5 Big Holiday Marketing Ideas on a Small Budget
The holidays are approaching – quickly. Take advantage of the festive and giving atmosphere by positioning your business to be top of mind with your customers. According to the National Retail Federation, 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year. How are you going to optimize your marketing efforts in November and December?
Try out one, or all, of these holiday marketing ideas without busting your marketing budget.
Encourage repeat business and spread the holiday spirit by showing how much you appreciate your customers. Faithful customers should get special attention during customer appreciation and new customers or prospects should get your top-notch, above and beyond, holiday customer service. Why not do some of these:
- Send holiday cards and contact your customers offering special appreciation pricing, sneak previews, or special offers.
- If you have a physical location try a customer appreciation event or day where you can show off what is available for the holidays, give out special coupons, hand out samples, offer free cider, candy or treats, and really lay on the charm.
- Encourage repeat business by offering a 10 to 20% discount off the next total purchase price if the customer presents a Customer Appreciation Day receipt of purchase at check out by Christmas Eve.
Designate each week between the week of Halloween and the week of New Years as having a special theme with discounts for, and focus on, one product or service. Do inexpensive in-store/storefront signage, website/blog/email promotion, and advertise (per your budget) in a clear calendar style format that showcases your specials. Put your best of the best money-makers, or introduce something new you are excited about, on the ever important Thanksgiving week (to include Black Friday and Small Business Saturday) and the week leading up to Christmas. If you are heavily online – give the special bonus of extending the Thanksgiving week special to Cyber Monday in addition to the special for the week of Cyber Monday.
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Community & Charity.
While non-profits could certainly use your money, they are equally in need of volunteer time and services, as well as free supplies. Without touching your marketing budget you can assist a non-profit or the community in any way your expertise helps or with anything your hands can do. Not only are you doing a good thing, it is a great opportunity to network with other contributors and possibly have your business mentioned as a sponsor, contributor, donator or volunteer. Focus on a specific event or program and regardless of what the organization can provide for you in return, make sure your customers and community know what you do for the community through your blog, press release, community paper/magazine, or simply placing photos in your place of business.
Promote Thy Neighbor.
The holidays are the perfect time to partner with other businesses. Think of what businesses compliment your business or look to your physical neighbors for cooperative opportunities if you are a brick and mortar shop. Some ideas include:
- Split a larger local advertising space
- Swap in-store or online advertising space
- Give a coupon for the other business with a purchase from your business and vice versa
- Set up a small display of free samples with your store information.
Gift Certificates are great because they are inexpensive to create, can be managed easily in-house, and don’t require any fancy point of sale programming or extensive training to implement. But probably the best thing about Gift Certificates is that they are so often not redeemed because they are lost or forgotten, but you already have the money. Keep in mind these key points:
- Create extremely professional looking gift certificates and packaging. Someone is receiving this as a “gift”, so make it special.
- Have a system in place for dispersing and redeeming gift certificates. They should be clearly numbered and tracked at all stages from creation, sale, and redemption.
- Once you have created your gift certificates, treat them like cash money and properly secure them from theft and mismanagement. You don’t want to have to honor a gift card that was not properly purchased.
- You can create gift certificates for a certain dollar amount and treat it as a discount for point of sale purposes. Or you can create a gift certificate for a specific product, service or package but remember you will need to create a point of sale procedure for redemption.
- Consider including some fine print such as a two-year expiration date, noting that gratuity is not included but appreciated, contact information for inquiries or appointments, etc.
Do you have a great idea for low-budget holiday marketing? Please share in the COMMENTS!