Every holiday season presents its unique set of challenges for small businesses and their owners. New trends, new colors, new social media platforms, and even more competition, which is why how you market your business and when you start your marketing campaign are going to be so important this holiday season.
Below are the 6 mistakes to avoid making this holiday season whether you are still planning, about to start, or in the thick of your marketing campaign!
6 Holiday Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2019
- 6. Starting too late
- 5. Blowing up your customers’ inbox
- 4. Offering too many discounts
- 3. Focusing too much on traffic instead of sales
- 2. Forgetting about your old clients
- 1. Focusing on one holiday only
6. Starting too late
This might seem a little self explanatory, but this holiday season is a unique one considering there’s one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This makes the timing of your marketing campaign super important. As we head into the 2nd full week of November, you should already have a marketing plan in place, and you should be implementing your marketing campaign by this week at the latest.
Even this would be considered a late start this year given the timing of everything, but as long as you start this coming week, you can still get a ton of advertising in!
Utilize tools like Hootsuite so you can pre-plan your social media posts, and use email blasts to get the word out in as short amount of time as possible.
5. Blowing up your customers’ inbox
I just mentioned using email blasts and now this next mistake is blowing up your customers’ inboxes; yes, you have to balance both!
If you are starting late, you need to utilize email blasts, text blasts, phone calls, social media, but you don’t have to go crazy with it.
A good spot to be in is to aim for 3 different ways to promote your business a week. For example:
- Send an email with a coupon code;
- then use a texting app like Zipwhip, if you have access to that information, and send a reminder text about the promotion;
- and then maybe call them later in the week.
If you don’t have access to phone numbers or an app like Zipwhip, use email and social media. Cross-promote with other brands and businesses to get more exposure, but you really shouldn’t be sending out more than 5 promotional messages to your customers a week.
And don’t forget to send out an end of year “Thank You” message, those go farther than you’d think!
4. Offering too many discounts
Coupons and discount codes are cool and all, but if you discount your products or services too much or too heavily, people will associate your brand with being inexpensive, and so they wouldn’t necessarily be too excited about your holiday offers.
So use these tools sparingly, and don’t rely on them as your only means to attract customers.
Customers love to know they are getting a great deal, and they also love bundles! So get creative!
Some of the most successful marketing campaigns I’ve run have been bundle deals where you get so many products at a discounted price. These go even further if you can add in a gift card offer too.
3. Focusing too much on traffic instead of sales
Holidays are not just good for upping your sales and clearing out inventory, they are also great for reaching new customers!
However, year after year, I see business owners focusing on website or store traffic and celebrating the boost in traffic but losing sight of the real goal, making sales.
You are always going to see a boost in traffic around holidays, but just because someone is visiting your site or store, it doesn’t mean they are buying.
Be mindful of where you place pop-ups on your site because they could be a deterrent, and make sure your holiday promotion(s) is front and center when new visitors stop by.
You have, on average, 6 seconds to make an impression, so make sure your best stuff is out front!
2. Forgetting about your old clients
Another one that should be common sense but, during the holidays, many small businesses put too much focus on their cold traffic they forget about their regular client base.
Use the holidays to gain new clients, but don’t forget about your established clientele. You can use different ad campaigns to target different audiences throughout the season.
This is where planning comes in handy! Switch up your strategy a few times so you can focus on gaining new customers without neglecting your current ones.
You can use Facebook ads to target recent visitors to your website, and don’t forget to use paid advertising during this time of year. If you don’t normally pay for advertising, this is the perfect time to splurge.
1. Focusing on one holiday only
The era of technology and convenience has given us so many new and exciting things, and one of them is new holiday shopping events.
Gone are the days where Black Friday was the only holiday shopping event; so make sure you are prepared with a plan for all of the upcoming events. You might even want to create a special offer for each one of them.
Take advantage of Small Business Saturday, free shipping day, and Cyber Monday. The more you have to offer, the better your sales will be!
Having different offers throughout the holiday season is a great way to keep your customers engaged.
If you are doing an email campaign, maybe come up with an advent calendar that every day your customer opens that email they get a different offer.
Or you can create an offer that on Black Friday there will be 20% discount store/site wide, but for Small Business Saturday they get a free gift with their purchase.
Getting creative with your offers and giving your customers several options will keep them engaged and curious about the next offer.
Though the holidays can be a stressful time for business owners, help make things easier for you and your staff by planning and preparing for all the holiday events ahead of time and by having an awesome offer for your customers.
Utilize all social media platforms, have a unique offer, and participate in as many holiday shopping events as you can.
Take advantage of this time of year to gain some new clients, but don’t forget about your loyal customers, and make sure you have targeted advertisement specifically for them.
Finally, don’t forget to send a year’s end thanks to all your customers from this holiday season.
Do you have other tips or know other mistakes that you think everyone should avoid during marketing for the holiday season? Let me know in the comments!
Author: Emma Cajthaml