Smart Words by Sarah
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Holiday marketing for local businesses

This parenting trend could help you sell your services ahead of the holidays.

Here’s how to boost sales ahead of the holidays.

In early September (or even sooner) businesses everywhere start thinking about their holiday promotions.

For some businesses that serve kids, the holidays can be a slow time. People put holds on their memberships or drop out of activities like martial arts, dance, gymnastics, and tutoring.

Does your business suffer from the holiday blues?

It may help to look at where parents are putting their money in November and December.

Trends in parenting can inform your marketing.

There’s been an increased interest in minimalism and decluttering lately, and that’s good for businesses that provide educational and recreational activities. Parents are discovering that they’d rather give their kids experiences than “stuff,” and they’re buying gifts like museum passes, dance classes, and monthly subscription crates that promote STEM learning.

Of course, when Grandma or Uncle Joe asks what the kids want for Christmas, Mom and Dad pass their own wishes for their kids on. “The kids really have enough in the way of toys. What they really need is a karate class or music lessons.”

The parents that take this approach to holiday gifts can boost your business in the coming months. All you have to do is get their attention.

How?

In September:
• Start now by planning your sales and special events. Consider Black Friday and Small-Business Saturday specials. You might also want to do a Cyber Monday offer available only via e-mail, social media, or your website. You’ll need a big offer for the late-November sales and a good offer for December as well.
• Also consider separate deals for new customers and for current customers.
• Have a gift-card or gift-certificate system in place.
• Lay out an editorial calendar that will guide your blog posts, ads, e-mails, and social media posts for October, November, and December. The idea is to gently progress from introducing the idea of giving your service as a gift to really selling it.
• Find local sponsorship and partnership opportunities. Will the pumpkin patch let you host a costume contest and hand out coupons to participants? Will a turkey trot 5K let you add coupons to their swag bags? Does the city Christmas parade need sponsors? Remember that to be effective, your messaging in these venues should include an offer to get people in your door.

In October:
• Early October is the time to start running your holiday-related posts, ads, and e-mails.
• Also in early October, post fliers at your location about your upcoming holiday specials. Headlines like “Tired of the junk that comes with the holidays?” and “This year, give your kids a gift that means something more” will grab the reader’s attention.

In November:
• Starting early November, let your customers know you have deals coming for Black Friday and Small-Business Saturday.
• Keep running those posts, ads, and e-mails. Build up to your big offers.
• Run your big offers. Remember to include scarcity. That means running these offers for a limited time, usually just on Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
• Run retargeting campaigns to people who have shown an interest but haven’t made a purchase.
• Send out an “in case you missed it” message with a consolation offer for those who didn’t take advantage. (Make sure it’s good, but not quite as good as your big offers—you want your customers to believe you when you say things like “limited time.” It’s always best to do what you say you’re going to do.

In December:
• Continue to advertise your December specials and frame them as amazing holiday gifts.
• Put together some gift baskets featuring a gift certificate for your services and some related items. Put these on display in your location to attract the attention of the kids you serve and their parents.

I hope this helps as you plan your holiday sales, events, and advertising.

Your Partner in Growth,
Sarah

P.S. If you need help with this, one of my new-client specials is a great way to get started. I’m offering your choice for $97:

1. A list of 20 blog post ideas to help establish you as an expert in your field, build rapport with your readers, and increase your visibility online.

2. A Facebook ad to attract new customers to your business.

3. A sales e-mail to send to your existing list. This can be about your holiday specials or anything you like.

4. A website usability and copy audit. I’ll give you at least five specific ways to improve your site so visitors will stick around and accept your call to action. I’ll also tell you whether your copy is on point and how you can make it better.

Not sure which to choose? I’d love to help you decide. Schedule your Free Discovery Call now: https://calendly.com/sjfoster

About the Author Sarah Foster

I’m Sarah Jenne Foster. I’m a proud Texan (no, I don’t own a horse or a cowboy hat); an experienced teacher; the loving caregiver of two kids, two cats, and a frog; and a tireless advocate of the serial comma. I'm on a mission to use the power of words to help businesses that serve children and families.

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