The holiday season is an exciting time for any business, as customers are actively seeking out products and services to purchase. The problem is that everyone else is also rolling out holiday promotions, meaning competition is heavy. To ensure that your campaigns stand out from the crowd, you need to pay extra attention to the details.

1. Decide What to Do

This point may sound obvious, but is common for marketers to get carried away in the holiday rush and launch a promotion before they have properly thought it through. Particularly popular is cutting prices. Whereas this can be effective at increasing sales, it is no use if it means your profit margins fall too low.

Experiment with other ideas, like free shipping on orders over a certain amount, limited-time-only sales (to create urgency), and coupons. Save discounts just for overstocked items.

2. Be Willing to Spend Money to Make Money

It is impossible to run a holiday campaign if you are unwilling to allocate sufficient resources to it. The holiday season is your chance to gain new customers looking for something fitting for their friends or relatives. They are more susceptible to marketing, whether it comes in the form of an ad or a CTA in content. With more potential leads and customers out there, it is worthwhile increasing your budget for the season.

3. Target Other Audiences

Bear in mind that your target audience over the holiday season is likely to be different from normal, as you are targeting people who want to purchase gifts for your regular audience. Conduct research to find out who this may include and tailor your efforts to them.

4. Try Something New

To cut through the noise, you need to do something different from your competitors. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to try a new marketing idea. For example, you could experiment with a contest, start advertising on social media, or create a new type of content. If no one on your team has experience in the idea you want to try, spend time studying tactics and tips before you launch your promotion.

5. Customize Your Email Promotions

There are sales to be gained with your past customers and current leads, not just new prospects. One of the best ways to reach users you already know through email marketing.

To ensure that you are sending users the right content, you need to segment your email list. For instance, in an email to regular customers, show your appreciation for their continued commitment to your brand and present the promotion as a special offer just for them. For past customers who have only made one or two purchases, email seasons greetings to remind them of your brand.

In all cases, emails need to be clearly related to the season. Show how your offerings can improve the lives your customers or their loved ones over the holidays.

6. Nurture Leads

If you have a long sales funnel, you cannot expect prospects to buy from you the same day they see your ad or content. Whereas the holidays may speed up the decision process somewhat, this will only result in a sale for you if you use the correct nurturing techniques.

Pour your efforts into showing why your brand is the best choice — how do you meet your prospects’ needs? You can create premium content that has a holiday twist, offer a special free trial for the season only, or give a free gift to leads on the point of converting.

7. Timing Is Everything

Start your promotions in time for the holidays. If your promotion is aimed at Black Friday, it needs to start anywhere between one to two weeks before. For Christmas, on the other hand, you should begin right after Halloween.

Start too early and users will ignore your marketing. They may even have a bad opinion of your brand for pushing for sales too soon. However, if you start too late, the number of people who see your promotion will be less and the results will be diminished.

As you run campaigns, monitor their performance. Pay attention to what times users best respond to social media posts on each platform and when sending emails leads to the greatest open rate. Learn as you go along to keep improving your strategy.

8. Add a Holiday Theme to Everything You Do

Change your entire brand image to inspire excitement for the holiday season. Show customers that it is time to start shopping or, at the very least, to start considering their options. Beyond infusing your content with a holiday message, give a seasonal touch to your website design and social media profiles. In the wording of your copy, make it clear that promotions are for the holidays.

The holidays are a chance to increase sales, whatever your business. As people are in a buying mood, they are more susceptible to promotions. This even applies to products and services people are buying for themselves — not just gifts. However, to find success, you need to follow best practices. You can never expect promotions to work unless you put in the time and effort to learn how to market your brand.