Halloween has come and gone, signaling the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Just getting your business logistically prepped for the next two months takes tremendous planning and effort. If you haven’t already, it’s time to plan your holiday marketing strategy.
From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to generate buzz and maximize profit this holiday season. The trend over the last several years is for consumers to start their holiday shopping earlier, so, the sooner you begin coordinating your marketing plan, the better. Below are 6 holiday marketing ideas to prepare you for the holidays.
Table of Contents:
1. Set Up Your Online Store
According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 186.4 million U.S. consumers shopped in-store and online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday in 2020. That’s just five days. Moreover, shoppers typically begin their holiday purchasing online.
Make sure that your website is optimized for e-commerce and that your online store features plenty of deals geared toward Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other promotional holidays. What could these look like? Any combination of products, services, classes, memberships and gift cards. Here are some basic examples:
- Bundle hair, makeup and skin products into holiday gift sets (shampoo and conditioner box sets, hair or skin tools, etc.)
- Give out free, mini-sized products or samples with full-sized product purchases.
- Give customers who spend $50 or more on products 20% off their next purchase or service.
- Buy-one, get-one-free (BOGO) services or products. Market these as “buy-one-for-you, get-one-as-a-gift,” and possibly include something you’re trying to clear from your inventory.
- Offer free shipping for online orders.
These deals will change frequently over the next two months, so you’ll need to keep track of what sells and what doesn’t. Vagaro customers can manage their online stores from any device, track inventory levels, view product sales analytics and more—anytime, anywhere.
2. Kick Off Your Social Media Campaign
Hashtags to all, and to all a (very) good night! Consumers are always searching Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for great deals and gift ideas. The right social media marketing strategy can boost holiday sales by engaging with current and potential customers alike. Some elements include:
- Contests & Giveaways: Design a contest that encourages participants to engage with your social media accounts for a chance to win a prize. Examples include having your clients create the perfect holiday hair, or the best holiday nails or makeup. Keep the rules simple and be sure that participants tag you, using your business’s hashtag, driving traffic back to your page.
- Livestreaming & Events: Use Facebook Live videos to update your followers about new products or services you’re offering this holiday season. Organizing a holiday-themed event with Facebook’s event feature is another fantastic way to connect with new clients. Be sure to design the event around a certain theme (“De-Stress Holiday Massage & Facial,” “New Year’s Eve Party Prep,” etc.) and schedule it far enough in advance so clients can plan & book.
- Holiday Photo Sharing: Show your spirit by sharing photos of you and your staff decorating, celebrating during a holiday party, or hosting a charity event or fundraiser. As you post, be mindful of the different holidays being celebrated by your customer base.
- Partnering With Micro-Influencers: Spending on influencer marketing can get high and we know that you’re on a budget. But collaborating with micro-influencers (those with 10,000 or fewer followers) whose audience overlaps with your target market is affordable and hugely beneficial. Reward them with discounted or free services and some reciprocal tagging. Pro tip: be sure to provide influencers with your products or services before the promotion begins!
- Releasing Holiday Content: Think about what current and future clients might like to see right now. Moisturizing tips for beating dry skin this winter? Methods to alleviate stress after holiday shopping? Micro-workouts between shopping trips? Whatever it may be, use your social media hashtag to brand this content and include your business’s name and the products you use.
3. Rev Up Your Holiday Email Marketing
We know you’ve been building your email lists throughout the year, and the holiday season is the perfect time to cash out on the work you’ve put in. Vagaro customers have automated email marketing tools which can help them advertise exclusive offers, holiday service & retail packages, upcoming events and holiday-related announcements to subscribers.
Keep in mind what time of year it is, and try to mix promotional emails with holiday well wishes. Let your subscribers know how grateful you are for their business and support. According to data from Invesp, a consulting firm that focuses on conversion rates, existing customers spend 31% more than new ones on average and are 50% more likely to try new products and services. Reward that loyalty with consideration, gratitude and a great sale.
4. Deploy Timely Holiday Text Marketing
Mobile commerce sales grew 41.4% in the U.S. in 2020 and is expected to grow another 15.1% this year. Optimizing your website for mobile and reaching shoppers through an automatic text message marketing campaign should be a vital part of your holiday marketing plan.
SMS messages boast a higher open rate than email. When combined with your email campaign, they can also increase the chance that your holiday-themed messages are read. In fact, customers are 5x more likely to read and engage with your multi-channel campaigns after being sent text messages!
What kinds of SMS texts can you send?
- Promo codes
- Exclusive offers
- Sale notifications
- Empty cart notifications
- Low-stock alerts
- Holiday event invites
- Contest & giveaways notifications.
As with social media events and email campaigns, timing matters. When and how often you send your texts can be the difference between receiving warm patronage or Scrooge-like disdain from subscribers.
5. Get Those Holiday Gift Cards Ready
Gift cards are a tried-and-true way for businesses of all kinds to boost seasonal sales, bring in new clients and generate holiday revenue.
Vagaro customers can create fun, customizable gift cards and digital gift certificates that really stand out. These are perfect for people who put their shopping off until the last minute, or aren’t the most creative gift givers. Ideas for gift cards are near endless. A few simple ideas include:
- Buy-one, get-one free (BOGO) gift cards
- Discounted gift cards (pay $30 for a $50 gift card)
- Bonus gift cards that round up (pay for a $50 gift card and get a separate $10 gift card for free)
- Build a set of 3 cards and give away one for free
Be sure to clearly advertise gift cards and gift certificates on your Vagaro online store and promote them on your digital channels.
6. Run Holiday Flash Sales
Flash sales are effective because they use a time-sensitive window. After all, no one wants to miss a great deal. Flash sales can last a few hours, a day, or even an entire weekend. Vagaro customers can use the Daily Deals feature to execute effective holiday-themed flash sales.
Announcing a flash deal at the last minute can urge customers to act. About a week before, start teasing in-store, on social media and/or through email and text messaging that something special is coming. Encourage followers to keep an eye out for updates.
Coordinating a cohesive holiday marketing plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though you should get started right away. Vagaro customers have all the creativity and tools they need at their disposal to make their holiday seasons profitable. Extensive planning for the holidays requires a checklist. As it happens, we’ve got one for you below! Good luck and Happy holidays.
Vagaro is a cloud-based scheduling software commonly used by beauty, fitness, and wellness businesses to manage booking, credit card payments and processing, marketing, payroll, inventory management, reporting, and much more.