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September 6, 2022

21 Festive Holiday Marketing Ideas That Drive Revenue

by 
Stephanie Donelson

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season! On the one hand, it seems too early to start planning holiday marketing campaigns, on the other we’re already seeing pumpkin-flavored everything take over so it does seem apparent that the holiday season is fast approaching.

Since it’ll be here before we know it, we wanted to talk about some best practices when it comes to adding direct mail to your holiday marketing strategy, as well as share some ideas for marketing campaigns during this festive time of year that can drive revenue or set you up for success in Q1.

Come on, it’s lovely weather for a direct mail campaign or two in your holiday marketing strategy. 

The importance of a good direct mail campaign

The holiday season is all about connections which is why direct mail is such a perfect channel for these seasonal campaigns. Direct mail marketing allows you to create a personalized, one-to-one connection with your target audience and this channel is generally known to hold their attention longer than an email, text, or digital ad.

Direct mail belongs in every stage of the buyer’s journey, though our own direct mail marketing research shows that marketers are using it more often than not to acquire new customers:

  • 27% of marketers say direct mail is used for customer acquisition
  • 20% use direct mail for marketing to existing customers

On the flip side, when we asked consumers how they feel about direct mail, 49% feel it’s an important way for brands to build relationships with them, and 62% of consumers report direct mail has inspired them to take action. 

Direct mail enhances your holiday marketing strategy and shouldn’t just operate in its own silo. It should work alongside your digital marketing tactics, and when done correctly, it can increase conversions by 40% and increase ROI by 60%. Those statistics should keep any marketer happy during the holidays!

Holiday marketing campaigns by buyer’s journey stage

Rather than blanket your customer base with the same messaging, segment and target where they sit in the funnel or journey. Someone who is just learning of your brand requires a different angle than the lapsed customer you're looking to re-engage.

Awareness

Awareness is the first stage in the buyer’s journey or it’s the top of the marketing funnel. It’s where the journey begins as a potential customer has become aware of your brand. The holiday season is a great time to draw attention to your brand as consumers are on the hunt for great deals and new places to shop for unique gifts.

A holiday gift guide from Omaha Steaks. Source: Who's Mailing What!

Awareness stage holiday marketing campaign ideas:

  • Mailbox stuffer: Send a festive postcard that introduces your best-selling products that can fit inside a stocking - even if that’s a simple gift card.
  • Holiday gift guide: Create a catalog or gift guide. This catalog can be both physical and digital for maximum reach.
  • Holiday party playlist: Create a playlist on Spotify or YouTube that features holiday classics or go the extra mile and use the titles of the songs to send a message to your listeners. 
  • Spend the holidays with an influencer: Partner with an influencer and leverage their audience to reach new people and generate awareness of your brand. Maybe they’re working with you to launch a new product line, be a spokesperson, or are joining your brand for a series of in-person or digital events. 
  • Be late (intentionally): Save your holiday messaging for after the holidays are over so your marketing assets don’t get lost in the shuffle. Lean into the fact that you waited and are offering them a chance to get something they really want. It could even be something like, as we go into 2023, here’s 23% off your first purchase. 

Interest

After they know about your brand, it’s time to create interest in a specific product or collection. The right holiday marketing campaign should intrigue them and push them to explore your website to learn more about product offerings, prices, and seasonal deals. .

Interest stage holiday marketing campaign ideas:

  • A wishlist: Send a postcard or letter to those in the interest stage with a wishlist of items other consumers like them have purchased or feature your best-sellers with customer testimonials or reviews.
  • Free gift wrap: Offer to gift wrap purchases during the holidays as an extra incentive to buy through your brand. 
  • Social media holiday photo contest: Drum up interest with a themed social media contest or giveaway. Have potential customers share a photo (perhaps steal the ever-popular ugly sweater) and have other followers vote or simply enter them in a drawing to win a free product or service from you.
  • 12 days of goodies: Create a holiday-themed nurture campaign where interested parties can get free access to usually gated content to learn more about your brand and its offerings, or even mix in some free swag and let them advertise your brand for you.

Consideration

Once a customer is in the consideration stage, you've identified their problem and offered a potential solution. Now, it’s time to prove that your brand is the best fit for them.

Personalization Mall is offering a holiday combo: Up to 40% off plus a free ornament. Source: Who's Mailing What!

