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Small Business Tips

12 marketing strategies to boost holiday sales

Justine Rabideau

Businesses have the potential to thrive during the months leading up to the holiday season. You can increase your bottom line by putting these small business holiday tips into practice.

1. Offer exclusive holiday sales

A sale is obviously a great promotional tool to get shoppers in the door. Putting a deadline on that sale can really up the ante. Urgency is a proven technique in closing a deal. Short-term holiday deals can convert intrigued shoppers into a real customer in a flash.

2. Decorate your social media pages

Holiday traditions often involve decorating, so why not spruce up your social media accounts for the season? Not only can this move elicit warm and fuzzy feelings with followers, but it has potential sales benefits too. When you add festive headers and graphics, you're reminding your customers the holidays are around the corner. That means that it's time for them to get shopping.

3. Include free shipping

Shipping is a major concern for last-minute shoppers. With holiday deadlines looming, and people getting busier, it pays to be the business that's willing to ship for free. When promoting this perk on your website, inform visitors how soon they must shop to receive their packages on time.

4. Prepare a holiday gift guide

Choose the products you want to promote this holiday season and put together the ultimate gift guide. This gives you the chance to put lesser-known items in the spotlight, or else promote your most popular products. Send the guide to those on your mailing list or give it out in-store.

5. Network with bloggers

Bloggers love to review products just in time for the holidays. With everyone on the hunt for the perfect gift, shoppers rush to blogs for recommendations. Find some popular writers in your industry and send them free products to sample and review. The exposure can help drive traffic to your website.

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6. Send festive mailers and emails

You're probably already sending promotional messages to your customers, but a bit of holiday flair can encourage people to shop now. Spruce up your email blasts or print new mailers with wintry graphics, festive fonts, and holiday-themed wording. These new designs will stand out in the mountains of emails and ads the customer already receives. Once you've got their attention, you can showcase your hottest deals and new products.

7. Bundle related products

Use major purchases as an opportunity to upsell your less expensive products. Let customers know that when they buy the bigger item, they can receive accessories at a discounted price. Promote the bundle as the ultimate gift package.

8. Use gift card promotions

Gift card giveaways are the gifts that keep on giving. Encourage shoppers to spend more by offering up a gift card when they spend a specific amount. This promotion can help you get the customer while convincing them to return later to use the gift card.

Add limited-time referrals to your loyalty program

Do you currently have a customer loyalty program? You can boost holiday sales by making referrals beneficial to your most devoted customers. Entice them to spread the word about your business by offering special discounts for each person they refer. You can go one step further and extend that same promotion to the new customer, to ensure that he or she closes the deal.

10. Be upfront about your return policy

Gift-giving can spawn a lot of doubt for stressed-out shoppers. No matter who you are, there are always people on your list that are impossible to find a great gift. The uncertainty leads a lot of customers to check out a business' return policy before they end start to browse. Review your current policy and make it easy to access from your website.

11. Don't let customers abandon carts

It's common for shoppers to second-guess their purchases as they look around for better gifts or better deals. Invest in the right tools to detect abandoned online shopping carts that never led to a sale. These programs can send reminders to these customers and hopefully drive them back to complete their purchase.

12. Give back

Even outside of the holidays, the desire to give back is growing. As the end of the year approaches, families are spending money like crazy. Many see it as a reminder of how fortunate they truly are and decide to help those in need. You can attract eager philanthropists by adding a charitable element to each purchase your customers make. This isn't just good for business; it's good for everyone involved.

With these holiday marketing tips in hand, you're ready to cash in big this winter. Prepare yourself for a truly stellar shopping season.

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