The holidays are great time to reconnect with your best customers. I like to take advantage of the festive mood to reach out with a holiday greeting. It can be fun and reward you with additional friendly mind share (and sales) in the New Year, too.
Some of my favorite year end promotions include:
1. Call Your Best Customers Personally: Even if you get their voicemail, leaving a quick and sincere “thank you” message can be a great use of time. Everyone likes to be thanked for their business, and adding the warmth of your voice makes it more personal and memorable. (Bonus Tip: If I’m overdue on my holiday shopping and need to save time, I call after hours to make sure I get their voicemail. That way I can leave nice messages for my top 10 customers in less than 10 minutes!)
2. Send More than a Christmas Card: While mailing holiday cards is a time honored tradition (an old, expensive, and slow process that is increasingly being replaced by e-mailed JPEG images!), better than sending that traditional postal greeting is to share something of value. I like to send top 10 lists, e-books of helpful tips, or even just a discount coupon. All of those will get more attention, more use, and are cheaper to send via email than a simple holiday card.
3. Run a Holiday Contest: Giving away a few of your best products or most popular services to your customers and fans can be a great way to spread holiday cheer. While simple random drawings are the easiest, even more memorable and fun are contests that include a holiday angle. For example, if you have a large enough e-mail list or Facebook following, you can invite customers to submit fun photos of themselves wearing Santa hats or ugly Christmas sweaters, or share their written stories about the worst gifts they’ve received or holiday travel nightmares. This is fun content that can be shared online on your blog or Facebook page (with permission, of course), and attract new customers, too.
4. Highlight a Deserving Charity: Take the focus off you and your business and use your company megaphone to drive attention and donations to a deserving nonprofit. The world is full of needy folks and your customers are likely to appreciate your commitment to helping others, especially at this time of year. Lead with a contribution yourself and then offer matching funds to encourage your audience to donate, too. In the New Year you can followup with an email or blog post summarizing the money raised, the people you helped, and publicly thank your best donors, too.
All of these tips can help you reinforce your relationships with good customers and lead to increased business in the New Year.
I hope that they are helpful to you, too. Happy holidays!