We’re in the thick of the holiday season. That means businesses are cranking out marketing efforts faster than toy-making elves. To make sure you’re taking advantage of the season’s opportunities, we’ve created a list of six tips to boost your holiday sales.

1. Conduct email housekeeping

Before you fire up your marketing engine, you need to do a little maintenance to maximize your holiday efforts, says Deborah Hanamura with marketing agency, Metia. Here’s a quick to-do list:

  • Clean up your email list. Review your segmented lists and make sure they work for the holiday season, Hanamura says.
  • Pick a different email template. It’s okay to use a different email template for the holidays.
  • Collect email addresses. Make sure your website has a visible sign up form to collect email addresses for future email campaigns.

2. Send a series of emails

Rather than sending one email to promote a sale or a holiday service, send several. Let’s say you own a small cleaning business and want to offer homeowners a deal on a top-to-bottom cleaning service before the in-laws arrive for the holidays. Rather than promoting the sale once via email, send four emails about it. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Email #1: Teaser. Tell customers about the upcoming deal. Give them specific dates, times and prices.
  • Email #2: The sale. When the sale takes place, send an email to everyone so they know they can take advantage of the deal now.
  • Email #3: Refer a friend. Keep track of those who sign up for the deal and send them an email that offers an incentive to refer a friend.
  • Email #4: Last chance. Remind customers one last time to get in on the deal while they still can.

Think of ways to send multiple emails for each holiday promotion or event that you host. You’ll get more bang for your buck.

3. Check your website for ease of use

Between holiday shopping and family gatherings, time is short and stress can be high. As a business or non-profit, it’s your job to ease the burden of the holiday season. If your website is difficult to use, your customers or donors may go elsewhere. Check your website and make sure it’s easy to navigate and make a purchase or donation, if applicable.

Have a friend act as a customer or donor and try to buy a product or make a donation through your site. How many clicks does it take? Is the process quick? Do you have self-explanatory call to action buttons in place to guide your audience through the checkout? If you notice problems, try to fix it ASAP.

4. Get out your decorations

Get your audience in the holiday spirit by breaking out your holly wreaths and snowflakes. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, hang some decorations up. Don’t forget your digital decorations. Change your cover art on Facebook to a festive image like Best Buy did.

Add a holiday-appropriate image to your logo or frame your homepage with a set of digital lights. Think of creative ways to show your audience that your business or non-profit is ready to celebrate.

5. Offer an incentive

To give your holiday sales that extra boost, consider offering an incentive. An extra “little something” is sometimes enough to get a customer to make a purchase. Here are a few incentive ideas:

  • Free shipping. Shipping costs can keep customers from making a purchase, so remove this hurdle by offering free shipping.
  • Donate to charity. For every purchase made, donate some of the proceeds to a local cause.
  • Gift with purchase. Reward your customers with a gift when they make a purchase.
  • Giveaways. Everyone who makes a purchase is entered into a giveaway. The giveaway should pertain to your business or non-profit.

Tell your audience about the incentive via email and social media channels.

6. Boost product awareness

A hot holiday sale or an incentive is a surefire way to woo your audience, but you should also focus on product awareness. You want customers and donors to know about your products, services or cause. Here are a few ways to increase awareness:

  • Share a review. When your customers or supporters praise your product or cause on a review site like Yelp or Google+, share that testimonial on your website and social media channels. You’ll drum up more interest by sharing positive reviews.
  • Educational email. Make a point to send several emails that teach your audience something about your business. For instance, tell recipients about your partnership with a local non-profit, explain your commitment to send holiday presents on time or explain how one of your products or services became a popular holiday gift.

For additional free holiday tips, check out our “Everything Holiday” site.

Send your holiday emails today using VerticalResponse.

© 2014 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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