I know, when you read this title you’re thinking… it’s SEPTEMBER!
But did you know that September 15th marks 100 days till Christmas?
We all know how fast 100 days can pass. That is why we have spent the month of September trying to help you plan ahead so that you are not blindsided by the holiday season.
1.) Set specific goals.
You can’t know what you need to prepare for the holiday season without first knowing your goals.
If your personal goal is to get all the shopping and meal planning done by December 15th, then work your calendar backwards from that date and make it happen.
If you want to do a specific promotion or special offer during November and December, then sit down with your trusted team members and carve out exactly what that looks like.
2.) Prepare your website.
If you choose to do a holiday or end-of-year promotion, be sure your website is ready for it.
Now is the time to make necessary changes and updates to ensure it can capture sales and provide an amazing customer experience.
Of course, the specifics will differ depending on whether you own an e-commerce business or if you simply use your website as a lead generation and marketing tool.
But either way, here are a few suggestions for what to test on your website before the holiday rush begins:
- Verify that your search function works well.
- Place customer service contact information (and/or your physical location) upfront and easy to find.
- Make sure your site will stay up, even if it experiences heavy traffic. (This is referred to as “load testing.”)
- Double-check that your website is mobile-friendly. Today, nearly 75% of all web traffic is mobile. This is vitally important.
3.) Prioritize your channels.
If you have read anything we have written before, you know we preach that you can’t be everywhere and do everything. So, if you are going to do a holiday promotion, decide now which channels are going to be your priority.
My first choice is always email marketing if you have a decent list. But perhaps you also need to offer customer service and a promotion on Facebook?
Do a little internal research and make sure you and your team are aware of which channels are best-suited to reach your target market. Then, make those channels your highest priority.
Reminder! Let me say it again...
Mobile, mobile, mobile!
Keep your mobile customers in mind with everything that you do. It’s often a completely different experience and can determine whether you lose or gain a paying customer.
4.) Set your schedule.
As a business owner, it is incredibly easy to forget to take real time off… and even easier to forget to schedule it.
Commit to enjoying quality time with loved ones, instead of dealing with the stress of last-minute tasks and business decisions.
If you own a product-based business, determine now the last possible order date to ensure delivery by Christmas, then get that ‘Out of Office’ auto-reply ready to go.
5.) Contemplate your long-game.
If the holiday season is your most profitable time of year, how can you translate that business into repeat – and loyal – customers all year long?
Provide top-notch service and an incredible buying experience, all the way from customer support to your emailed newsletters.
- Include coupons for future use in their packages?
- Offer some kind of unexpected treat at the checkout counter of your store? (Mmmm, hot chocolate!)
- Send them a thank you card in January, as well as a coupon to use if they come back in 60 days?
- Offer gift wrapping at your location, even if all the items were not bought there?
- Include a list of unique stocking stuffers as a free upgrade when they buy your program?
Be sure you have a detailed plan about how you’ll be communicating with these new customers and making them feel welcome in your community in the coming year.
Hopefully these tips will get you thinking and planning for a productive and successful holiday season! And why not start now? After all, has anyone ever actually thought, “Man, I could’ve waited longer to plan that?” 🙂
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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