On average, we spend £400 on Christmas gifts for our nearest and dearest in the UK. Sounds great for business, right? The thing is, to get the attention your business deserves this time of the year, you’ll need to come up with a Christmas sales promotion that makes you stand out from your competitors.
Whether you choose to run an instore promotion or add something special to your online marketing strategy, here are a few tips on how to plan your own winning Christmas promotion.
Start with a Promotional Calendar
From running around trying to bag the best presents in their spare time to the massive increase of customers, Christmas is already stressful enough for small business owners. Planning is crucial if you want to keep calm and bright (sorry – we couldn’t help it).
A promotional, or retail, calendar has all the key dates for retail businesses over the year. Including, of course, Christmas. You can plan when you’ll launch sales and what needs to be in place for that to happen.
Having a marketing calendar for the holidays also means it’s easier to spread your marketing activity out – finding the perfect balance between reminding your customers you’re there and your have offers without bombarding them and putting them off completely.
Consider Your End Goals
What do you want the outcome of this promotion to be? Without setting success criteria, there’s no way to measure the overall success of your campaign. Before you even start coming up with ideas, you should know exactly how you want the promotion to benefit your business and by how much. Our top top? Conduct in-depth market research and keep tabs on what your competitors are doing!
For extra help with this, you can find our guide to setting SMART goals on the blog.
Get Your Ideas Down
It can be difficult to come up with ideas on your own – sometimes you just can’t see the forest for the (Christmas) trees.
Around August, hold a creative thinking session with your team to come up with some ideas. If you don’t hold meetings like this very often, you’ll probably be surprised at some of the incredible ideas your team has! Write down your favourite ones ready to decide which would work best for your business’ Christmas campaign.
Having deadlines for each member of your team to complete their part of the promotion means you’re giving yourself (and them) time to spot any possible errors or prepare for setbacks. Just make sure you start planning early so the deadlines are unrealistically strict. That way, there’ll be no last-minute stress and you’ll be showing your customers your best work.
Match Your Promotion to the Season
Now you’ve got a list of fantastic Christmas promotion ideas it’s time to figure out which one you’re going to use.
It’s important to consider that the majority of Christmas purchasing decisions (73%) are influenced by coupons and offers. The key to creating a successful festive promotion is to link it creatively to the season. From getting customers to open a cracker to get their discount or having 12 offers of Christmas in the form of email marketing, this is where you need to use your list from point 2 to inform your decision.
Advertise Your Promotion
You could have the best Christmas campaigns and promotions in the world but they won’t make a difference to sales if you don’t tell potential customers about it before the holiday season.
If your promotion is taking place instore, the best thing to do would be advertise it through your window display. You can use posters and banners to show off any amazing deals and drive customers into your store.
We particularly like how these wide roller banners have been used to their full potential!
(Source: Small Business Trends)
For online promotions, send an email or let all your social media followers know by posting a link to your website. You could also create a catalogue filled to the brim with special Christmas deals and any other products you want to shine a light on.
Remember to Review
Just when you think your promotion is done and dusted, there’s one last thing to do before you give yourself and your colleagues a big pat on the back: evaluate its success.
By taking a look at what went well and what could have gone better will allow you to improve next year’s performance. You can measure by sales. Whatever you choose to evaluate, create a set of learning outcomes that can feed into all of your future work.
After all, marketing is all about trial and error, and how to create something that speaks and appeals to your target customer.