‘Tis soon the season to add a bit of sparkle with a holiday promotion.
If you have a service-focused business, you may have looked on with envy at the many options available for product sales promotions.
But worry not! We’ll explore the art of creating holiday promotions that resonate, engage, and inspire action.
No tinsel or jingle bells here, just practical advice and creative strategies to help your business stand out amidst the holiday marketing flurry.
Let’s start with the essentials.
What makes a good promotion?
We could just list a few ideas and let you move on. But even the best ideas won’t work if you don’t package them correctly. For that, you need to know what makes a good promotion.
Here are the 4 elements of a good promotion for small businesses:
|1. Crystal Clear Value: |
Whether it’s cost savings, convenience, quality, or a combination, your offer’s value or benefit should shine through clearly.
|2. Customer-Centric Approach: |
Focus your promotion on their pain points, preferences, and needs. It makes your audience feel valued and understood.
|3. Compelling Timing: |
Get extra attention with timing or by aligning with holidays that resonate with your audience. Limited-time offers add urgency.
|4. A Clear Call to Action (CTA): |
“Book Now,” “Get Started,” or “Learn More,” make it easy for customers to take the next step and engage with your service.
As you can see, a good promotion isn’t just about discounts.
It’s about making an offer that shows you understand what they want or need, drives action, and helps boost sales.
By the way, you need a refresh on your customers’ wants and needs
Because things changed after the pandemic…
- Buyers are looking for greater value.
- Clients of all ages expect faster service due to technology.
- Consumers are feeling greater anxiety and seeking easier options and reassurance.
- Gen Z clients entering the market also have different priorities.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many business owners using customer insights from years ago to inform their decisions now. This was true even before the pandemic. But it pays to refresh your knowledge every few years.
So how do you tune in to new client expectations?
- Ask a few more questions as you talk to them.
- Ask for feedback on social media or by email. A short survey would be even better.
- Make note of any new questions, requests or complaints you’re getting.
- Pay attention to reviews from the past year. What do they focus on?
- Not many reviews? Check your top competitor’s Google reviews and see what features or aspects people focus on.
Dig a little deeper. You’ll serve clients better in the long run and will have more ideas for the next step… building promotions that stand out and appeal to your market.
5 Ways to make your holiday promotions stand out
1. Amp up your brand story & personality
Have clients heard your story? You might have it on your website’s About page, but feel free to tie it into your promotion. Make a special offer on your business anniversary, name a promotion after an inside joke or tell a success story.
Share your journey, your values, and the passion behind what you do. People love a good story, and it’s a powerful way to create an emotional connection with your audience.
Speaking of emotions, tap into the holiday spirit. It’s a time of giving, and togetherness and there’s no shame in adding that warm and fuzzy feeling to your promotions. Use heartwarming photos, cheerful messages, and maybe even a dash of nostalgia.
2. Go beyond your usual approach
If there’s one time of year to get creative, it’s during the holiday season. What can you offer that’s unique and appealing?
Here are a few ideas for service businesses:
- Offer a mystery gift or discount (online tools can help with this)
- Host a “Santa’s workshop for DIYers” to teach a simple aspect of your service
- “12 Days of Home Improvement” (or similar) featuring a different service or discount each day
- Discount for a niche audience like seniors, teachers or veterans
- Run a joint promotion with a company offering a service that complements yours
- “Win free service for one year” (limit it to a max amount per month)
- “Home for the Holidays” promotion to prep client homes before the holiday
If you need help with brainstorming, give us a shout.
3. Stand apart with timing
You don’t have to follow the holiday calendar. Find a few gaps and hit clients when they’re not drowning in a sea of offers. Here are a few holiday-related ideas:
Random Acts of Kindness: Surprise your audience with random acts of kindness in the months leading up to the holiday, offering unexpected discounts, freebies, or exclusive offers.
Festive Fridays: Run promotions every Friday in December with a different holiday-themed focus.
Early Bird Special: Start in early October or November to capture the attention of early birds.
Procrastinator’s Christmas: Create a promotion for after Christmas, possibly even January.
New Year, New Savings: Transition into a New Year’s promotion, helping customers start the year with savings.
Christmas in July: For a different twist, consider a “Christmas in July” promotion during the summer months next year.
4. Keep it simple
In a more anxious world, you want to keep the message and the process as simple as possible.
Make it easy for your customers. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, optimize your booking process, and offer various booking or payment options. The less friction in the process, the more likely customers will buy.
5. Use ALL the channels
We usually suggest a targeted vs. scattershot approach, but now’s the time to go all out, especially if this is your biggest promotion of the year.
We’re living in a multi-screen, multi-device world—where your customers are scattered over the internet and have short attention spans. So, why limit yourself?
Promote everywhere possible.
Show up in email inboxes, in social media feeds, in Google search results, and maybe even cable ads and mailboxes too.
At this time of year, you must be omnipresent. So, use every channel in your arsenal to create a 360-degree promotion that’s impossible to ignore. Because any marketing budget you have left at the end of the year should be at your disposal.
Remember, your goal is to deliver value in a way that aligns with your customers’ preferences, making the promotion an irresistible holiday gift of its own.
We hope these tips will help spur some ideas for your business. If you need help, get in touch.