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How to plan for successful online holiday promotions

How to plan for successful online holiday promotions

I know it’s only August and most of us are still in flip flops and shorts, but before you know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be approaching soon, so the best time to start thinking about your online holiday promotions is now.

Let’s go over how your ecommerce brand can identify important holidays, create promotions around them, and ensure your offers reach your target audience in enough time to inspire action.

Step 1: Choose the important major holidays

Most online shops pick out a few major holidays for promotions over the course of the year, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. While there’s certainly no rule that you have to offer a coupon around these times, some buying periods, like Black Friday, can drive enormous sales on name alone. So if you decide to skip out on offering a deal during a time like this, your customers might be disappointed to find that you’re not participating.

Based on your type of business and audience, you don’t have to run a promotion around every holiday. If you sell products for the beach, a Christmas sale might not make much sense, because customers won’t be thinking about you at this time. But if you have a sale around Easter, when spring break and vacation planning is beginning, you’ll be in great shape.

Step 2: Seek out relevant minor holidays

This is the fun part. Along with major holidays, you should aim to find or even create, minor holidays that are relevant to your business and your audience. You could celebrate your company’s birthday, offer a special coupon during an event, or making a big deal out of a made-up holiday.

Here’s a great example. July 1st is Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day, and International Joke Day. Also, the full month of July is both National Ice Cream Month and National Hot Dog Month.

So what does this mean to you? Probably nothing. But if you sell equipment to make your own ice cream, this is the perfect opportunity for a sale! Even if no one else is talking about National Ice Cream Month or Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day, you can “own” these holidays with your own messaging, coupons or discounts, and celebrations.

Take a look around online to see what minor holidays might match up to your brand, audience, or products. You can also think about any important internal dates, like your company’s birthday.

Step 3: Plan your promotions in advance

Finally, as far in advance as you feel comfortable, plan out exactly what needs to happen to make your holiday promotion a success. This means deciding what needs to happen when and who is ultimately responsible for getting each task done.

Planning is crucial. You might want to assign one task — say, creating an email with a coupon code — to one person, but they won’t be able to do any work until they have the website banner from your designer. You’ll need to find a way to manage this chain of responsibilities. This is where task management software can be more helpful than a calendar, especially as your store grows and you expand your promotional opportunities.

With enough planning and experience under your belt, you’ll be able to create a template of sorts for future promotions, knowing exactly when you should start working to get all your necessary assets completed in time for launch.

After this, the only thing left to do is launch your holiday promotion and watch how customers react!

Customers love a good holiday sale, no matter when it is

Whether you’re eager to participate in a sale during one of your country’s biggest holidays or create a coupon code to send out during a celebration of your own creation, customers will respond with favor to your store’s deals and discounts. It’s hard to go wrong with sales, and with a little planning, you have the unique opportunity to find or even create highly relevant holidays that your customers will love — and look forward to year after year.

I hope this primer on holiday sales has given you a few ideas for planning and executing your own future deals and discounts for your ecommerce store.

About David Zupec

David Zupec is a web designer at the helm of Sailors & Mermaids, a small web design studio based in Michigan. His passion is helping small businesses build a successful online presence.