haunted_house_website_writerNeed Web marketing tips for the holidays?

Let’s face it, once we start seeing images like these —>>>>
… we’re already one phase into the Holiday season. It’s a sign that, if we haven’t already, it’s time to start planning for the annual rush.

As I mention on, “In 2011, Holiday shoppers spent more than $32 billion online. Experts predict online shopping will continue to grow in 2012.”

Before you can market your products and services for Holiday sales and success, you first need to know what you’re selling. Here are a few tips to help you brainstorm.

Create programs and packages. Whether you’re a service provider or you sell products, think of ways you can bundle what you offer into an enticing package. For example, if you’re with a dentist’s office, think about a daily care and whitening package that can include an electric toothbrush and whitening treatment at a set price. Promote it as a holiday a gift or a self-improvement package to ring in the New Year.

Do something for Black Friday. If you own a store or any other type of business that invites foot traffic, plan your decorations in advance as well as your merchandising strategy. Make sure to start your print and digital marketing to promote your event on November 1, at the latest.

Do something for Cyber Monday. Taking place right after Black Friday, Cyber Monday is said to be one of the most lucrative, if not the most lucrative day of the year for online retailers. In this article, Booz & Co. reminds us of the benefits of free shipping to boost sales. Booz & Co predicts “more than 80 million shoppers plan to purchase gift cards this season, about 4% more than last year.” Be sure to feature them prominently both in-store and online.

Start your pitch now. Think about teasing your customers with a brief mention about the Holidays as early as now. You can use something similar to the intro I have above, where you tie the Halloween image and decor to what’s ahead. If it’s too soon to talk Holidays because of other programs you have in place during this time, then remember that it’s not to early to start planning.

Push last-minute shopping ideas. Plan to repackage and re-promote your Holiday packages and specials throughout December. While your message for Black Friday or Cyber Monday might focus on “Hurry While Supplies Last,” by the time mid-December rolls around, you may be promoting, “Last Minute Shopping Made Easy and Delivered on Time.” Remember to stay top of mind with your audience with e-newsletters that say, “One week left, don’t forget to buy Mom her new skillet” (for example).

Plan for day-after sales. Don’t forget those who want to save money by buying sale products the day after Christmas.

Remember your New Year’s audience. To end your Holiday promotion cycle, remember to offer special programs and packages for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s. For the eve of, you may be offering packages that promote celebration or celebrating in a responsible way. For New Year’s, you may want to offer bundles that promote healthy lifestyle.