Making your small business shine with 17 holiday marketing ideas

11 MINS Team

The upcoming holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year for gift giving. That means, it’s also the best season for online shopping.

With consumers increasingly saying no to the long lines and chaos of brick-and-mortar stores, businesses count between Thanksgiving and the New Year to expand their reach and boost their overall sales. 

At least 75% consumers in the US plan to shop online for the holidays. Holiday shoppers are eager to take advantage of the relative ease of online shopping, so you should be just as eager to make the overall customer experience as seamless and efficient as possible.

Holiday marketing ideas to celebrate the holiday spirit

1. Plan for a strong holiday strategy

The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. Start implementing your holiday strategy as early as November and keep it rolling into January. Early promotions — offering online-only discounts or big weekend deals — can be a great way to get a jump on your competitors by keeping your business’s name visible and relevant while driving additional traffic.

Some customers buy gifts late in the season, or even after the holidays. Come up with a layaway plan and make sure you have enough inventory to last into the new year.

2. Deck the halls (and website)

Transform your physical and online store into a festive mood that instantly puts customers into the holiday cheer. Adorn your storefront with eye-catching decorations that reflect your brand’s personality. Likewise, update your website with seasonal imagery, add holiday images, banners, and colors to give it a joyful vibe.

This helps create a cheerful atmosphere that gets customers excited about the holidays and your products or services. Just like you decorate your home for the holidays, you’re doing the same for your business space and online shop to make it feel special and inviting during this festive time of the year.

If you’re too busy with other holiday preparations, you can leave the web designing to the experts.

3. Spread joy with limited-time offers

Think of exciting deals or discounts that you can offer to your customers, but only for a short period – like a few days or a week. These limited time offers create a sense of excitement and urgency. For example, you could create a sense of excitement and FOMO (fear of missing out) during the holiday season with these effective offers:

  • Flash Sales: These are short, high-impact sales that last only a few hours. They create a sense of urgency and excitement, encouraging customers to make quick buying decisions.

  • Doorbusters: Offering a big discount on a few popular items right when your store opens. This can draw in early shoppers and create a buzz.

  • Bundle Deals: Grouping related products together and selling them at a discounted price. This encourages customers to buy more than one item, increasing their overall spending.

  • Free Gifts: Offering a free item with a purchase over a certain amount. It’s a great way to incentivize larger purchases and make customers feel they’re getting extra value.

  • Limited-Edition Products: Introducing special holiday-themed or limited-edition products that are only available during the holiday season. This creates exclusivity and a desire to buy before they’re gone.

  • Buy One, Get One (BOGO) Offers: Giving customers a second item at a discounted price or for free when they purchase the first item at full price. It encourages them to buy more.

  • Percentage Discounts: Offering a specific percentage off the total purchase, like “20% off everything.” This is a straightforward way to attract price-conscious customers.

  • Gift with Purchase: Providing a free gift when customers spend a certain amount. It adds a surprise element to their shopping experience.

  • Early-Bird Discounts: Offering special discounts to customers who shop during specific hours or on specific days. This encourages them to shop sooner rather than later.

  • Loyalty Rewards: Giving loyalty program members exclusive access to holiday deals. This rewards your loyal customers and keeps them engaged.

  • Extended Returns: Offering extended return or exchange periods for purchases made during the holidays. This can ease customer concerns about gift-giving.

  • Mystery Discounts: Customers spin a wheel or scratch a card to reveal their discount. This adds an element of fun and anticipation.

When people see these great deals, they’ll feel excited and eager to grab them before they’re gone. This not only makes your customers happy but also boosts your sales during the holiday season. It’s like giving them a little holiday surprise that spreads joy and encourages them to shop with you. Just remember to clearly communicate the terms and end date of the offer so customers know when to take advantage of the special deal!

4. Personalize your greetings

Treat your customers like cherished friends by sending them personalized holiday greetings. Whether it’s a heartfelt email, a hand-written note, or even a festive text message, a warm holiday greeting shows that you value their business and care about their well-being.

