2015 Update:  Your October, November, and December checklists are all rolled into one at Everything Holiday. Check out this fantastic small business holiday resource for all your marketing needs. You’ll find everything you need to brand your business for the holidays, get found online, and connect with holiday shoppers. This free resource is our gift to you. Check it out!

December is right around the corner – is your marketing plan intact? Nearly one-fifth of the industry’s annual sales last year came directly from the months of November and December, according to the NRF. To ensure your business maximizes holiday sales and makes the most of the quickly approaching holiday frenzy, we’ve compiled this handy checklist of marketing tips and reminders – Let’s get to it!

Week 1: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

Cyber Monday & Cyber Week
Cyber Monday is December 1, but it’s not too late to send a last-minute offer. Even if your business doesn’t have an online presence, you can still take advantage of this shopping event with a tie-in. For example, you could host an “anti-Cyber Monday” event to encourage shoppers to come to your location instead of shopping online, or try partnering with an online business and offer a discount to customers who show their email receipts at checkout.

Fundraiser Reminders
If you’re a non-profit organization and are hosting a holiday fundraiser, send an email this week reminding your subscribers of the details of your event (who, what, where and why), and how they can donate. Hint: make it as easy as possible!

Week 2: December 7 – 13

Focus on Product and Service Highlights
Use the second week of December to continue focusing on product or service highlights and specials for holiday shoppers in your email communications and social media posts. Call out things like special shopping hours, free gift wrapping, free shipping or anything that will make this hectic, but festive season easier for your subscribers.

Send a Holiday Calendar
Send an email with a holiday calendar to let customers know about important holidays in December, including Hanukkah (December 16 – 24), Christmas (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26), Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1), New Year’s Eve (December 31). If you have holiday specific specials, now is the perfect time to promote them.

Week 3: December 14 – 20

Share Shipping Deadlines
For businesses that offer shipping, use this time to remind your subscribers of shipping deadlines. If you offer free shipping, turn this into a promotional opportunity to woo hesitant shoppers and bargain hunters.

Engage Procrastinators
Never underestimate a customer’s ability to wait until the absolute last possible minute to do their holiday shopping! Reach out to them by email and social media using phrasing that is both time-sensitive and sympathetic, e.g. “it’s not too late,” or “we’ve got you covered,” etc. Doing so can boost last-minute traffic to your store or website.

Week 4: December 20th – New Year’s Day & Beyond

Give the Gift of Gift Cards
Continue engaging those last-minute shoppers – especially if you offer gift cards or certificates – as these make great go-to gifts for harried customers. Follow this email up the following week with a “top 10” list of ways to spend gift cards.

Turn Returns into Exchanges
While exchanges and returns may be an inevitable part of the holiday shopping season, they’re also a promotional opportunity in disguise. Consider an exchange promo that emphasizes how easy it will be for customers to exchange gifts that didn’t quite fit the bill. Here are a few fun ideas to inspire you:

  • “Many happy exchanges.”
  • “The Great Gift Exchange-aganza.”
  • “Turn that ugly sweater from Aunt Bertha into something fabulous.”
  • “Did he buy you a size 16 when you’re a 6? Not so much.”

Need a little extra help? You can find many more holiday marketing resources, like the Complete Guide to Holiday Email Marketing on our Everything Holiday site!

Send your holiday emails out today with VerticalResponse – No trial necessary, it’s simply free.

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

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