Christmas is coming and soon you’ll be busy with events, from festive networking lunches to the annual Christmas party of your local business club. But how about your business? Is your marketing ready for the season?
Christmas is an ideal time to contact former clients, thank existing clients and business partners and reward your staff for their great work.
Here’s a few examples on how to make the best of the holidays (while still leaving you enough time to spare for your Christmas shopping).
Clients And Business Partners
It’s important for your customer retention to contact former clients every now and then, as they’re the best source of repeat business and referrals. Plus, it’s always a nice gesture to thank your current clients and business partners for their support.
1. Christmas Cards
You have many options nowadays when it comes to sending Christmas cards: mail or email, ready-made or customised cards with your company logo. You can even go old-school and send a handwritten letter if that’s what your audience prefers.
A look at your existing and former clients as well as business partners should make this decision a bit easier, in case you have their email instead of their postal addresses, for example. Or simply use their preferred way of communication.
Another good way to say thank you is a little gift: This can be anything from a fountain pen with your logo on it to a branded calendar for the new year that they can keep on their desk. It can be a bottle of wine or a voucher for £10 off their next purchase.
Choose something relevant to the addressee and show your company in a good light. If you’re known to help local non-profit organisations, add a note to every Christmas card explaining how rather than spending money on a gift, you donated to your favourite charity. Include details about the charity or further information encouraging them to donate, too.
Before Christmas, everyone’s calendars are usually full of events, lunches, dinners and parties. But if you plan ahead you can easily throw your own Christmas party and invite clients, staff and business partners. You can have an Open Doors Day, inviting people to drop by during the day for a hot beverage and some Christmas cookies or an intimate dinner at your favourite restaurant.
If you run a bakery invite them to a festive baking session, if you have a shop stay open for a late-night shopping with mulled wine for everyone. Mix staff, clients and business partners at these events or offer separate events for them, depending on your budget and the nature of your business.
At this time of the year Christmas is everywhere, so it’s important to find a way to be part of the celebrations without overwhelming people. Keep your marketing festive, but leaving the heavy rotation advertising to the big retailers.
1. Social media
Spread Christmas spirit on your Facebook page, Pinterest profile or Instagram account by posting festive photos on Twitter and Google+, or start your very own virtual advent calendar. Consider changing your header or profile photo and don’t hesitate to post photos of your decorated office or your staff’s Secret Santa gifts.
Choose your newsletter content accordingly: The November/December edition is a great chance to reflect on the last 12 months, sum up achievements and thank everyone for their support. Also, offer a preview of next year’s plans, such as events, product launches or important legal changes relevant to your readers.
The same applies to your blog – review the year and look forward to the next 12 months. Write about how your product or service can help with the Christmas frenzy or with the post-New-Year’s-resolutions rush in January.
Is your website in Christmas mode yet? Sometimes even just a Santa hat atop your logo goes a long way. And, of course, have all your Christmas offers visible for everyone on the homepage.
Consider freebies or offers for the festive season. Can you offer free or discounted gift wrapping or a speedy delivery for late Christmas shoppers? Are some of your products and services adaptable into a Christmas bundle or can you add a little gimmick to purchases?
Promotional merchandise is good to spread the word about your company, be it cute little rubber ducks with a Santa hat or the already mentioned desk or wall calendar for the new year. If you’re a gardener, why not hand out little bags of seeds for an office plant, or homemade Christmas cookies if you enjoy baking? Give them out at networking events and conferences – it’s a sure conversation starter.
Last but not least, make sure your advertising is up to date. Adjust your offers, add your specials and Christmas discounts, and make sure the design fits the season.
As Christmas is a busy time and you’re not the only one using it for marketing, timing is vital. Don’t be just one of many Christmas cards in the mail or, worse, have your card delivered when people are already on holiday.
If you fear getting lost in the avalanche of Christmas correspondence and online content, consider sending something before anyone else. Send out an advent calendar at the end of November, for example, or skip the Christmas wishes and be first to wish everyone a Happy New Year in January. Some businesses skip the Christmas party altogether and invite clients and partners to a New Year’s reception.
Whatever you’re planning, make sure it’s at the right time and in the right place. Your staff Christmas photo might be better off in your newsletter than on LinkedIn and your Christmas special offer should be communicated early enough for people to benefit from it.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
New Year, New You: Get Your Small Business Off to a Flying Start
Small Business Marketing Ideas
7 Marketing Checks for Your Small Business
What Is the Best Marketing for Me?