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Top Tips for Marketing over the Holidays

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Nothing drives sales and business relationships like a personal connection, and there is no better time to make that personal connection than the holiday season. No matter what you do, reaching out to your customer and prospect base over the holidays is important to your business, since it builds long term relationships which lead to customers that buy from you and keep coming back all year long.

Personalize Your Holiday Cards

Perhaps the most important way to network during the holiday season is to send a customized and personal holiday card to each and every one of your prospects and customers. Standard cards purchased at the local drug store will not make the impact you need to make that personal connection. Instead, consider holiday cards that are customized, with your logo, company name and even your photo on the front of the card.

Write something personal on the inside, as well, instead of just "happy holidays" or "best wishes". Stories about your family or a funny yet tasteful quote help you to make a personal connection with your customers and prospects over the holiday season. Match the look and feel to other printed holiday products, such as return address labels, gift tags, gift stickers, holiday brochures, and thank you notes to carry the theme through every aspect of your holiday business.

Show Your Charitable Side

Another option to consider is the charity holiday card — a card that offers a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of the card to a specific charity. Holidays are a season of giving, and current and future customers like to see that you support appropriate charitable organizations. Locate an organization that is close to your heart, or consider one that your customers will appreciate. Regardless of the choice, a charitable contribution is always appreciated over the holidays.

Timing is Everything

The timing of your holiday card mailing is also something to consider. Is your product or service holiday related? If so, consider sending out Thanksgiving cards in early November to remind customers to think of you when purchasing gifts or services related to the holidays. Even if your product or service isn't holiday related, Thanksgiving cards stand out as more than likely they will be the first card your customers receive and open. Another alternative is to send New Year's cards which can help drive business in the beginning of January.

High-Impact Promotions

Once you have determined your holiday card strategy, it is time to implement special sales or promotions related to the holidays. Regular, high-quality postcard mailings can be very successful to drive sales around a very important time for most businesses. Consider vertical postcards instead of horizontal ones, and make sure they are full color and high impact glossy cards that will stand out in a sea of promotional mailings. Upload photos of your business or products, or use images that relate to your promotion.

Get Out There!

Once you have finalized your holiday card and promotional mailing schedule, it is time to get out and network. When people see you in person, you are more likely to come to mind when it is time to make a sale. Attend industry conferences or events related to your company. Depending on your business, participate in industry holiday parties or town celebrations. Perhaps even sponsor an event that will provide you with the right target market visibility.

If that is not an option, hold your own holiday party at your place of business and invite customers and prospects to attend. Offer drinks and snacks set to holiday music. Another option is to partner with similar or complementary small businesses. That way you can decrease the cost yet still make an impact. Invitations should match your holiday theme. Be sure to remember to provide giveaways such as calendar magnets with your company name on them to all attendees.

Don't Forget the Thank You

One final step in the success of your holiday season is the thank you note. Hand written thank you notes make an impact on customers because they show you go the extra mile. Send thank you notes to your customers when they purchase large orders or thank them for referrals, and you will have a tremendously loyal customer base.

If you follow these steps for holiday networking, this is bound to be one of your best holiday seasons yet. And the best part, the relationships you build this holiday season will surely carry over to the rest of the year.

Happy Holidays!

About the Author

Janet Holian is the chief marketing officer of VistaPrint, the leading online supplier of high-quality graphic design services and customized printed products to small businesses and consumers.
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Popular tags:

 charitable organizations  holidays  customers  quote  early November  brochures  thanksgiving

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