I know, I know… It’s September and many of you are probably wondering why I would be talking about holiday marketing planning already. Well, depending on the type of business you own, your holiday specials and plans may start as early as October to begin promoting Fall or Halloween and that is just weeks away. If you simply just look at a calendar you can see that Thanksgiving is about 8 weeks away with Christmas and New Year’s falling soon after.

If your business puts on any special promotions for the holidays then now is the time to start planning on what type of marketing efforts will be taking place in the coming months. One of the best ways to do this is to create a calendar and mark the days of the specials and sales that you have coming up. Then decide how much time in advance you want to promote those events and after that, figure out how you want to promote it. Will you be mailing out postcards, sending out an eBlast, promoting on social media, or adding to your website? Each option mentioned takes time to design, plan, copy write, and put into action.

I like putting together a timeline of all the tasks and deadlines and even print off a calendar for each month. I’m also one of those ‘old school’ people that like to actually write things down and physically cross tasks off my lists. I do however utilize a google calendar to set reminders for important deadlines to help make sure that I don’t miss anything. But, do what works for you to keep all of the important details accounted for and accomplished.

The following information is meant as a guide to help you and your team plan for the upcoming busy holiday season. While reading through this guide, take into consideration the deliverables needed to make sure every task is completed on time. We hope this helps your holiday marketing plan to run smoothly and with great success!

Print Materials

Whether it’s a flyer, postcard, or signage, print materials can take a varied amount of time. Keep in mind the time it takes for layout and design, then placing the order for the printed materials. If you’re on a budget, it becomes vital for you to plan far enough in advance to avoid paying extra for materials rushed by your designer or printer.

Tip #1: Have fun with your design! Holidays are when family and friends come together and the times that many of us look forward to. Restaurant promotions should help get people excited for enjoying great food and drinks while in the company of their loved ones.

Tip #2: Keep your designs uniform across all types of marketing materials. This makes it easier for patrons to spot all of the advertisements and information surrounding your holiday events.

Average time for design, print, and delivery: Every project varies depending on its scope. Some of our restaurant clients like to get a nice head start on their promotions so they can stay in front of their patrons and make them aware of special holiday menus and hours. A lead time of about 1.5-2 months is pretty typical, especially when printed materials are needed. Other clients who prioritize electronic communications have a bit more flexibility. However, we’ve all learned to be a bit more nimble over the past year and a half! Circumstances can change in a snap and we, at Fuzzy Duck, are equipped to adapt to “eleventh-hour” changes and do our very best to deliver whatever it is our clients need.

Design Consideration: Some of our clients like to change up their holiday promotions from year to year. Even though the visuals change, care is given to keep the overall look and feel within the business’s brand.

Email Marketing

Sending out weekly eBlasts or monthly newsletters to promote sales and events is a great way to get holiday information out for your business. Make sure your imagery is fresh, reflects your brand, and all written content is proofed and edited by someone who has a flair for all things grammar. There is absolutely nothing worse than a poorly written newsletter being sent out by a professional business.

Tip #1: Encourage customers to sign-up to receive emails from your business while they’re in your store shopping or while visiting your website. Signage that says something like, “Sign-up for our monthly newsletters and be the first to know about upcoming sales and promotions!” is a fantastic way to keep your customer base informed and grow your email list at the same time.

Tip #2: eBlasts are a great place to add a special incentive or discount for your customers. For example, in a portion of the eBlast you could add a coupon or “insider news” of upcoming sales.

Tip #3: Include links to your website for more information on logistics and details. Link any imagery used in an eBlast to the corresponding web addresses on your website.

Tip #4: Don’t forget to include phone numbers, addresses, and any other pertinent information to make it as easy as possible for people to find what they need.

Website Promotions

Whatever category your business falls under (retail, service, hospitality, etc.) your website is the most important marketing asset you have. Keeping any current or upcoming sales and promotions should always be front and center on your website. When someone searches for your business they should be able to see the most recent happenings right when they log on to your website.

Tip #1: Keep it light, and to the point. Images or videos can do a lot of storytelling, so limit the words to just what needs to be said.

Tip #2: If your business falls under the category of a service or hospitality industry, make it easy to either make a reservation or book an appointment. If your business is product-based, then make it super easy to place an order by including a “Shop Now” or “Add to Cart” button.

Design Consideration #1: Be inclusive. Try not to market online to one group of people or religion. For example, when promoting a holiday event, try to make it more about gathering as a group rather than the holiday itself. Focus on time with family and friends allowing people to think about getting together and not the holiday itself.

Design Consideration #2: Always make sure that all images are displaying properly on all types of devices and that all messaging is visible and not being cropped off.

Social Media

If you’re not using your social accounts to heavily push your holiday promotions, then you’re missing out. Most of your customers are on social media every day and there are tons of great ideas to increase your sales and followers. 

If you have a brick and mortar then you should have signage up somewhere informing customers to follow you on social “for the latest news and sales.” If your business is web-based then you should most definitely have this stated on your website. This can be done by simply adding social icons that are linked to your social accounts right on your website header and/or footer.

Tip #1: When you’re ready to start posting, plan on pushing those promotions 1-3 times a week. Add to your stories and use video as a tool to get more reach on your posts.

Tip #2: Try boosting a post each week to get even more exposure to your account and business. Boosting posts is an easy way to gain more followers, create brand awareness, and has a great return on investment (ROI). You can boost posts with as little or as much money that fits your budget. One other item to consider is when setting up your boosted post, there are demographics and targeting to think about depending on the product or service that the post refers to.

Conclusion

Whatever your business is and whatever your plan is for holiday promotions, it’s a good idea to get started now and put your plan into action. If you are not sure where to start or want to make sure that your designs and plans are successful, reach out to the Fuzzy Duck team and we’d be happy to assist you this holiday season!

***All ads and promotion examples featured in this article are expired and no longer active.***