Last-minute Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

If you haven’t done any holiday marketing for your small business, it’s not too late. It is true that some of the major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have already passed. However, there are still a few last minute things you can do before Christmas and New Year’s.

Add a Holiday Theme to a Previous, or Even Existing, Sale

This is a quick and easy way to look festive. Take a sale that was successful in the past, and bring it back but with a holiday theme to it. You can even use a current sale, but that might not be as appealing to customers who already know about that sale.

For example, let’s say you have a product or service that sold really well earlier in the year, when you offered it at 20% off. Do that again, just say it’s a 20% last-minute holiday sale. Just be sure to include some Christmas or winter graphics or verbiage, and you’ll be all set.

Market to Your Existing Customers

Don’t forget to market to your existing customers. You know they’ve purchased from you before. Now is the perfect time to remind satisfied customers to buy again. They may buy again for themselves or make a purchase as a gift for someone else. Either way is a win for your business.

There is an additional upside when your existing customers give away your product or service as a gift. It’s like word of mouth, but on steroids. The gift giver likely has told or will tell the recipient that they already love this product or service. Then, since it’s a gift, the recipient gets a free trial! If they like what they receive, they’ll likely buy more from you directly.

There’s one caveat here, if you want to execute this tip correctly. You need an email list or another way to directly reach your previous customers. If you don’t have this, now is a perfect time to get started.

You can and should post on your social media accounts. But, unless you’ve been proactively encouraging people to follow your accounts, you may miss a lot of people. Also, promotional posts often don’t get much reach on sites like Facebook, unless you pay for that reach.

Get Contact Information from People Who Buy

As we saw with the previous tip, you need to be able to reconnect with your existing customers. That’s because repeat sales are crucial for almost every successful business. This process increases the value of each customer and encourages more word-of-mouth referrals.

You just need to add a method to capture customer contact information into your sales process. This could be a form on your website for a newsletter. It could be some sort of reward program people join in your store. There are many options here, and you should add as many as are feasible for you to implement and maintain.

Don’t just ask people to follow you on Facebook and Instagram either. You can and should do that too, but this is different. Here you want to control your own data. That way you decide how and when you contact your customers.

Make sure your customers know what they are signing up for. You don’t want to be labeled a spammer and potentially tarnish your brand image. Also, don’t forget to use your list too. If you told people they’ll hear from you about new products and deals, you need to follow through. If you don’t, it may be worse than collecting the information to begin with.

Gather Data from Shoppers

The fourth quarter is the most lucrative time for a lot of businesses, especially retail. This likely means you have a lot of shoppers. This includes browsers and buyers. That is a perfect recipe for gathering market data to help your business improve.

When we say data, we don’t mean anything super fancy either. It can be any information that will help your business. Observe how people interact with your business. And ask people who interact with your business the questions that you want answers to.

Here are a couple of questions that you might want to ask, if you don’t already know the answer:

  • How did you find us? Or, what made you walk into our store/restaurant/business?
  • Did you find what you were looking for? If not, what were you looking for?

Don’t forget to keep track of the responses. Take the feedback seriously, and make any needed changes. There is no point in asking people questions, if you’re just going to ignore any constructive feedback. But don’t focus too much on a response you hear only once. That person may be an outlier.

Don’t Give Up Early

Small Business Saturday and Black Friday are by no means the only days that matter. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), a lot of people shop all the way up until Christmas Eve.

In 2017, the ICSC found that four-fifths of adults in the United States went shopping for gifts during the final week before Christmas. They also report that around one-third shop on Super Saturday (the final Saturday before Christmas) and one-quarter are still shopping on Christmas Eve!

This is great news for businesses doing last minute holiday marketing. You still have time, because most consumers are also procrastinating. Be sure to take advantage of this and don’t close your doors too early. If you are a brick and mortar store, you may see customers as late as you’re willing to stay open.

Small Businesses Holiday Marketing Tips

Hopefully, you can use some of these tips to boost your holiday results. There are two other important takeaways for you: review your results and get started sooner next year.

Review your results soon! Ideally, you should review your holiday marketing efforts in January of next year. It will be fresh in your mind and you’ll get the most accurate picture. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t work. Take notes of the things you’ll want to remember for next year.

If your marketing felt rushed this year, plan ahead next year. Remember how chaotic things were when September or October comes around next year. The earlier you start the more options you have on the table.

You can find or create a product or service just for Christmas. Or at least stock up on inventory that you’ll put on sale. It’s never too early to get started. Set a business goal for your Q4 results next year based on your results from this year. Use that as motivation to plan early and reach your goal.

Do you have any other tips or tricks your business uses during the holiday season? Or maybe you’ve even seen some good techniques when shopping yourself? Let us know in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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