When did you see the first of many promotions for Halloween this year? Are you already seeing ads related to Thanksgiving and all of the winter holidays? Every year, businesses make a point of using the days that we celebrate to offer special events that boost sales long before the big days actually arrive. If you don’t believe that holidays can apply to your business, maybe it’s time to re-examine your thinking.
Here are 5 ways that holidays can boost your sales, too.
#1. Do Something Nice for Customers on the Main Holidays
Whether they specifically apply to your business or not, holidays are universally-celebrated by everyone. Customers expect celebratory deals, and they often delay purchases for this reason. Retail outlets are certainly aware of this fact. They announce upcoming events early and often — enough to create shopping mayhem at the malls and slow down the Internet throughout December.
Even if you don’t sell consumer products, holidays provide a great way to show customers that you care.
#2. Make Holidays Fit Your Offerings
A few select businesses don’t need to offer holiday deals. Try to get a dog grooming appointment the week before Thanksgiving, and you’ll know what I mean. However, if you’re not a dog groomer and your business doesn’t directly link to holidays, get creative. You can still find excuses to offer promotions. Here are some examples:
- You don’t normally equate plumbers with Thanksgiving. But, a plumbing company that offers 20 percent off on bathtub drain cleaning to prepare for holiday houseguests’ arrival might gain new business. And, since good plumbers are hard to find, a job done well can easily gain you repeat business.
- If you run a tax preparation service, you probably don’t need to find ways to get more business than you can handle after the first of the year. Since business tends to be slow before then, however, why not offer a free or discounted tax preparation analysis for Halloween? Tell customers that their taxes won’t scare them when they know that they’ve taken every deduction. If you convince them to schedule a tax preparation appointment before the new year, so much the better.
- Retailers view Presidents Day as the next big opportunity of the new year to run a sale. But, what if retail sales don’t apply to your consulting business? Maybe you can hold a Presidential birthday party, (making sure that you offer really good food and cool, patriotic promotions). Invite everyone on your client list. Encourage them to bring their friends for a fun referral marketing
#3. Learn the Special Days of the Year
Did you know that November 12th is National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day? A search for calendar of special days 2018 helped me find that fact, and it’s a day that every Italian restaurant should observe.
Similarly, whether you have a brick-and-mortar or online store, or even if you run a service business, your customers will appreciate receiving free T-shirts (with your company information creatively displayed) on June 21st, which is International T-Shirt Day. Or, cool your customers in July by providing free holiday-specific treats on National Peach Ice Cream Day (7th), Ice Cream Soda Day (20th), or Vanilla Ice Cream Day (23rd).
The point is that there’s likely to be some day that you can use to promote your business, whether you run a sale or find other ways to make customers happy.
#4. Create Your Own Holiday
Amazon Prime Day has come and gone for another year, boosting Amazon sales by a whopping 60 percent.. That date has nothing to do with a special days calendar; they made it up. So, celebrate your business’ anniversary or just pick a day during your off season to celebrate Customer Appreciation Day. Even if you use this day to offer big discounts that clear outdated inventory off the shelves, customers will never question an occasion when they can save money.
#5. Celebrate Days that Appeal to Your Specific Market
Whether you use an existing holiday or make one up, pay attention to the interests of the market segment that uses your products or services. Since millennials are big on giving back to the world, you might buy more recognition for your company if you invite them to Highway Cleanup Day (give promotional T-Shirts or caps to participants); or donate a portion of profits to charity.
Of course, it’s not always about millennials, so you need to accurately target your specific market segment. Let’s say that you sell office supplies. Most businesses in your industry run Back-to-School sales, and you should do the same. But what if you tie your sale into the July 4th holiday? If you really want to get a jump on the competition, would Father’s Day in mid-June be too soon to run your sale? Pick any date to run a “Get an Early Jump on School” event.
After trying a targeted celebration for the first time, be sure to, analyze the results of your promotion to make sure that you hit the mark. Once you nail it, you can expect customers to watch for it next year..
Well-Designed Holiday Celebrations Can Take Any Form
There are no rules to the ways that you can celebrate special days. Sales are probably the most common methods of observation for good reason: customers like to save money. I always order pizza delivery on Tuesdays because the prices go down on that day every week. In other words, annual events are not required. They can occur as often as you like.
If you want to attract more local traffic, passers-by may wander in because of the smell of freshly-baked cookies, as long as you inform them that they’re for anyone (and that they’re allergy-free). Of course, an open house or full-blown party might be an excellent referral marketing opportunity as well.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your celebration to chance. Plan it well in advance, use social media and other outlets to promote it widely, and be sure to monitor results so that you can make it even more perfect next time.