Personalizing your greetings is all about making your customers feel special and valued. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Know your customers – First, understand who your customers are. What do they like? What are their preferences? This helps you tailor your greetings to their interests.

  • Use their name – Address your customers by their names in emails, messages, and even in-store. It adds a personal touch and shows you recognize them.

  • Segment your audience – If you have different types of customers, create specific greetings for each group. For example, you might have a different message for first-time shoppers and loyal customers.

  • Customize messages – When sending holiday greetings, add a personal message. It could be a simple “Happy Holidays!” or even a brief note expressing gratitude for their support.

  • Send handwritten notes – For a truly personal touch, consider sending handwritten holiday cards or thank-you notes. This effort goes a long way in making customers feel appreciated.

  • Use customer data – if you have data about their past purchases or preferences, use it to suggest gifts or products they might like during the holiday season.

  • Share exclusive offers – Send personalized offers based on their shopping history. For example, “As a thank you for being a loyal customer, here’s a special discount.”

  • Be genuine – Authenticity matters. Make sure your greetings are heartfelt and sincere, rather than generic or automated.

Remember, personalizing greetings is about building relationships. When customers feel like you truly care about them, they’re more likely to continue supporting your business. It’s a simple way to make them feel special and spread holiday cheer.

5. Make mobile magic

As of 2023, 60.9% of the US population shop through mobile. So why not meet your customers where they are? You can optimize your eCommerce site for mobile by simplifying checkout options, providing exclusive access, personalizing communication and providing tempting offers that are exclusive to mobile shoppers.

Push notifications sent via text alert customers to the latest sales and holiday promotions — and you can maximize your results by segmenting the alerts by gender, device type or registration status. That way, you can be sure your notifications reach the right people.

6. Leverage social media

Speaking of meeting your customers where they are, don’t forget about social media.

Social media helps you tell lots of people about your holiday deals. You can talk directly to customers, share cool pictures of your stuff, and even make them excited about what you’re offering. It’s like a big holiday megaphone that helps you connect with customers and spread the word about your special holiday things.

Leverage the power of social media to showcase your holiday spirit. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your holiday preparations, highlight best-selling products, and engage with your audience through interactive posts like polls and giveaways. Encourage user-generated content by creating a unique holiday-themed hashtag.

The appetite for holiday sales is there, so take advantage with a holiday-themed hashtag.

7. Optimize holiday SEO keywords

One way to get a head start on what’s trending this year is through improved SEO. Use tools like Google Analytics or Google Search Console to study what was trending during the previous holiday season. If one of your pages was successful, optimize that page for this year. It’s also worthwhile to create evergreen holiday domains that can be recycled annually using a general naming structure.

Optimizing holiday SEO keywords is like choosing the right decorations for a holiday party – you want to attract the right guests (website visitors). Here’s how to do it:

  • Research Popular Holiday Keywords: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find out what holiday-related words people are searching for. Think about terms like “holiday gifts,” “Christmas deals,” or “New Year’s discounts.”

  • Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: Instead of just “holiday gifts,” try more specific phrases like “unique holiday gifts for kids” or “best Black Friday deals on electronics.” These can bring in more targeted traffic.

  • Incorporate Location-Based Keywords: If you have a physical store, include location-specific terms like “holiday gifts in [your city]” to attract local shoppers.

  • Update Your Meta Tags: Include your chosen holiday keywords in your page titles, meta descriptions, and headers. This helps search engines understand what your page is about.

  • Optimize Images and Alt Text: If you have holiday images on your website, use descriptive alt text with your keywords. This helps visually impaired users and search engines understand your content.

  • Craft Compelling Product Descriptions: If you’re selling holiday-related products, use your keywords in product descriptions naturally. Focus on the benefits and uniqueness of your products.

