Generally, the holidays are unprecedented in terms of how consumers will behave. Equally, it is crucial for all businesses, hence it is the right time to ramp up your holiday marketing campaigns to manage business revenue.
A well designed holiday marketing strategy can help inject a significant boost in sales, retain customers by strengthening relationships with them. Holiday shopping will be worth $807 billion, and over $685 billion will be spent on purchasing gifts and other holiday products.
An effective marketing campaign can engage customers as they are primed to spend by doing last-minute shopping or are preparing for the year to come and doing research on whom to go with for specific services or products. Being on the top of their mind gives you a definite edge over your competitors.
Key Elements of a Successful Holiday Marketing Strategy
Beforehand planning for Christmas or any holiday campaigns is essential to capitalize on it and make the strategies successful. When executed effectively, the marketing ideas entice your customers to make more purchases.
Here are the key elements that go into a successful holiday marketing campaign and creates a great shopping experience.
1. Define your audience
Identify and segment your target audience and collect detailed insights about them. Learn about their preferred channels, do they prefer to consume information on their desktop or mobile? These insights help in making informed marketing decisions for holiday promotions.
2. Review the previous holiday marketing campaign
Auditing the performance of the previous holiday campaigns help you to understand the behavior of your target audience. You can learn the past trends better and how it impacted the growth of your business. Soliciting all the information will help to define objectives for a better holiday marketing strategy.
3. Set up your goals
Once you understand your target audience and audit the previous holiday campaigns, you can set realistic goals for the upcoming holiday season. The insights will help to make your goals more customer-focused at the same time getting as many sales as possible from holiday shoppers.
4. Measure your KPIs
When you are done with outlining your holiday marketing campaign goals, you have to define the key business KPIs in terms of achieving a fixed percentage of growth in sales. You have to determine the customer engagement tools, processes you need to interact with customers instantly across their preferred channels to deliver an excellent holiday customer service experience.
16 Strategies for successful holiday marketing campaigns
With the right marketing strategies, tactics, and technologies in place, brands can make the holiday shopping season a lucrative one. Here is a list of best holiday marketing ideas with examples that can help businesses to increase revenue and create long-lasting customer relationships
- Personalize your website for the holiday marketing campaign
- Give early access to VIP customers
- Run holiday giveaways on social media
- Amplify your mobile marketing strategy
- Turn to video marketing as holiday promotions
- Partner with your influencers as marketing ideas
- Boost holiday conversions by offering free gifts
- Offer holiday combos to increase average order value (AOV)
- Delight your customers with mystery upselling ideas
- Extend your holiday campaign deals for late shoppers
- Create user-generated content to turn buyers into loyal customers
- Use social proofs wisely as holiday marketing strategies
- Use offline channels for holiday marketing campaigns
- Keep your customer coming back with flash deals
- Run paid campaigns for holiday advertisements
- Keep your brand top in the mind with email marketing ideas
Let us discuss the best holiday marketing campaign ideas and examples so that you can have a successful holiday season.
1. Personalize your website for holiday marketing campaign
The holiday season can represent almost 30% of annual sales for businesses, making it the perfect time to get a big boost in revenue. Hence, preparing your website for holiday shoppers can be the best holiday marketing campaign.
A revamped home page design and Christmas holiday themes show a higher level of engagement, which enhances the user experience. You can ramp up your website by adding certain elements that always benefit from a fresh look, especially around the holidays.
Tips to personalize your website for holiday marketing campaigns
- Highlight festive CTAs – Holiday-inspired calls to action are a great way to get your online customers in the shopping spirit. Be sure to take the time to optimize your CTAs to gain the highest transactions during the festive season by using the right copy and color.
- Keep your messaging clear – Make sure that your website messaging is crystal clear. It should convey the benefits the customers would avail by purchasing your products or services.
- Add personalized greetings for holidays – Use personalized greetings messages and eye-catchers on the live chat widget to grab the attention of the website visitors and encourage them to browse through the holiday deals.
- Create banners or pop-ups – Design banners and pop-ups that include information about a major site-wide sale or a significant sale on an entire product category.
- Improve website loading speed – A single second delay could trigger a 7% drop in conversions. Page loading speed affects the experience of the website visitors, especially during the holiday rush.
2. Give early access to VIP customers
Reward your subscribers with early access deals before the holiday rush. This helps you attract customers to purchase ahead of the holidays. Your subscribers will feel special that they can get a good discount right now and before everyone else.
