Squeeze more out of your holiday marketing budget

November 4, 2016

Make your holiday marketing budget work harder with these extra tips

According to Deloitte, this year’s holiday sales are expected to rise almost 4% over last year. That’s a wonderful  increase. Every shop owner needs to get the most out of their holiday marketing this year. There’s one problem though. How do you tell your shop’s message when so many others are advertising too? Maximize your holiday marketing budget with these extra tips.

Get a jump on it

Send your emails earlier in the week. Consider Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday rather than pushing them out right before the weekend. There’s less advertising noise at the beginning of the week so your holiday marketing budget will go farther.

Another way to get a jump on holiday marketing is to advertise earlier in the season than others. Shoppers like to spread out their holiday spending. Offer them specific opportunities earlier (such as a curated trunk show or a special evening featuring mid-century modern furniture) and they may be willing to spend ahead of time.

 Consider other holidays

Just because it’s Christmas, doesn’t mean you have to strictly focus on that one day for all of your promotions. Think outside the box and perhaps build your holiday marketing budget around some of the different shopping days available.

  • Shop Small Saturday

I’m a big proponent for the Shop Small Saturday event. I think it’s a wonderful way to boost not only the profits of small businesses, but also community loyalty. This year, Shop Small falls on Saturday, November 24, 2018. Take advantage of free downloadable marketing materials for your social media, website, emails and in-store advertising. Search their site to find other businesses in your area who are participating. Be sure to take this opportunity to promote all of your holiday offerings.

  • Green Monday

Although Green Monday refers to the color of money rather than saving mother earth, no one really needs to know. Consignment and resale shops could easily incorporate Green Monday into a “Go Green” theme. This year’s Green Monday falls on Monday, December 10, 2018. Have your staff wear green, hand out cash prizes throughout the day or offer one grand prize for those who enter your “Green Monday” drawing when shopping that day. As mentioned before, add some type of incentive to bring shoppers back to your store before Christmas.

  • A new yearPromote other holidays with your holiday marketing budget

Build an entire campaign on “A new year, a new you.” Looking past the main holiday is another opportunity to reach shoppers when no one else is vying for their attention. You can highlight the use of all of those store gift cards or cash that your customers were given as gifts. Let customers know they can fulfill their New Year’s resolutions affordably by shopping resale.

Take full advantage of social media

Over a third of shoppers made a purchase last year because of something they saw on social media. Make your posts, tweets, pins, etc. a focal point of your holiday marketing. It’s difficult to get the impact you need without spending money, but you can run successful Facebook ads for as little as $20.

Now’s the time to try Facebook Live. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Facebook app on your phone.
  2. Tap “What’s on your mind?” at the top.
  3. Tap the Live video icon.
  4. Write a description for your video such as, “look at what just arrived today.”
  5. Choose an audience by tapping on “Friends” underneath your name. Choose Public, Friends or another available audience.
  6. Tap “Go Live” and start your live broadcast.
  7. When you’re done with your broadcast, tap “Finish.” Facebook Live videos cannot be longer than 30 minutes (as if anyone would watch that anyway). Get some tips and tricks here.

Don’t discount Pinterest either. Although their audience isn’t as large as Facebook’s, Pinterest users are much more engaged, particularly when it comes to shopping.

Surprise them with snail mail

I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but mailboxes are not as full of circulars, fliers and advertising mailers like they used to be. These days, when I receive a postcard, I always stop and flip it over to see who it’s from and what they’re offering. At $0.35 a pop to mail, postcards can be an effective way to reach your most loyal shoppers. I’ve used Postcards.com to print 500 very attractive postcards for only $0.10 each. Use one of their templates or create a custom design from start to finish.

Focus on training your staff

I’ve stressed in many articles that it’s no longer about the transaction with today’s buyers, it’s about the interaction. Rather than developing an expensive holiday marketing budget this year, why not focus internally. Train your staff to ask shoppers the right questions; to know your merchandise backwards and forwards, and to understand the fine art of the cross sell and up sell. Make your customer’s experience in your shop a memorable one and they return time after time.

Strengthen your rewards program

According to Forbes, 86% of Millennials (ages 20-36) have joined some type of loyalty program. Entice shoppers with special holiday rewards points. Loyalty or rewards programs have a proven track record for increased sales. Another plus, you don’t have to discount when you use a rewards program.

Other sources for getting more out of your holiday marketing budget

I’ve written a number of different articles about stretching your marketing dollars.

  1. Relax! Your 4th quarter marketing calendar is done!
  2. Increase store traffic with these holiday ideas
  3. 4 steps to keep salespeople focused this holiday

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.