3 Last Minute Holiday Promotions (and a Bonus!)

marketing plan3-last-minute-holiday-promotions

Holiday marketing strategies small businesses can use to ring in last-minute sales

It’s getting close to crunch time for holiday marketing! If you don’t have your direct mail campaigns scheduled already, make that priority numero uno, because if you wait any longer, you’ll probably need to pay a rush fee to get them out in time. We really hate to do that but orders are processed in the order they came in and we can’t bump someone for another’s lateness. I’m sure you understand.

However, even if you’ve missed the window to establish a full holiday marketing plan, or if you just want a new idea to bolster your holiday numbers, I present to you 3 last minute holiday promotions to get business humming…

1. A Merry Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign – you know… Google search ads!

If you peek ahead, you’ll notice a theme here. Yes, digital strategies abound! One of the great things about digital media is that you can throw something together at the last minute, because all you need is a computer!

The first thing to know about PPC is that the click rate for PPC ads is atrocious. Like, really low. That means that the number of actual clicks most ads get is very low. This does not mean you shouldn’t do it (after all, you don’t pay unless they click), but it means you should go into it with eyes wide open. And not only with eyes wide open, but also with a special offer.

The offer is going to be the key to this campaign (and really all of these last minute strategies).

Here are 3 things to keep in mind while building your campaign:

  • Target the Right People – Adjust the targeting settings so your best prospects see your ads.
  • Make it Merry – It should look like a holiday ad! Relevance is important.
  • Make it Special – Give them a financial reason to click. They’re not going to click for the fun of it.

Obviously if this is all ‘Greek’ to you there are ways to get help. You can even call my marketing consultants for a free consult.

2. A Festive Email Campaign

You probably already have a decent sized list of customer emails, right? Well, why not throw them a bone this holiday season in the form of a customer-only discount! Heck yeah, I said it! People love this. I love this. It makes you feel appreciated as a loyal customer – and at just the right time, too, because everyone is looking for a way to save during the holidays.

I suggest building a 3-5 email funnel. (A funnel is a series of emails to the same list pushing the same message. It’s called a funnel because a bunch of prospects are poured into the email list and a few drip out the bottom as a sale – like a funnel!) The goal is to promote a special customer-only discount. Make each email different, but branded with the same holiday design elements, so they look like they go together. Then, send them out every 4-7 days leading up to the holidays!

Here are 3 things to keep in mind while building your emails (they may look familiar):

  • Address the Right People – These are your customers. Don’t talk to them like they are prospects.
  • Make it Merry – It should look like a holiday email! Relevance is important.
  • Make it Special – Make the discount the main point. They’re not going to read on for the fun of it.

3. A Joyous Social Media Campaign

Want something a little edgier? Try a social media contest on for size! There are all kinds of ways to engage your customers through social media during the holidays. Here are a few ideas you are free to steal:

  • Best Caption Wins – Post a funny holiday themed picture of your staff (or some random thing pulled off the internet, if you’re camera shy), and announce that the best caption for the photo wins a FREE [fill in the blank].
  • Holiday Q&A Week – Announce that every day this week you will be posting an industry-related trivia question, and the first person to post the right answer in the comments wins a FREE [fill in the blank].
  • Create Your Own Sale – Announce to your followers that if you reach X followers by December 15th, you will have a one-day 10% off sale on everything. If you reach X followers, it will be 20%, and if you reach X followers it will be 30%! And the crowd goes wild!

Here are 3 things to keep in mind while building your contests (you know the drill):

  • Address the Right People – These are your followers, not your grandparents’ friends. Be fun!
  • Make it Merry – It should look and feel like holiday fun! Relevance is important.
  • Make it Special – Make the discount (what they get) the main point. They’re not going to play just for the fun of it (probably).

And now for your BONUS: Do all four! These are not mutually exclusive. Get your postcards ordered NOW! Then, get your PPC campaign all figured out and scheduled. Write your funnel emails. (You can grab a couple of your most creative staff or friends to help – or ask us.) Lastly, get a contest going on social media. You will see the best holiday season you’ve ever had! As long as the discounts are all viable together, go for the gold and prove that you own holiday marketing!

Need some last-minute inspiration? Check out our gallery of holiday cards and even request some free samples!

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Joy Gendusa

Founder and CEO at PostcardMania
Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of PostcardMania, a fully-integrated marketing firm specializing in direct mail. She used postcards to grow PostcardMania from just a phone and computer to a $22million enterprise in less than a decade.