You can also incentivize your loyal customers by sending email campaigns with a healthy discount only to them, exclusive deals to customers that get involved by sharing their stories, photos, reviews, and early-bird discounts on social media to create a buzz before the holiday season officially starts.
Birchbox exactly does the same with its “Get First Dibs” call to action.
How can giving early access makes your holiday marketing campaign effective?
- Provide early access – Give your premium customers the benefit of early access as it helps to retain your best customers with exclusive holiday deals and offers.
- Delight your customers – A sense of exclusivity and special treatment will make VIP customers happy and keep them buying for a long time to come.
- Start sales early – It benefits you from making sales early on, before the holiday frenzy. It makes it easier to manage and fulfill orders before the holiday chaos.
3. Run holiday giveaways on social media
Giveaways are very cost-effective methods to help engage with your followers, acquire new followers, and build hype for an upcoming event. Typically, asking followers to comment, share, like, etc. are great tactics to get even more engagement on your giveaway.
Brands have been using giveaways hoping to generate interest and sales for their products or services. By using giveaways and promotional contests, you can get your target audience easily excited about the upcoming holidays and your brand.
Depending upon the size of your team and budget, you can easily range from a Twitter hashtag contest, a photo caption contest on your Facebook page, running a festive quiz, or make a wish contest.
The Canadian airline embarked on an ambitious project to perform 12,000 mini-miracles during the holiday season. The entire staff participated in the efforts to bring joy to over 13,000 people during the Christmas season. WestJet truly celebrated the spirit of giving through this holiday marketing campaign.
4. Amplify your mobile marketing strategy
Over 61% of the web traffic to retail websites were from mobile phones.
It means most of the shoppers prefer to browse through products and order them on the move. You simply cannot ignore the power of mobile phones rather should focus on a razor-sharp mobile marketing strategy for the holiday season.
Walmart, for instance, revamped its SEO strategy for mobile and gave a preview of their upcoming deals to users who downloaded the app.
Similarly, Amazon offered mobile-only deals that were not available on the website and offered customized incentives to its app users through push notifications. It increased the traffic to their mobile app and enhanced the user-engagement.
Best practices for mobile marketing strategy are as follows:
- Use A/B testing to ensure the highest quality customer experience on your mobile channels.
- While you are optimizing your messaging, consider your onsite mobile experience. For instance, filling out forms on mobile devices can be cumbersome. You can elevate your onsite user experience with expanding mobile CTAs.
5. Turn to video marketing as holiday promotions
Why should you incorporate video into your holiday marketing?
Because there is no better way to communicate a holiday message than with video. Video marketing allows you to market your overall brand, not just your products.
Video campaigns have been shown to increase average order value and 64% of consumers said watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision.
Include holiday-specific messaging in the video campaigns. The social video ads of QuickFrame Video Intelligence had holiday messaging that tied up to 58% higher engagement rate during the holiday season than those without.
Whether it is a festive webinar invite video that you send via email, or a video added to your customer page to wish all of your customers holiday cheer, or a wacky video that you post on social media, get creative, you can have fun with video to spread the cheer throughout your holiday marketing campaigns.
Here are some video marketing tips for the holiday season:
- Establish a holiday theme – You can immediately set up a Christmas holiday theme by using music (featuring bells) or holiday-style text treatments, or motion graphics, etc.
- Customize your CTA – Use festive CTAs for different audiences and holidays. As a gift-giving holiday approaches, consider threading in more urgency in your messaging.
- Shoot in high-res videos – High resolution helps to pull stills from the video. Alternatively, hire a photographer to capture stills separately at your video shoot if the budget is available.
6. Partner with your influencers as marketing ideas
Partnering with influencers is the number one holiday marketing strategy for many brands. 17% of companies spend over half their marketing budget on influencers.
It generates a buzz around your brand, as influencers tend to post a lot of their social channels about the upcoming holiday shopping events.
“You can also leverage influencers to create sponsored, yet non-promotional-looking content that focuses on a particular holiday. You can ask them to show your products in use during the holiday festivities. This will influence their followers to try your products.” Shane Barker
Armani Beauty teams up with Instagram and Facebook influencers promoting its fragrances as gifts. In addition to tagging @armanibeauty, these social influencers also indicated to their followers where they could find a product.
How partnering with influencers can help your holiday marketing strategy?
- Influencer based holiday marketing campaigns help you to increase exposure by reaching niche audiences that could be expected to convert at a high rate.
- These campaigns also increase ad opportunities and space for brands during the holidays.
- Following this marketing strategy, help you to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.
