7 Creative Holiday Marketing Ideas that Work
The holidays are here, and companies all around the world are seeking ways to make themselves and their products stand out in the din of seasonal marketing. It can be difficult to find ways to reach your target audience at such a busy time of year, but here are some suggestions that may do the trick.
Get Creative with Email Marketing
Dollar for dollar, email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience. The holidays are the perfect time to use your email list to your advantage by reaching out to your existing customers with unique offers. Here are a few examples:
- Have a holiday preview sale and invite your most loyal customers to attend
- Run a Cyber Monday sale and send a series of emails leading up to the big day
- Create a holiday gift guide – complete with links to your online store – and email it to your list early in the holiday season
- Offer special holiday coupons
There are dozens of other things you could do with your email list. The main thing to keep in mind is that your customers want to feel special and valued. Anything you offer that provides them with that feeling is likely to be popular.
Get Festive with Other Business Owners
One idea that can help boost your online marketing if you own a brick-and-mortar store is hosting a holiday event. If your town has a holiday event, then you can participate, open your doors, and offer some free treats and other incentives to get customers to visit your store.
Even if your town doesn’t have an event, you can pair up with other business owners in the area to host one. For example, you might come up with a theme and decorate adjacent stores to coordinate with one another. You could have in-store demonstrations of products, such as a fashion show or a mini cooking class. You might offer hot chocolate, spiced cider, or other seasonal treats as a way of saying thank you to your customers.
It’s also a good idea to think about running a sale at the same time to reward people for visiting your store. You might offer a two-for-one deal, or give everybody who comes in a festive holiday coupon that has to be used that day.
Use Social Media to Spread Holiday Cheer
The holidays are the perfect time to interact with your customers on social media. In fact, if you put the emphasis on social interactions, you can still reap big benefits when it comes to increased sales and customer loyalty. For example, you might:
- Share holiday-themed content that’s relevant to your business. For example, a yarn store might share a pattern to knit a holiday stocking, and a clothing boutique might offer ideas for what to wear to a holiday party.
- Encourage your customers to post holiday pictures and give a prize for the best one.
- Ask customers to share holiday memories.
- Host a contest or giveaway.
Don’t be afraid to have fun with your social media accounts. You need to be true to your brand personality, of course, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cut loose a bit.
Provide Special Holiday Packaging
It’s not uncommon for holiday shoppers to leave gift wrapping until the last minute, only to be faced with what seems like an insurmountable pile of presents right before the holiday. With that in mind, you should consider doing one of two things:
- Buying special holiday boxes or gift bags to make your products look festive as they leave your store; or
- Offering a free gift-wrapping service to your customers after they make a purchase.
Free gift-wrapping will cost you a bit of time and money, but it will also earn you a ton of good will with your customers.
Make a Holiday Video
A lot of companies make special holiday videos, and it’s something you should consider doing too. Instead of making something that’s a direct sales pitch or commercial, try focusing on the festive aspects of the holiday.
A good example of a video that reached a huge online audience – and earned the company that made it fantastic word of mouth advertising – was the video airline WestJet did that featured their employees working behind the scenes to deliver unexpected holiday gifts to their passengers.
The video has more than 45 million views on YouTube, and it gave customers a behind-the-scenes look at some company employees while also spreading a universal message of holiday cheer and generosity.
Even small companies can use this idea by playing Secret Santa to a local family or making donations to a charity.
Remember All the Holidays
The push to market to people who celebrate Christmas can be overwhelming, but a good way to make yourself stand out from the crowd is to offer some holiday advertising and specials that cater to other holidays as well. For example, you might send a Thanksgiving email to your list, or highlight a New Year’s sale. You can also offer marketing materials that are especially for people who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
Even subtle things, like including a menorah in your holiday windows, can do a lot to attract new customers and make them feel welcome.
Create Special Gift Packages
You may have noticed that a lot of businesses offer special holiday deals and packages that make attractive gifts. For example, a store that sells bath and beauty products might offer gift baskets that include bubble bath, body lotion, and a loofah.
Think about your products and come up with some creative ways to sell and package them. You might even want to consider pairing up with another local business owner to create something truly unique. When customers buy one of your products, you can present them with a coupon or small sample from another store in the area and encourage them to go visit it – or you and the other business owner can set up a joint sales point between your stores to sell your special offering.
These seven ideas can help you make the most of the holiday season – and increase your sales while spreading holiday cheer.
Lead Generation Websites Deconstructed
One of the most important things you do as a business owner is attracting new customers. Generating leads is essential for people with online businesses because they don’t have the benefit of a brick-and-mortar store where they can decorate windows, place signs, and find other ways to bring in foot traffic. To get leads, you have to find a way to make your company stand out from all the others in your industry and niche, and a lead generation website is one of the best tools to do that.