  • Update URLs: If possible, include holiday keywords in your URL slugs. For example,

With so many businesses competing for shoppers’ attention, SEO becomes crucial in your holiday marketing success. If the holiday prep is keeping your hands full, leave the heavy lifting to the experts.

8. Put on a smile

A crucial component of putting your customers first is providing superb service. Whether it’s in person, over the phone or via email, make sure you and your staff members are polite, knowledgeable and helpful to customers. This could mean conducting a pre-holiday employee training session — especially if you’ve hired seasonal help — or looking for opportunities to issue reminders on how they can win the customer service game. 

9. Simplify checkout

Nothing frustrates business owners more than seeing how many customers leave their site with items still in their shopping cart. Ensure that your customers enjoy a smooth shopping experience both in-store and online. Make it easier for customers to get to your shopping cart by implementing a one-page checkout system. Avoid asking for the same information twice and remove unnecessary distractions — pre-cart offers, for instance — that interrupt the path to purchase.

Offer multiple payment options and provide clear information about shipping deadlines to guarantee timely deliveries for holiday gifts.

10. Make gift-giving easy

Add a little holiday flair to your holiday marketing campaigns by getting creative with festive packaging.

Simplify the gift-giving process for your customers by curating special holiday gift sets or bundles. Highlight products that complement each other and offer them at a bundled discount. This not only makes shopping more convenient but also boosts sales by enticing customers to explore more of what your business has to offer.

You can also make your business stand out by offering free, two-day, no-minimum-purchase shipping whether you have a storefront or not.

11. Choose the right products for holiday sales

Some products just aren’t meant to go on sale for the holidays. These are typically big-ticket gifts — like cars or trips — that people plan to purchase well in advance of the holiday season. Businesses would be best served to avoid putting their biggest-ticket items on sale and to mark down smaller gift-sized items instead. Gift guides and holiday bundles are a good way to show off the most popular items on your site. 

12. Make Your holiday sales easy to find

All of your sales, deals and promotions should be clearly visible on your site. Never make your customers hunt for promo codes or a sale page. Instead, guide them to the sale.

You can also leverage email marketing to launch campaigns, further illuminating sales — and to entice those subscribers by offering them exclusive savings. 

One tool to consider is recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) analysis. This type of analysis tells you how recently a customer bought goods, how frequently they buy them and how much they spend. By segmenting your emails through RFM analysis, you can ensure the customers you reach are likely to be receptive to your offers.

13. Fill your stock(ing)

You don’t want to run out of inventory during the holidays. Using data from previous holiday seasons, you can figure out which of your regular items will likely sell out first and order accordingly. Researching this season’s trends gives you an idea of which of your newer products might be the most popular. If inventory storage is an issue, consider looking into additional warehouse space as well.

14. Host festive events

Organize special holiday events or workshops that align with your business. For instance, if you run a bakery, you could host a gingerbread decorating class. These events not only attract foot traffic but also create memorable experiences that foster customer loyalty.

15. Give back to the community

Spread the joy beyond your business by giving back to your community. Partner with local charities or organizations for holiday initiatives. Whether it’s a toy drive, a donation campaign, or volunteering, showing your commitment to the community can enhance your business’s reputation.

16. Capture holiday vibes with content

Create content that resonates with the holiday season. Write blog posts, create videos, or design infographics that offer holiday tips, showcase your products in holiday-themed settings, or share heartwarming customer stories related to your business.

17. Reflect the spirit of giving

Above all, remember that the holiday season is about giving. Show your appreciation to your customers for their support throughout the year. A small thank-you gesture, such as a discount on their next purchase or a freebie, can go a long way in building lasting customer relationships.

Fill your store with cheer this holiday shopping season

While you ring in your sales this season, make sure the customer experience comes first. This is your chance to build lasting relationships that will survive holiday lights coming down and trees being left by the curb.

By creating magical shopping experiences for your online buyers, you may just end up on their shopping list next year. Let’s online marketing services assist you with your holiday promotions.

  • Team

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