From KJ’s mailbag…
Dear Karla Jo,
I have noticed that promoting during the holidays could be very difficult. Everyone and their brother is online, offline, off the wall, etc. selling their spiel. Should I just not promote right now, it seems like a waste. What should I do? I want to do better next year.
Don’t Want to Waste My Money Next Year
Here are a few tricks to cut through the noise…
One of the best things you can do is communicate to your clientele during the holidays. Yes, everyone is promoting during the holidays, but you can too – if you are B2B, many of your clients are able to take tax write-offs for certain services before the end of the year. You should capitalize on this by letting them know that you have specials or packages to help them pre-pay for products or services to be delivered in the new year.
In healthcare, people can use their Flex plans, cafeteria plans, and etc. for elective services and their insurance benefits for non-elective services before their benefits run out at year-end. You should let them know this and allow them to come in for examinations to see what they might need.
Don’t stop communicating to clients/customers because “everyone else is – remind them that YOU also have Xmas specials – gift certificates are great for stocking stuffers.
Also, stay in touch with your clients/customers by educating them on your industry, services and products. Like financial planning or estate planning – articles of interest of what people usually run into during this time of year, or what they should plan for right at the beginning of the year. People still need information.
And don’t forget to wish your clients Happy Holidays – let them know you are thankful for their business and continued patronage…be sincere and acknowledge them for being such GREAT clients/customers! You can also offer bonuses to them for being your clients – a value added product or service that you can tack on to a pre-paid package – or just a free report on how to make the most out of their XYZ service/product, etc. or maybe a Facebook sweepstakes where you give away some item or service when they like your page.
Don’t be afraid to communicate during the clutter – do so, because if you do not, they will forget about you with all the OTHER communication they are receiving. Figure out how to be original and unique – even be proactive and say that you know they are getting more communication from other retailers and businesses these days but you did not want them to forget about YOU!
Hint: Write out what your holiday program will be for NEXT year now. Write it out and how it will be executed. Figure out the date you will start the promotions – you want plenty of time so you can cut through the clutter. (JoTo starts executing our Holiday promotions on October 14 every year.)
If you do this, next year your Holiday promotions will pay off – watch and see!