Many of you are probably thinking: “I have lots of time before 4th quarter hits and I need to think about promotions for the holiday season. Black Friday is a long ways off.”
But if you wait until Black Friday, you’re too late.
Now is the time when you should be developing your holiday marketing strategy, designing those holiday gifts, ordering inventory, and updating your website.
Where Should You Begin?
If you haven’t developed your strategy and marketing plan, that is the first step. Look at your sales for the last holiday season and decide what sold well and what didn’t. What type of gift baskets did customers order? What products did you use most from your inventory? Was there a larger demand for Christmas themes or more generic holiday ones?
This is the first step in planning your inventory.
If you fail to order now, many of the products you will want will be sold out by October. You can always order from most vendors and request a later delivery date. It may be too hot to ship chocolates now but an order placed now can be shipped as soon as it turns cooler.
What about the gifts that didn’t sell well? Decide if you should redesign them or eliminate them.
The next step is how to promote them.
Creating a marketing plan for the rest of the year is essential. Otherwise, days will slip by leaving you and any potential orders behind. Using Facebook, writing content on your business blog, and email marketing should all be a part of that strategy.
Content marketing is one of the most critical parts of SEO with the newer Google updates. If you haven’t started a newsletter for your customers yet, now is the time before their email boxes are filled up with other companies’ newsletters. You might want to check out our ebook about newsletters.
If you haven’t tried them yet, you might want to add Pinterest and Twitter to your marketing calendar and see how they perform for you.
To make it easier for you, we’ve accumulated some of the best articles from our magazine into an ebook to help you. Check it out here.
Will you be using direct mail. With the expansion of the Internet, direct mail tends to have fallen by the wayside and is easily forgotten. It shouldn’t be.
Direct mail is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can use. But there are some tricks that can make it more effective. I create a sales letter each and every year. I use post cards as follow-ups. Sure, it’s more expensive than email but the results are worth it.
If there is an interest, I will be happy to share some of the sales letters that I have used in previous years in upcoming blog posts. Let me know in the comments area, if this would be of interest and value to you.
Make Your List
Once you’ve developed your strategy, sit down with the plan and list all the things that you need to do. Then create a calendar so that you know when you should take care of each one. Do as much as you can before the season hits.
Develop any ads that you want to use. Write your blog posts now and schedule them for publishing later. Develop a newsletter if you don’t have one and write several issues in advance. Design your gift baskets and take photos.
Doing all of this now will make the holiday season much less stressful and much more profitable.
So what are you waiting for. Begin today!