Consideration stage holiday marketing campaign ideas:

  • Letters from Santa: Reverse it and have Santa send your prospects a letter telling them why he wants to bring them your product or service, but he can’t so here’s a coupon code for a percentage off.
  • Weather-related campaigns: Help those in the consideration phase take the plunge by offering weather-related discounts and deals, such as 32% off when it drops below freezing. 
  • Home for the holidays: Piece together video-based user-generated content (UGC) and make a faux home movie that features your happy customers. Or, you could have a customer success or support representative read letters from customers in front of a roaring fire, preferably with some chestnuts roasting. 
  • Holiday-themed webinars or live videos: Create fun and festive webinars or host live videos that call attention to the holiday season. Is your brand in the retail space? Talk with a fashion influencer about how to dress for different holiday events. Is your brand in the beverage industry? Share fun holiday drink recipes and demonstrate how to make them. You can then send a happy holidays postcard with the recipe and a QR code to get a coupon for their next purchase. 
  • Holiday pop-ups: As your prospects explore your website’s content, use a bright and colorful pop up with an extra discount or promo code to encourage them to take action right now – or at least sign up for future emails.
  • Holiday combos: Another option is to stack promotions or offers during the holidays to encourage higher purchase orders. Maybe if they spend a certain amount they qualify for a free gift or gift card that they can keep themselves or give to someone special. 
  • Pre-book special: Prospects may want to take advantage of holiday specials but if they’re in the B2B space, they might not have the budget to act this year. Let them pre-book a meeting in the next quarter and they’ll be locked into the discounted rate if they move forward.
  • He sees you not when you’re sleeping but when you abandon your cart: Use remarketing tactics, like retargeting ads, abandoned cart emails or direct mail postcards, to remind prospects that they have items in their cart or should return to your site to finish their purchase.

Retention

Customer retention is essential for a company to thrive these days. For a holiday campaign, focusing on retention means customer appreciation. 

Returning customers get a great discount and free shipping as a bonus for being a repeat customer. Source: Who's Mailing What!

Retention holiday marketing campaign ideas:

  • Holidays came early: Show your customers how much you appreciate them and give them early access to a sale or an extra discount. You could also steal an idea from the interest section and offer to gift wrap any gift purchases they make as if they love your brand, it stands to reason their friends might too.
  • Swag bag gift bag: Show how much you really value them as a customer by offering a limited-time gift bag with a purchase featuring some of your best products. You can put restrictions in place, such as they have to spend a certain amount or actually go into a store to get it, but the lure of free items is a hard one to resist for loyal customers.
  • Referral/BOGO: Our Consumer Insights report showed that half of consumers sometimes or often share direct mail with friends and family, and of those sharing direct mail, 32% shared coupons. Run a referral campaign where your loyal customers get stacked discounts for every friend or family member who buys from your brand, or let your loyal customers do the shopping and run a BOGO deal so they can share the goodies themselves. Another way to run a BOGO deal is to get a gift card with every purchase over a certain limit, that they can gift or keep it for themselves.
  • Peek into Santa’s workshop: Invite your customers to a live video or video tour of your offices and warehouses where they can peek behind the curtain to see how their favorite products are made and meet the people who make them. 
DSW is pulling double duty by driving holiday sales with a discount offer for VIPs, but also adding marketable contacts to its database! Source: Who's Mailing What!

Holiday marketing best practices

To maximize your company's ROI, you need to create an omnichannel customer experience that combines direct mail with other digital features of your marketing campaign.

When it comes to executing your holiday marketing campaigns, here are some best practices to follow. 

  • Plan ahead: Now’s the time to sit down and create your holly, jolly holiday campaign and get it scheduled ahead of the kick-off of the holiday shopping season.
  • Set your goals and KPIs: Every marketing campaign needs its own set of goals and the same is true for your holiday campaign. Is your campaign focused more on acquiring new customers, increasing repeat purchases, or winning back customers?
  • Automate: Streamline your campaign by putting the right triggers in place to automatically send abandoned cart emails or direct mail postcards or post-purchase communications. 
  • A/B test: This is the prime time for holiday shoppers to be on the lookout for a good deal which could be a good deal for you when it comes to getting results on your A/B tests. Run tests to see if your target audience is more likely to shop when it’s a percentage off or a specific dollar amount, or if your audience is more likely to shop in-store to receive a free gift with their purchase or take advantage of free shipping online. 
  • Be authentic: ‘Tis the season of goodwill and cheer and the tone in your marketing campaigns should reflect this. Be genuine and thank your customers for choosing your brand or service. 
  • Personalize: It’s easy to use images of a winter wonderland as part of your holiday campaigns, but what if your target audience is in Florida? Instead of using images of evergreens covered with snow, use personalized images of lights on palm trees to evoke a holiday feeling that’s localized. There are plenty of people out there who feel gift cards are impersonal for holiday presents so don’t make them feel like your direct mail pieces are that way too! In fact, 52% of consumers expect direct mail to be personalized.

Directly improve your holiday campaigns with direct mail marketing

Instead of just letting it snow, let it snow, let is now this holiday season, prepare a great direct mail campaign to accompany your digital marketing tactics and let it send, let it send, let it send. 

If you're ready to incorporate an effective direct mail campaign into your holiday marketing strategy, now is the time to connect with Lob. Our direct mail experts can show you how easy it is to automate the process of direct mail marketing to create better connections with your prospects and customers and drive ROI - no matter the season. Schedule time with one of our experts.

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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