Yes, October is here and while I’m hoping you’ve got your holiday marketing plan in place, I have some creative, fun and easy ways to increase sales during the busiest season of the year.

Yep, the busiest. To give you an idea, last year’s shopping spending was $602 billion[National Retail Federation] and THAT is expected to grow by 8% [Prosper Spending Score] this year.

You really want to miss on that? I thought not!!

37 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Small Business Owners

 

37+ Holiday Marketing Ideas to Ring in the Sales

In-Store and On the Website Ideas forHappy Holidays

1. Offer free shipping and gift wrapping. Easy to pull together and a great

2.Start holiday messaging via email or social media right now. Engage, interact, ask what their plans are, what’s on their wishlists.

3. Do daily gifts. Every order gets shipped out with a fun gift!

4. Do daily deals. Offer cool{ and deep} discounts or specials. Remember to keep them time-sensitive.

5. Offer a taste. Samples work really well, especially for product-based businesses like, skincare products or food products! Gift samples at stalls, stores or even, online. Sign up to have a sample delivered to your home!

6. Showcase bestsellers and hot favorites in the store and on the website. Better still, feature customers {with their permission, of course!} who’ve bought that product alongside the description.

7. Invite VIPs for a Special Day. Invite your biggest cheerleaders and long-term customers for a day of deep discounts, specials and freebies. You can do this online as well and have a password-protected section with exclusive specials and deals for your loyal customers.

8. Collaborate to celebrate. Yes, can you collaborate with a complementary business owner. Think yoga studio and fitness apparel. Or handmade jewellery with a high-end boutique. Or content creator with graphic designer.. Hmm, I need to consider that myself!

9. Offer a Mystery box. I love the Mystery Box on Masterchef Australia and think it can easily be offered to customers. Put together a bundle of products and don’t let people know what’s in it. Price it attractively. Give them the retail value of it, though so they know they’re getting a deal. It’s fun and easy to do.

10. Engage emotionally. Share your fave holiday story and invite customers to share theirs. Have gift cards for everyone who sends in one.

11. Add a personal touch to every gift. May seem tough but when you think of it, you can do it. How about writing a bunch of thank-you notes right now and then, just attaching them to every product that goes out? Or how about sending them a thank you message after the holidays?

12. Let people “hide” their gifts. Stores offering layby are a big hit with families with small apartments or budgets, for that matter. Can you offer to “layby” gifts for customers and send it out right before the holidays?

13. Cap it with excellent customer service. Let’s face it. The holidays can be frazzling especially when you have a boatload of orders coming in. Ramp up on customer service so that everyone gets “touched” and feedback, unhappy customers or returns are handled promptly, politely and professionally.

14. Blog about best gifts for different categories of people, depending on your niche. For instance, if you have a children’s boutique, you could write about gifts for grandkids or the top 15 gifts for girls and so on.

15. Host giveaways! Have people enter to WIN gift vouchers and products from your store. Make sure you have it linked to your email list. You’ll drive more traffic, build your email list and make some people very happy too.

16. Have the most attractive window and in-store displays. Seriously, people, I can’t tell you how often I have ended up shopping at a new store, just because their window display enticed me!

17. Do product demonstrations. Most products can be demonstrated and when people see how they work, look, feel, they often end up buying.

18. Offer in-store holiday refreshments. Serve Christmas cookies and hot chocolate or cider to shoppers. They’ll stay longer and end up shopping.

19. Make sure the kids are taken care of. The holidays can be crazy for the stressed out mom. Add filled stores and cranky kids, and she’s ready to break down. Now imagine, if you have a play area cordoned off and tended to by an employee while she can shop in peace. You can be sure she’ll do all her gift shopping at your store. Couple it with the refreshments idea above, and you have a sure winner.

20. Leverage Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Don’t forget these two days since they’re the biggest and busiest days for more retailers and e-tailers. Have your specials planned right down to the last detail and offer sneak peeks and previews ahead of time.

21. Make sure your website is mobile optimized, like right now!! More people shop using their smartphones and tablets now than ever. Please don’t send them away by having a site that isn’t optimized for mobile usage.

Click here to instantly grab a hand-dandy printable checklist of 37 marketing ideas so your cash register is singing as merrily as the carolers in the street!

Holiday Marketing On Social Media

22. Have a Facebook Christmas party! Grab your how-to Guide here.

23. Change out your Facebook cover, Twitter profile graphics for holiday-themed ones and feature best sellers or specials, every week.

24. Host a Twitter party!Like a Facebook party, but with a hashtag and goes much faster.

25. Create Pinterest boards dedicated to holiday planning, party tips, gift ideas. Better still, blog about these on your company blog and then, pin those posts. So, you get site traffic, eyeballs on Pinterest and sales too.

26.Offer Facebook or Instagram-only specials.

27. Tweet, Facebook, Pin or Instagram images from your website or store.

28. Make sure you’re using holiday-specific hashtags, especially on Instagram and Twitter. #blackfriday #cybermonday #thanksgiving for the US audience is a must. #holidaydiscounts #giftideas #holidaysavings #holidayspecials will do well globally.

29. Share gifts your team or peers are buying from your store. Lime Tree Kids, one of our gorgeous clients, did this last year with great success.

30. Share holiday-themed product videos on YouTube or Vine

31. Have holiday-themed social media content to engage with your community. Asking them their stories, ideas, tips will keep them engaged with your brand and top of mind when shopping. Secret tool: Make sure you save time on this by getting your copy of Social Spread.

37 HOliday Marketing Ideas for Online Stores

Ringing it In with Your Email Subscribers

32. Have exclusive email-only specials. Think Buy One, Get One or bundled offers.

33. Send out emails with holiday branding and spotlight customers who’ve done their gift shopping. People love to see what others are buying.

34. Send out recommendations to customers based on the previous buying history. Nothing works better than personalization. Yes, I shop on Amazon because of this. They know me!

35. Craft email copy that isn’t all long drawn and salesy. Keep it visual. Keep it emotional. Keep it short and sweet.

36. Instead of just “selling”, send out an email every week showcasing a feel-good charity cause that your business is supporting. Let people know that when they shop with you, they shop for good.

37. Give email subscribers a surprise in the mail. Send out gift cards or better still, ask them to nominate someone for a gift card. You send it on their behalf!

Now don’t forget to click here and get instant access to the complete checklist with all 37 ideas right here!

Your turn! Which one of these creative, fun and easy-to-swing holiday marketing ideas will YOU be trying out first?