow time for proofing of designs, and printing, and delivery – so it’s better to be prepared now than panic at the last minute.