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3 Things to Start Planning Now for The Holiday Sales Period
Holiday Planning

Is your business prepped to kill it this holiday season?

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Here are 3 things to start planning now for a successful selling period.

  1. Key Dates

  2. What Promotions or Offers to Use

  3. Your Communication Strategy

Holiday Marketing Plan

Get Started With a Plan

Holiday sales can make or break some businesses. It’s the time of year when consumers and businesses get into the giving spirit and open their wallets. Now, would you rather your customers open their wallets for you? Or for your competitor who spoke to them at the right place at the right time? If you need some additional help formulating what your Holiday Marketing Plan needs to include, check out this Holiday Marketing Planning Outline.

Key Dates

In my last post, I covered 10 Key Dates for Your Holiday Marketing Plan. Feel free to cruise on over and check them out. Then come right back here and enter those dates into your calendar.

Holiday Promotions & Offers

There are many different types of promotions and offers you can use as sales tools during the holiday shopping season. The thing I love most about these tools is the flexibility and that they are achievable for any business, regardless of size or budget.

  • Pricing: discounts, coupons, BOGO

  • Product: gift with purchase, limited edition, sets

  • Lead Generation: giveaways, contests, share with a friend

  • Engagement: Pinterest parties, Facebook Live, Twitter Chats

  • Events: In-store events

  • Partnerships: relevant brands, influencers

If you need a bit more help choosing which type is best for your business, head on over to my post: 5 Promotion Ideas for the Holidays. Or reach out to me and I’ll let you know my thoughts!

Your Communication Strategy

Be sure to have the previous two items in place before you try to assemble your communication strategy. Here we’ll take a look at three things:

  1. What: your message and what you want to convey to customers, along with a clear call to action

  2. When: the date/time your message will be delivered

  3. How: which channels will you use to share your message (email, social media, signage, etc.)

10 Key Dates for your 2018 Holiday Marketing Plan
10_key_dates_2018_holiday_marketing

If you're a B2C business there's a good chance that the holidays are preeeetty important to your bottom line. I won't get into the numbers here, but shouldn't something that has a significant impact on your sales have a significant plan behind it?

 

The first thing you'll want to do when considering marketing during the holiday season is to determine which dates are going to be the most important. For instance, for many businesses, launching something on December 25th is going to be way too late.

Here are some key dates to consider:

November 1st - In my personal opinion, this is the earliest one should launch a holiday campaign. Many retailers will disagree with me of course, but really, nothing looks good with the orange and black of Halloween so trust me on this.

November 10th - Deadline to make sure all your ducks are in a row for Black Friday. If you haven't started your marketing plan by this date, it's crunch time baby!

November 14th - Start promoting your Black Friday promotion now. Use email, social media marketing, digital ads, influencers, etc. to tease your Black Friday offering.

November 15th - The trend over the past few years has been to offer various promotions leading up to Black Friday. Don't get lost in the crowd, get creative with any pre-Black Friday promos you can offer (but save the good stuff for Black Friday).

November 22nd - Thanksgiving Day. Optional, but nice. Send 1 (and I repeat 1) email to your list wishing them an abundant Thanksgiving (or something along those lines). 

November 23rd - Black Friday is here. The gloves come off. At 12:01 you may send your first Black Friday promotional email. Wait until a more respectable hour for any social media posts or ads. 

November 24th- Small Business Saturday is a great reason to celebrate... your business! Join in on this growing movement and promote that you'll be participating. It's also helpful to give a shoutout to your local community and other partner businesses in your area. 

November 26th - Cyber Monday is my favorite. This is usually when I'll wait to get the best deals online. With that being said, if you are a brick and mortar location, your best bet is to target your promotions for the weekend of Black Friday (Fri-Sun) and then take advantage of last minute deals in the final run up to Christmas Day. Which leads me to my next set of dates...

December 15th-23rd - Shipping Deadlines - If you are providing a product that requires shipping, it's crucial to know the timelines around 2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines. Need too much lead time to be really effective in the month of December? Plan for that ahead of time and really focus on the month of November. Another great strategy is to offer digital gifts, such as gift cards that can be purchased last minute (for shoppers like me).

FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines

UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

December 26th - Your customers have shopped and now it's time for you to make it a December they will remember by sending a follow up email! Thank them for their purchase, ask them if everything was to their satisfaction, and provide them with easy access links to customer service. It's a little too early to ask them for a review just yet - but we've officially hit our 10 dates so I'll save that for another blog post! 

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of planning that needs to happen before November, I totally get it! I can help you build your strategy and create an easy to execute plan with deadlines and creative needs. Learn more here.

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