The biggest shopping season of the year is quickly approaching, and you want to position your brand and your services to get some of that holiday coin. No matter how big or small your brand is, capitalizing on the holiday season is a must, but it cannot be done without a plan. You know the old saying, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” So here are six tips to help you build a strategy and plan that will have your business ready to cash out this Christmas.
Build your list! It’s not too late!
Building an email list takes lots of care, creativity, and nurturing. But let’s face it, you have less than a month to start adding potential new customers to your list and encouraging your old subscribers to hit the buy or pay button. You also want to think about gaining long term customers for after the holiday season, as well. That means you need to create your free offerings and your giveaways now and start sending out your holiday branded discounts and coupon codes. Here are some additional ways to add new subscribers, increase sales, and build your email list throughout the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to be annoying. If you used to send out two emails per month, try sending out two emails per week. It’s okay to be aggressive during this time of year. Consumers are in the buying mood and f you wait too long, you might lose those potential customers to a competitor that reached them sooner.
- Add another sign up option for your list to your site, designed and branded for the holiday season
- Setup a targeting segment and holiday list for new subscribers
- Guest post on a blog that’s widely read by your target customers
- Cross promote your list to your social media followers
- Ask your current subscribers to forward your email newsletter to their friends for more discounts or small free gifts
Create your holiday marketing materials
As you get closer to the holiday season, things will get more and more chaotic as you try to fulfill orders and complete services as well as satisfy customers before deadlines. Plan all your content now, like yesterday! Start writing and creating the content for your emails, blog posts, Instagram images, Snapchat and filters, hashtags and Instagram stories that you will use this holiday season. Even if you need to write one to two pieces of content per day or setup photoshoots and videos once per day, do it. This will ensure that you have a whole content library ready to use before Black Friday creeps up on you. Use a content calendar to schedule your posts throughout the holiday season.
Help your customers shop
Every holiday season, there are tons of people that don’t know what they want or don’t know what to buy for their loved ones. Help them out by inspiring them to shop your products and services. Creating holiday gift guides, including your products as well as similar or competitive products in your market, let’s your potential customers know where and what to buy from you. Be sure to research recent trends and best sellers in your industry, or market to help you get an idea of the right products to include.
Sending your curated holiday gift guide to bloggers and other online influencers is so clutch. It’s a win, win situation. The gift giver gets the information they need, and the gift receiver ends up with a present that they love, as well as exposure for your brand. Customers want a gift guide to feel special, not overwhelming, so keep that in mind as you create yours. You can use a simple tool like Canva to create the gift guide. Knowing the team over at Canva, they may already have built-in templates for this.
Get control of your inventory
The last thing you want is to run out of inventory in the middle of a holiday rush. When demand goes up, you want to be able to deliver. Stay on top of your suppliers, you can’t afford to have those dreaded words “out-of-stock” all over your site. If you are using Shopify or Squarespace, then you should already be using their built-in inventory management tools to track and manage inventory. Just in case, here are a few additional tools to help you ramp up on your inventory management.
Stock up on packaging
If you haven’t invested in custom packaging for your business, there is no better time than the holiday season to do so. Branded packaging with personalized thank you notes and holiday cards really sets the bar high for your customers. These types of premium, branded packaging creates memorable experiences for your audience. From the time they purchase to the moment they open your box, great premium packaging can not only elevate your product, but it can also push consumers to identify with your brand throughout and even after the holiday season. It’s a great way to win lifers or customers that will continue to shop with you. When competing for attention this holiday season, personal connections like these are priceless. Don’t get overwhelmed or try to do too much. Let Pinterest and Etsy be your guides on how-to create your holiday packaging. Ensure your packaging represents your brand, includes all the extra bells and whistles, and gets personal with your customer.
Level up on customer support
Customer service and support may be one thing that gets you the sale over your competitors. You want to make sure you are adding so much value and going above and beyond for your audience during the holiday season. There are so many ways you can give your customer support a boost. Go that extra mile. It’s never crowded and will be so worth it when you see the results in your sales and your bank account.
- Create a new limited time only, super- liberal returns policy
- Create a shipping calendar to let your customers know in advance when you will be available and how long their orders will take
- Offer faster shipping options like next day or two day shipping
- Offer live chat on your site for the holiday season using apps like Purechat , LiveChat Inc, Zopim or Zoho Chat