Three Holiday Marketing Tips

This post kicks off the next 5 weeks of blogs that will be filled with holiday marketing tips, campaigns and ways to use social media during this busy, and wonderful time of year to help make this the most successful season yet. Let's dive right in with these holiday marketing tips:

1. Ask for email addresses. Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach customers and get people to act. As I always say, social media is a tool to help increase brand awareness, build relationships with customers and gain leads (email addresses). Email is the tool that closes, gets you those sales, gets peple to come in and buy. Social media does get sales but email has a higher conversion rate.

During the holidays you'll most likely get a lot of foot traffic. It's important to train your staff to ask for the email address, but to also have an easy way for the customer to give it to you.

To get a higher conversion rate on people joining your list, give them something in exchange. Things like:

  • $  or % off (always email this right away so they check their email and move it out of junk if that's where it went)
  • Free gift
  • Let them know if they sign up for your email club they'll be THE ONLY one's to know about special deals and exclusive offers. The key here is to make sure you send exclusive info via email, and don't post it anywhere else.
  • Tell them you email pictures of new product arrivals which goes out {frequency - weekly, bi-weekly, etc}

I've spoken with retailers who don't feel comfortable asking for an email address, or they get resistance from their staff. I'm here to tell you it's crucial to growing sales, you just have to get over it and start collecting those email addresses - it will be worth it in the long run, trust me.

2. Use mobile applications to save time. Make sure you share pictures of new product arrivals, gift ideas, customers shopping, holiday events, staff opening boxes and stocking the shelves to your Facebook page, Pinterest profile, where ever you market online.

During the holidays it can be a really crazy busy time and there are days you blink and it's 9pm. Don't let days like that take away from your online marketing. Put someone on your staff, who has a smartphone, in charge of taking pictures throughout the day and posting in real time, using fun text and relevant hashtags (I have a holiday hashtag email newsletter coming out soon so stay tuned!)

Set boundaries and expectations for this person. Ask them to only use their phone to take pictures to post to the store's social media profiles, and that's it. Tell them this task should only take a couple of minutes every couple of hours and have them report to you or their manager when they upload a picture, so you know the job is getting done.

Social media marketing often takes a back seat during the holidays for indie retailers, but it's crucial to still be present on these networks, generate holiday buzz and encourage your audience to come in and shop.

3. Plan and schedule ahead of time. I strongly suggest you get set up for success this holiday season by creating a holiday marketing calendar and list all the promotions, events, product features, etc., you'll be doing for each day/week.

Then, create and gather the content (copy, graphics, photos), write the Facebook posts, tweets and emails. Next, schedule everything. Within Facebook you can schedule a post by selecting the clock image that is in the bottom left of where you enter a status update.

For Twitter you can use HootSuite and if you have a email software company like SnapRetail or MailChimp, schedule all your campaigns ahead of time (you can do this for blog posts too if you're a blogger).

Planning ahead and scheduling everything will ensure no email and social media balls get dropped this season, and will help increase foot traffic and sales.

*Bonus *Tip* RSVP for my free webinar titled 30 Holiday Marketing Ideas in 30 Minutes happening Tuesday the 5th at 8:30am PST; 11:30am EST.

Click to RSVP

I did a Small Business Saturday webinar last night and received lots of awesome feedback, retailers found it truly helpful. I know next week's webinar will be just as good!

Social Edge members, I'll be adding the Small Business Saturday webinar and a private webinar I did on Monday titled, Maximize Your Holiday Sales Using Social Media into membership today, so be on the look out for those!