- With influencers, you can increase website traffic, drive sales, and boost your holiday marketing RoI.
7. Boost holiday conversions by offering free gifts
Brands can level up their revenue by using the marketing campaign of offering free gifts with each purchase during holidays. It is a great way to join in on the holiday spirit and give away stuff for free.
It makes your shoppers happy and gets them into the buying mood. You can offer something inexpensive that does not require extra shipping costs.
Pandora offers a free limited-edition Christmas ornament along with every $150+ purchase as a part of their holiday campaign.
Even though the ornament is free, Pandora increases its perceived value by making it a limited edition. So, the item will likely be available for one season only.
How offering free gifts can be great Christmas marketing ideas?
- Free gifts make everyone feel special. They show you care enough to share the holiday spirit with them.
- Needless to say, it works as a strong conversion booster so you will grab as many sales as possible.
8. Offer holiday combos to increase average order value (AOV)
Product bundles are a great idea for holiday sales. They are very popular for customers because they deliver greater value than standalone products. And they are offered at discounted prices too.
Certainly, every customer looks for it.
By offering bundled products at discounted rates, you’ll increase the number of sales you get and bump up your average order value (AOV). It is critical, especially for e-commerce businesses.
Planet of the Vapes does a great job bundling up their vaping pen along with complementary accessories at a discounted price.
Follow the holiday marketing tips to create appealing bundles are as follows:
- Promote across social channels – You can bundle similar products and promote them across your website and social media channels.
- Pair combos wisely – Pair your best selling products with complementary products to create a better deal.
- Use hashtags & names – Make it more compelling by naming the combos or by giving a hashtag to attract people across social channels.
9. Delight your customers with mystery upselling ideas
This holiday marketing campaign is a real doozy and peaks the curiosity of the customers in a compelling way. Upselling ideas not only boost sales but also increases customer satisfaction by meeting understanding and providing what they are looking for.
Here is an example to explain the point better.
Pura Vida Bracelets starts their holiday campaign with regular deals you can see elsewhere. A 50% site-wide discount plus a free gift.
To encourage customers shopping the offer includes a bonus bracelet. The promos emphasize that it’s “limited edition” and it is only available “while the supplies last.” Their holiday sales campaign worked successfully. One-third of Pura Vida’s 350K orders during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, included a “Mystery” item.
Here are some tips to delight your customers with upselling ideas:
- Free shipping – Offer your customers free shipping once they upgrade their purchase to a certain amount,
- Add mystery items – Revealing mystery products during checkout builds upon the intrigue.
- Hit shopper’s emotion – Promote similar products throughout the buying journey to capture more shoppers.
- Make it relevant – Give opportunity to your shoppers to add upsell items to their order during checkout.
10. Extend your holiday campaign deals for late shoppers
There could be many possible reasons why shoppers are unable to make the most of the deals. For capturing these shoppers, many brands extend their holiday marketing campaign offers.
The biggest concern for last-minute shoppers is if the gifts will arrive on time. Play on their anxiety and win them over with expedited shipping guaranteed to deliver on time.
Mahabis, a brand selling comfortable slippers, has the right email campaign for those that missed out on the holiday sales. They used comforting words to show that they as a brand understand what it is like to not get what you want for your holiday season. They offered a second chance to extend the holiday feeling and set the best example of holiday marketing strategy.
Extending holiday campaign deals can help brands indirectly by:
- Build brand loyalty – Providing time to the customers to build trust towards your brand in case they are new to you.
- Strengthen customer relationships – Targeting the late shoppers who miss out on the holiday deals and build deeper relationships.
- Acquire new customers – Develop a connection with new shoppers by providing some exciting last minute offers.
11. Create user-generated content to turn buyers into loyal customers
Designing the messaging content for your campaign is extremely important. Creating content about your products or services around the customers who enjoy it and want to share those positive experiences with their friends is no-brainer the best holiday marketing strategy.
85% of consumers find UGC to be more authentic than content promoted by a brand. When you consider the content preferred by those shoppers, it increases your brand credibility and drives more sales.
KitKat, the world-famous candy brand, for example, inspired its customers to take action by encouraging them to share ways they incorporate the chocolate into their holiday recipes and crafts. The customer-centric approach with a holiday spin gave valuable content to share for a festive campaign.
Key tips for using user-generated content for your holiday marketing campaign:
- Create holiday-specific hashtags and encourage customers to share their pictures, videos, or success stories.
- Build your content around your chosen channels, and adapt messaging to customer segments and the different stages of your campaign.
