Advice For Small Businesses To Boost 2015 Holiday Promotions

With the holiday season just around the corner, now may be the best chance for businesses to increase your sales. If you haven’t already planned your holiday promotions, here are three reasons why you want to take action.

First, the holidays are an easy conversation starter. Famed copywriter and marketer Robert Collier instructed, “Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”

To give your promotion the best chance of getting your customer’s attention, align your approach with something that they’re already thinking about. Since the holidays will soon be upon us and on everyone’s minds, they are a good subject to begin a dialogue.

Second, the holidays give you a “reason why” you’re doing your promotion.

In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Dr. Robert Cialdini identifies principles that can influence a person’s actions, such as making a purchase. In one experiment, Cialdini’s researchers asked a subject to comply with a simple request, “Can I cut in line ahead of you?” While nearly 60% allowed the researcher to do so, they found that compliance improved to 94% when they added a reason that the subject should take the action.

Rather than simply offering “25% off,” you can associate a reason for your promotion by giving it a name such as “Year End Clearance Sale” or “Thanksgiving Appreciation Event.”

Third, the holidays inherently imply a deadline for your promotion.

Cialdini’s research found that adding scarcity, a limiting condition, to a situation further influenced people’s actions. He states in Influence that, “As opportunities become less available, we lose freedoms; and we hate to lose the freedoms we already have.”

Since the holidays have a specific end date, you could make an attractive offer that is only available during the holidays. Many businesses use “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” to promote their products or services within 24-hour timeframes.

To spur your imagination, here are actual examples from business owners on how they’ve successfully used holiday promotions to reach their goals.

Dr. Dennis Buckley of Health Advantage, a chiropractic clinic in Pasadena, CA, says, “One way we’ve attracted new patients is by holding a toy drive each year, where people can bring in a new toy in exchange for treatment.”

Health Advantage partners with local charities and other businesses to promote it. Buckley explains, “It creates excitement and good memories, plus brings joy to children. It’s also our way of giving back and saying thanks.”

Geoff Ronning of Phoenix, AZ uses the holidays as a way to show how much he appreciates his clients. He says, “I’ve had great success sending business and motivation books as holiday gifts, and there is always a lot of business that transpires as a result.”

Ronning has even gotten his family in on the act. Ronning shares, “One of the most successful things I have ever done was to record my wife, son, and me singing a popular holiday song with rewritten lyrics. We wore silly holiday sweaters and recorded it with our computer camera. The singing was terrible, but our clients really enjoyed the video. It strengthened our relationship with them and boosted sales.”

If you’re in the entertainment business, you can get more bookings during the holiday season. Jethro Alcuaz, a magician in Glendora, CA used a holiday promotion to book holiday parties. Alcuaz shares, “I emailed my previous clients and offered them a limited time discount if they booked me for their holiday parties and it worked very well.”

Holiday promotions are a great way to increase your sales. By being creative and using the three principles above to promote a compelling offer, you’re well on your way to a more successful holiday season and reaching your overall business goals.