With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday in November kicking off the holiday shopping season, now is a good time for small businesses to boost sales. This year, 60% of consumers plan to do half or more of their winter holiday shopping at local retailers. Capitalize on this growth opportunity by using the following marketing strategies this holiday season.
- Leverage email to grow sales. In a 2020 survey, 79% of small business owners said email is “important” or “very important” to their businesses. Take time over the coming weeks to establish an effective email marketing strategy for the holiday season. Start by adopting email marketing best practices, such as using email marketing software, dividing your email list into specific demographic groups, locations or other characteristics, and writing engaging subject lines. Next, consider what types of emails will be valuable to your customers during the holiday season, such as highlight sales, new products and services, pre-ordering and curbside pickup options, and shipping timelines that may interest your customers. After a customer first signs up for your email list or makes a purchase, follow-up with a “thank you” note and a discount code to stay connected to your customers. Avoid sending too many emails each week, or you risk losing subscribers (no matter how compelling your emails are)!
- Engage with customers on social media. Social media is another great way to directly communicate with customers and market your business. Through social media, you can show why current and prospective customers should buy your products or services. If you’re a retail business owner, broadcast a Facebook Live event to showcase some of your latest merchandise and why they make the perfect gift. If you provide a service, consider marketing gift cards as holiday presents. Alternatively, you can explain how your services can ease the stress of the holiday season. Use hashtags and partner with other businesses to help your social media posts reach as many potential customers as possible.
- Add a personal touch. In some cases, you might not be seeing your customers in-person this year due to local regulations related to the pandemic. If you have a direct mailing list, send handwritten notes to customers to maintain personal connections. Post a compilation video of your staff on social media thanking customers for patronizing your business in 2020. As always, provide top-quality customer service by responding promptly to messages by phone, email, and social media. Small things can make a big difference when distinguishing yourself from the competition.
For an expert second opinion on your holiday marketing plans, reach out to local SBA resource partners, who can provide one-on-one advice and are available remotely. Take advantage of SBA marketing resources, including SBA Learning Center courses such as Marketing 101 and Social Media Marketing. Focusing on marketing this holiday season will not only boost your sales at the end of the year, but will also help you generate leads and build brand loyalty for 2021 and beyond.