‘Tis the season to ring up sales, but smart Santas know that you can’t wait until the last minute to get your holiday marketing plans in order.
Here are four simple holiday marketing must-dos that you can start planning now so you’ll be a step ahead when everyone else is consumed in the holiday crunch.
1. Plan your social media calendar
While you have a little less on your plate, consider thinking ahead to pre-plan your holiday social media agenda. Slot in your promotions, holiday specials or events so that you establish a good cadence of posting. Otherwise, it’s way too easy to overlook something in the holiday rush—oops! Forgot to post our kids’ cooking class!
Planning works: 70 percent of those with a documented content marketing strategy say their marketing is more successful than the prior year.
2. Commit to email marketing
Think email marketing is dead? It’s definitely not; in fact, one study found that nearly 70 percent of the consumers surveyed said email was their preferred method for receiving information about sales offers and other news. And the Campaigners “Christmas in July” survey coincidentally found that the same proportion—nearly 70 percent—of marketers said email was their most effective holiday marketing vehicle.
Plan to send at least one email a week during the festive season, touting a special menu item, a Two for One deal, or a gift card special. Then push “send” strategically. Research from GoDaddy on December emails found that messages sent on Mondays and Tuesdays tended to have higher open rates than the rest of the week, with a pronounced lull over the weekend. And forget about the Cyber Monday train: GoDaddy found that was the busiest email marketing day of the season, with 91 percent more volume than an average day.
3. Tweak your loyalty program
Loyalty programs work, but only if you’re doing them right. Here are two ways to make yours better:
- Join the digital age: If you’re still making customers carry around your card in their wallet, it’s time to stop. “When a rewards program can be moved from a punch card to an app, opportunities to interact and build customer loyalty grow exponentially,” says Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert. Great news—it will integrate seamlessly with the right mPOS system.
- Give rewards they want: Loyalty programs will be most successful when you are providing customers regular value to them. If your program requires 10 visits to earn a reward, you’ll see fewer active participants and less loyalty. Structure your program to reward your customers avery 3rd or 4th visit.
4. Wrap up a great gift card promotion
There’s no denying that gift cards are a stocking stalwart. In fact, nearly three quarters of consumers planned to make gift cards part of their shopping strategy in 2016. Want to grow this category even more? Consider offering additional benefits for purchasing (think discounts) and paying with (think extra reward credit) a gift card.
To really drive sales, consider adding something extra for the purchaser. One study found that 90 percent of customers said that a free gift with purchase helped increase their brand loyalty. You could create a promotion where $50 in gift cards earns $10 for customers, or make it really simple and include a free menu item with their gift card purchase.
Don’t forget that modern point of sale technology can help you achieve all these holiday marketing goals. An mPOS will act as your de facto CRM at the cash register—so that as those busy holiday crowds surge into your business, your customer list will be effortlessly growing. Find out today how you can up your marketing by switching to mPOS technology so you’re ready for the holidays.
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