By Gina Watkins
Hopefully you’ve already started thinking about how you’re going to make this year’s holiday season worth celebrating—because without a doubt many of your biggest competitors have already started generating buzz. While you may not their million dollar TV budgets or a Grammy-worthy holiday jingle to do it, you don’t actually need those things to be successful—you just need the right plan in place and the right tools to help you out.
Following are some easy to embrace tips to help your business build momentum as you head into the holiday season:
Develop a schedule to build momentum
Building momentum will be crucial in determining whether or not this year’s holiday season is one worth celebrating. But you can’t build momentum without a plan for how you’re going to do it. Start by creating a schedule. Map out the weeks leading up to and through the holiday season with specific business goals for each of the big days. The specific holidays you plan to target may vary based on your business and your audience.
Pay attention to what people care about
Consider using a survey to collect customer feedback in the fall, before the holiday craze has started. Customers truly appreciate when businesses offer them a chance to provide feedback—and they appreciate it even more when they see the business use that customer feedback to improve product or service offerings, as well as the content and offers you’re sending in your marketing campaigns.
Be a resource; not just a sales pitch
Don’t add to the holiday stress by overwhelming your contacts with salesy content and overly aggressive promotion. Instead, provide them with resources they can actually use this holiday season. This is a best practice year round, but it becomes even more critical at the holidays when inboxes are flooded with sales offer after offer. Doing something as simple as offering advice for preparing their shopping list, tips for throwing a dinner party, or even a special coupon for subscribers only can go a long way.
Pace yourself—and your customers
Make sure you’re giving your customers the chance to ease into the holiday season. It can be helpful to think of things in terms of percentages — for example: in October 30 percent holiday content, in November 50 percent holiday content, and in December 70 percent holiday content. By pacing your content, you can help build momentum and excitement for the holidays in a way the best meets the needs of your customers.
Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.