- Design content like promotional emails, ads, and social media posts, create a central landing page for all the information related to your seasonal offers.
12. Wisely use social proofs as holiday marketing strategies
Did you know that people are 6x more likely to purchase a product if the page includes pictures from social media?
98% of customers could identify at least one type of social proof that increased their likelihood to make a purchase.
Here is how trust signals emerged as most important based on a global survey of 1,700 people across all living generations.
Incorporating social proof in the form of photos, reviews, or stories can instill confidence in shoppers in making a purchase. Social proofs like ratings & reviews or awards the product has won are one of the most impactful tools.
How adding social proofs can be a great holiday marketing ideas?
- Provides validation from other customers – Having featured images of real customers using your product helps provide third-party validation.
- Make quick decisions – The unedited views that online shoppers look for help them in making online purchase decisions.
- Reduce cart abandonment – The user-generated content of your products or services helps set customer expectations and reduce cart abandonment rates.
13. Use offline channels for holiday marketing campaigns
Considering the offline channels can be a great holiday marketing campaign. Businesses should look into focusing advertising on offline channels like TV and radio ads during the holidays to grab the attention of the customers.
Ikea’s holiday campaign is really attention-grabbing and it shows all of a family’s ceramics bursting into song to tell a family their decor needs an update before holiday entertaining. It is catchy and the combination of talking toys knocks viewers right out of the humdrum.
How does an offline marketing campaign benefit your business?
- Reach out to the potential customers – You can connect with potential customers via the offline channels who might have missed the holiday deals through the online channels.
- Communicate with a bigger audience – Effective eye-catching campaigns and TV ads help to reach out to a larger group of people, thus making your holiday marketing campaign successful.
- Improve brand recognition – With the help of TV and radio ads, you can stick to your audience, which eventually enhances brand recognition.
14. Keep your customer coming back with flash deals
It is one of the best holiday marketing campaign tactics that plays with mystery and users’ curiosity. In a nutshell, to keep customers coming back, create a campaign that offers flash deals at fixed hours or every day.
Offering a 10-20% discount will generate some buzz, but the most successful flash sales offer deep discounts.
How can you offer big savings and still make money? Offer a limited number of discounted items for a limited time.
How to flash deals promotions can make your holiday marketing strategy successful?
- Beforehand planning – An early planning on determining offers and discounts to promote as flash deals is key to make this marketing strategy work.
- Shout out loud at relevant channels – Ensure to make loud announcements about the flash deals across social media, website, and email.
- Create a buzz – Focus on the fresh deals to build anticipation and encourage customers to purchase.
15. Run paid campaigns as Christmas marketing ideas
The simplicity of buying products online has made everything easier for consumers. The functionalities like comparison and extensive research have made shopping simpler and more fun.
With the boost in internet shopping, it is extremely important that your business is visible online and stands out amongst the competitors around you.
So what strategy must you deploy in order to fetch higher visibility and return on investment (RoI)? Paid advertising campaign is the answer.
You can run paid ads on popular social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin irrespective of the industry. Google Ads is a great place to get seasonal. You can create a campaign targeting based on where your target audience is.
For example, if you deal with women’s apparel, you can target keywords like “best gift for mothers” or “trendy holiday outfits”. Then create specific ads and landing pages offering incentives to shop with your store during the holiday season.
16. Keep your brand at top of mind with email marketing ideas
Why does email make the best holiday marketing tool?
No matter what time of the year, email marketing strategy provides an excellent opportunity to reach out to not only current subscribers, but to help generate even more leads by promoting the need to “share” the value you offer to your subscriber’s family and friends.
Being able to access email straight from mobile or tablets makes email the most efficient form of direct communication with your target audience.
Puma sets the best holiday marketing example for example by sending an email before Christmas day with the subject line – “Order before 2pm EST for FREE overnight shipping.”
It’s a simple message that includes all the usual elements – a couple of banners, a few links to different secondary offers, a navigational bar, and social media icons.
Holiday marketing tip:
Timing is crucial though and just in case they might miss your email, try sending the email before, during, and just around the time that your sale is about to end. The thought of missing out on a great sale is a powerful way to get some last-minute sales boosts.
Final thoughts on the holiday marketing campaigns
The holidays are one of the best times to make an investment in an emotional bond with your target audience. By segmenting your customers for a truly personalized experience, making your campaigns easy shareable, and delivering the best deals that are consistent across all of your channels, you are positioning yourself for maximum success with the upcoming holiday season.