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The holidays are here, and companies all around the world are seeking ways to make themselves and their products stand out in the din of seasonal marketing. It can be difficult to find ways to reach your target audience at such a busy time of year, but here are some suggestions that may do the trick.

Get Creative with Email Marketing

Dollar for dollar, email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience. The holidays are the perfect time to use your email list to your advantage by reaching out to your existing customers with unique offers. Here are a few examples:

  • Have a holiday preview sale and invite your most loyal customers to attend
  • Run a Cyber Monday sale and send a series of emails leading up to the big day
  • Create a holiday gift guide – complete with links to your online store – and email it to your list early in the holiday season
  • Offer special holiday coupons

There are dozens of other things you could do with your email list. The main thing to keep in mind is that your customers want to feel special and valued. Anything you offer that provides them with that feeling is likely to be popular.

Get Festive with Other Business Owners

One idea that can help boost your online marketing if you own a brick-and-mortar store is hosting a holiday event. If your town has a holiday event, then you can participate, open your doors, and offer some free treats and other incentives to get customers to visit your store.

Even if your town doesn’t have an event, you can pair up with other business owners in the area to host one. For example, you might come up with a theme and decorate adjacent stores to coordinate with one another. You could have in-store demonstrations of products, such as a fashion show or a mini cooking class. You might offer hot chocolate, spiced cider, or other seasonal treats as a way of saying thank you to your customers.

It’s also a good idea to think about running a sale at the same time to reward people for visiting your store. You might offer a two-for-one deal, or give everybody who comes in a festive holiday coupon that has to be used that day.

Use Social Media to Spread Holiday Cheer

The holidays are the perfect time to interact with your customers on social media. In fact, if you put the emphasis on social interactions, you can still reap big benefits when it comes to increased sales and customer loyalty. For example, you might:

  • Share holiday-themed content that’s relevant to your business. For example, a yarn store might share a pattern to knit a holiday stocking, and a clothing boutique might offer ideas for what to wear to a holiday party.
  • Encourage your customers to post holiday pictures and give a prize for the best one.
  • Ask customers to share holiday memories.
  • Host a contest or giveaway.

Don’t be afraid to have fun with your social media accounts. You need to be true to your brand personality, of course, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cut loose a bit.

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Provide Special Holiday Packaging

It’s not uncommon for holiday shoppers to leave gift wrapping until the last minute, only to be faced with what seems like an insurmountable pile of presents right before the holiday. With that in mind, you should consider doing one of two things:

  • Buying special holiday boxes or gift bags to make your products look festive as they leave your store; or
  • Offering a free gift-wrapping service to your customers after they make a purchase.

Free gift-wrapping will cost you a bit of time and money, but it will also earn you a ton of good will with your customers.

Make a Holiday Video

A lot of companies make special holiday videos, and it’s something you should consider doing too. Instead of making something that’s a direct sales pitch or commercial, try focusing on the festive aspects of the holiday.

A good example of a video that reached a huge online audience – and earned the company that made it fantastic word of mouth advertising – was the video airline WestJet did that featured their employees working behind the scenes to deliver unexpected holiday gifts to their passengers. The video has more than 45 million views on YouTube, and it gave customers a behind-the-scenes look at some company employees while also spreading a universal message of holiday cheer and generosity.

Even small companies can use this idea by playing Secret Santa to a local family or making donations to a charity.

Remember All the Holidays

The push to market to people who celebrate Christmas can be overwhelming, but a good way to make yourself stand out from the crowd is to offer some holiday advertising and specials that cater to other holidays as well. For example, you might send a Thanksgiving email to your list, or highlight a New Year’s sale. You can also offer marketing materials that are especially for people who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

Even subtle things, like including a menorah in your holiday windows, can do a lot to attract new customers and make them feel welcome.

Create Special Gift Packages

You may have noticed that a lot of businesses offer special holiday deals and packages that make attractive gifts. For example, a store that sells bath and beauty products might offer gift baskets that include bubble bath, body lotion, and a loofah.

Think about your products and come up with some creative ways to sell and package them. You might even want to consider pairing up with another local business owner to create something truly unique. When customers buy one of your products, you can present them with a coupon or small sample from another store in the area and encourage them to go visit it – or you and the other business owner can set up a joint sales point between your stores to sell your special offering.

These seven ideas can help you make the most of the holiday season – and increase your sales while spreading holiday cheer.

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