Holiday Promotions Your Customers Will Love

By Janine Popick

The run up to the holiday season has arrived, and the National Retail Federation predicts that consumer holiday spending will increase 3.9 percent over 2012 spending to hit $602 billion. Yes, that’s billion. To help your small business get a piece of that action, I’ve put together a few creative holiday promotions to get your registers jingling and ringing all season long.

Mystery Savings Offers

Mystery savings offers are a tried and true promotion that retailers have used for years—because they work. This kind of promotion engages customers by getting them to participate in the offer by revealing the offer. For example, “Shake the Snow Globe of Savings and Save 20 to 50 percent!”

Send customers an email (and post the promo on your social networks) with the image of a snow globe, and include a call to action to Shake Up the Savings. Link the image so that when customers click on snow globe, it takes them directly to a web page with the offer.

Most people assume they’ll receive the lowest percentage of savings. Surprise and delight them by giving them a higher percent off like 40 or even 50 percent. When they get a higher offer than they anticipated, your chances of making a sale increase. And, it’s memorable.

More Small Business Holiday Promotions

Here’s a list of other highly effective promotions you can consider running during the holidays.

Daily Deals: Offer a deal or special product for each day. Ideas include: 12 Days of Gifts, 8 Nights of Offers, or 5 Days of Cyber Deals

Doorbusters: Create specials for a select number of hours, or until you run out of the item—it creates a sense of urgency

Gift of the Day: Highlight different items for each day

Gifts by Price Point: Feature gifts based on price point: less than $25 or less than $50 to appeal to shoppers with a specific budget in mind

Persona-based Gifts: Provide grouped products like gifts for him, or her, gifts for the home, or gifts for your favorite furry friend

Come Back and Save: Send an offer to customers who recently made a purchase to return and save even more

When the Deluxe Annual Holiday Shopping Survey asked shoppers how they like to be appreciated, 47 percent of the respondents said they preferred a discount on future products or services.

Don’t Wait. Get It Now

Put some thought into how long you want your promotions to run. During the busy holiday season, shorter, more frequent offers work better with time-crunched and instant-gratification-seeking shoppers. For instance: 12-hour sale, a weekend only offer, 3- day sale.

Time your offers to best serve your customers. Try sending email offers out at night when people are likely to be at home relaxing and browsing online. You can even host special early or late shopping hours to accommodate your customers and offer deals during these times.

I hope these promotion suggestions help you ring in the New Year with lots of sales this holiday season.

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a provider of self-service email, social and event marketing solutions for small businesses. Connect with her on Twitter at @janinepopick.

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