The key to building an effective lead generation website is to understand all the ways that such a website can work to help bring you qualified leads. This article will look at the specific elements of a lead generation website so you can use that information to attract leads and grow your business.
Lead Generation Form
The first thing you need to think about is a lead generation form. A form can be a static item on the side or at the bottom of a page, or it can be a pop-up window that encourages visitors to your site to subscribe to your list or fill out a form for a free meeting or consultation.
The most effective forms are those that have relatively few fields for a lead to fill out. A 2010 examination of online behavior found that adding unnecessary forms to a lead generation form resulted in an increased bounce rate. Request the minimum amount of information you need to move forward and nurture your lead – and eliminate everything else.
Other things to consider for your lead generation form include:
- Putting your form inside a frame to call attention to it
- Placing your form above the old to ensure that visitors to your site don’t miss it
- Including your privacy statement on the form to alleviate concerns that you will sell information
- Making your value proposition clear
If you follow these guidelines, then you will very likely see an improvement in both the number and quality of your leads.
Form Scraping Tool
The next thing you need to make the most of your lead generation website is a form scraping tool. These tools work by collecting information from your lead generation form and exporting them to a spreadsheet where you can access the information and use it to nurture your leads.
One tool that does a good job that also happens to be free is the HubSpot Collected Forms tool. Once you have collected the information from the completed forms, you can use it in a myriad of ways to connect with leads and convert them into paying customers.
Calls to Action
If you want to generate high-quality, qualified leads with your website, you cannot ignore the importance of crafting strong calls to action for every page on your site.
The call to action is what tells visitors to your site what you want them to do – and what you’re willing to offer them in return. Your goal is to get their email address and other contact information so you can nurture them and get them to buy for you. Their goal is not to turn over that information unless they feel confident that they’ll be getting something valuable in return.
The solution is having both a primary and a secondary call to action on each page of your website. The primary CTA should appear about the fold, and it should feature the number one thing you want customers to do when they visit your page. It should include strong, enticing language such as “Sign up free” or “Try it now” – language that encourages people to take action immediately.
The secondary call to action should be below the fold. It can have the same goal as the primary CTA, but it should look different. Use slightly different language and different formatting to ensure that your site doesn’t look repetitive or boring.
Sometimes it is necessary to offer potential leads something tangible in return for their contact information. One of the most time-honored ways to do that is to use a lead magnet – a free piece of content that’s relevant to your customers. The only way for them to get the content is to fill out your form and subscribe to your list.
Some examples of gated content include:
- Tip sheets
- Short eBooks and reports
- White papers
You can use anything you want as a lead magnet, but it is absolutely essential that it be both valuable and relevant to your customers. If you create the right lead magnet, it can kick your lead generation into overdrive.
While it’s certainly understandable that people don’t like pop-up forms, the fact remains that they can be extremely effective when it comes to drawing attention to important information and offers.
The key with using a pop-up form is to make sure that they are:
- Relevant to the page on which they appear
- Timed to coincide with visitors’ actions to make them as unobtrusive as possible
- Easy to respond to
- Compelling, with strong language and visuals
If you use them properly, pop-up windows can help you increase your conversion rate and generate new leads.
The design of your website has a lot to do with your bounce rate and lead generation success. If your site is poorly designed or doesn’t flow from one element to the next, the likelihood is strong that people will leave, or bounce, to another site.
On the other hand, a site that flows and is simple to navigate – one that has thoughtful CTA placement that appeals directly to customers at the time when they are most likely to convert – will generate leads on a regular basis.
Blogging remains one of the best ways to generate leads. The reason is that a well-written and relevant blog provides you with an immediate way to give value to your site’s visitors. Every blog entry represents an opportunity for you to connect with a potential lead and demonstrate what you can do for them.
Each blog entry you write should include a targeted call to action at the end. That way, if a potential lead reads a blog post and wants to learn more about you and your company, they don’t have to go searching for a way to get in touch with you.
Social Proof and Trust Marks
The final element of a well-designed lead generation page is social proof. More than 80% of all online shoppers rely on customer reviews and testimonials to assess products and companies.
Some of the things you may want to include on your lead generation page include:
- Customer testimonials
- Links to crowd review sites such as Yelp
- Information about industry awards you have won
- Social buttons that display how many followers you have
All of these items can help to demonstrate your trustworthiness and value. The subtle message is that if you have a large following, new leads can trust that you have something worthwhile to offer.
A lead generation page that includes all of these items can do a great deal to help you generate qualified leads – the kind of leads that are most likely to translate into increased sales and profits.